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Come learn how to build a safe home for vulnerable children--this Saturday at Cafe Books
Interested in dreams and how to make them come true? If so, Heather Knox and Greg Kemp co-founders of Project Somos have a tale to tell you this coming Saturday at Cafe Books West. Their mission is to build a better future for vulnerable children in Guatemala by creating a safe place of vulnerable children to grow and learn.
Their multi-media presentation (images and video) will show the work that has been done to date and the next steps that will take place in building an eco-sustainable village. When completed, the village will contain “buildings for Village activities, guest rooms, art and music workshops, a library, administration space and, of course, a large playground and soccer field.
“As well as being designed to have an inherent beauty and harmony, the Village will be built to be eco-sustainable with alternative electric generation, rain water capture, grey water recycling, and solar energy.The Village will be managed by the Village Director, a local Guatemalan. Local Guatemalans will be employed in other areas as well.”
According to Knox, there are lots of reasons to show up Saturday and support these innovative efforts:
“Rosslanders have an opportunity to work alongside fellow Canadians in providing for children who are without loving families and safe homes. So far, four Rosslanders have already made their way to Guatemala to assist in the construction of the Children's Village. Others have shown an interest in participating. This is an opportunity for them to learn more about the Project and decide for themselves if this something they would like to get involved with. UNICEF estimates that there are 340,000 orphaned or abandoned children in Guatemala. We believe it is our responsibility to do what we can, where we can.”
Progress on the project is happening steadily.
“It’s going well! We are feeling really excited. We have been on the ground in Guatemala for 19 months. Construction began 16 months ago. Two family homes are nearing completion. A 450 meter adobe-brick wall around the Children's Village was constructed by 27 BC high-school students. A rainwater catchment cistern has been constructed. A fire-pit with seating for 100+ was built. An organic vegetable garden and organic orchard have been planted. Social Enterprises (small businesses to support the Village) are being developed. To date, over 150 volunteers have participated in the construction.”
When complete, the Project Somos Children’s Village will contain of seven homes with 7 mothers and 49 children dwelling in them. The goal is to “The goal is to create a village which provides a secure home, a loving family and a hopeful future to Guatemalan children in need.”
.Kemp and Knox decided to pursue a children’s village after several years of soul searching. According to the Project Somos website, the pair spent “many months and years exploring (and sometimes volunteering at) various projects in India, Jamaica, Honduras and Guatemala. Of all the projects that inspired them, it was the children’s village model which most excited them and which they felt best suited their love of children, their hope for creating a better future and to best utilize their eclectic work and non-profit experiences they have gathered over the years. Their overriding desire to do more in this world, led them to create this vision for the Project Somos Children’s Village.”
Sound inspiring or intriguing? Think you might want to lend a hand or offer support? Or perhaps you’re just interested in learning more about the couple’s work? Then show up at Café Books West on Saturday, Sept. 15. The presentation takes place between 6 and 7:30 pm. And it’s free!