We are fortunate to have some of the most wonderful, enthusiastic, hard working, caring, truly amazing volunteers in the world. Here are a few of their stories:
“In 1985 I was living in Fredericton, NB, attending the Unitarian Church. Fred came to speak about the new venture he and Bonnie were starting, Child Haven. In 1987, I volunteered my meagre services to work at the Home in Hyderabad. The drought was so severe I felt I would be more use back in Canada than using up precious resources there. Did I mention the culture shock was also pretty severe. Culture shock over, I went to Kathmandu to work with the amazing Marsha Dewar, aided in preparation by Audrey Reekie, in 1995. I returned in 2001 to attend the opening of a new home, made partly possible by the American Himalayan Foundation, of which my daughter Erica, is the President. When I remember all the beautiful children in the Homes, I think they would not be alive and thriving were it not for Bonnie’s efforts. When I look at pictures of the Homes now and remember the old overflowing hospital that was the Home in Hyderabad, I think fondly of that beautiful woman, Bonnie and her handsome and long suffering husband Fred, who have done so much. Child Haven has enriched my life and given some small meaning to an otherwise uneventful one, for which I shall never cease to be grateful.”
I first learned about Child Haven in 2007 when I attended a presentation by two CHI interns at a local coffee shop. I was immediately inspired to learn more about this organization and the Cappuccinos. I contacted them to see if they could find a use for my event management background, and soon started volunteering on their Ottawa fundraising dinner committees. Bonnie & Fred welcomed me with open arms, and showed me how much they truly value their volunteers; not something that can be said about many organizations. I was in total awe of this couple, and the amazing work that they do to help children and women in countries less-fortunate than our own. Child Haven remains an important part of my life and I do my best to participate in fundraising events whenever possible. Although I have not been able to visit any of the homes first hand, I look forward to the day when life’s busy schedules reside and I can see the work that CHI does with my own eyes.”
“It was the spring of 2001 when I realized the magnitude and importance of having Child Haven International in this world of of ours. I was an intern at the Kathmandu home playing with the children when in through the gates came the smallest little bundle of human life that I had ever seen. It was Tulsi – not more than a few weeks old – that was brought down from the mountains to be saved and loved by Child Haven International. Tulsi’s mother had died and the father was left to care for this new born child without having a family of his own to help. Tulsi was passed around in the village from one nursing mom to another to feed him and keep him alive but the efforts were not enough and Tulsi was clearly not going to make it. The father agreed to have his child walked out of the village and down the mountains to a completely strange Haven that promised to nurture Tulsi and provide medical care. I still remember in disbelief what Tulsi looked like all wrapped up in a blanket – I did not think a human could look like that and I cried and said ” We need to get that baby to he hospital now – he won’t make it another hour”. And that is what we did… Tulsi was saved and brought back to the home with a 24 hour caregiver at his side. He was fed and loved and the children adored him. His skin turned a nice healthy colour again and his eyes came alive and his belly grew and grew (his cloths needed to eventually be cut off as they got so tight!). Today Tulsi thrives at Child Haven – he has a bit if a hearing problem probably from the tough battle he fought after being born. But he is alive and happy with a huge family around him and was given a second chance at life all because of this incredible organization that I have enjoyed being a part of since that very spring that opened my eyes as to why Child Haven International exists and why we need to ensure it has a place on the planet for a very long time to come.”
Are you or have you been a CHI volunteer or intern? Tell us your story, we would love to hear it!
Would you like to become a CHI volunteer or intern? Follow this link, and find out how to become one.
Until next time,