HOW stands for Healing Our World. It is a rich tradition in this faith community. It began in 2006 as a new means of expressing our collective compassion, of living our principles together in a practical way. The congregation is invited at the start of each year to suggest places where we can help to heal. Over the years, our congregation has helped feed kids, build schools, provide solar power, empower widows, given local teens a safe place to gather, helped African beekeepers , the list (below) goes on. Now, 14 years later, 29 projects later, $160,000 in donations later, we are engaged in 2019 in two new opportunities to act together. Thank you for your interest in compassionate action.
For more information about HOW, and to be sent an application form, please email the HOW administration team, Martha McDougall and Elaine Hepburn
The history of HOW projects:
2006 – rebuild a school in Sierra Leone: $21,500
2007 – provide a single parent, working poor, local family with a subsidy of $300 a month for a year. The congregation liked that project enough to provide that subsidy for three single-parent working-poor families: $10,800
2008 Project #1 – guarantee 10 orphaned children 10 years of education as well as health care for the host families in Ghana: $8,000; Project #2 – provide the funds to build 100 communal toilets in Kenya that would reduce the amount of disease carried by flies: $7,000
2009 Project #1 – help fund 140 micro-loans to women entrepreneurs in the developing world through Kiva.org. $3,200; We committed to reloan the money. (To November 2019, these funds have been repeatedly recycled: 12,644 loans in all 80 countries served by Kiva). Project #2 – support a local family living in poverty by paying their rent for one year: $6,000
2010 Project #1 – feed 100 orphans, in South Africa, for one year whose parents had died from AIDS: $12,000; Project #2 – helped subsidize young teens attending ‘The Power of Hope’ summer camp here in B.C.: $10,000
2011 Project #1 – pay the school fees for Burmese children living in refugee camps in Thailand: $3,567; Project #2 – fix a roof for a library at a school in Sierra Leone: $2,000; Project #3 – riverbank restoration for farmers in Nepal: $5,000; Project #4 – feed injured animals at Victoria’s Wild ARC: $3,160
2012 Project #1- feeding 30 kids at Brown’s Town Primary in Jamaica every school day for a year: $3,400; Project #2 – supply Rev. Al Tysick with the goods he needs to care for members of the street community afflicted with addictions or mental illness: $5,000; Project #3 – cover the cost of the host Drum and Emcee for the Yellow Wolf Powwow: $2,400
2013 Project #1 – Victoria Human Exchange Society. Rehousing 12 people off the streets: $4,800; Project #2 – Rwanda Widows and Orphans Project. Refurbishing homes in Rwanda and provide drinking water and stoves to 20 widows: $4,200; Project#3 – Schizophrenic Society. Purchase of integrated-tracking information system: $5,000
2014 Project #1 – Thirty destitute Tanzanian women from rural areas given (and trained how to use) solar powered devices to earn income recharging cell phones: $5,250; Project #2 – Classroom rented and the salaries of three teachers paid for one year in an existing charitable school in slums of Pune, India: $3,800; Project #3 – A multi-purpose room for a preschool in Jamaica: $800.
2015 Project #1 – The Teens2Twenties Support Group (ages 15-25) was fully funded ($5,000) to help to keep the program running between September, 2015, and August, 2016. The Greater Victoria group provides tools and support for those with a mental illness. Project #2 – Beekeeping in Rwanda was fully funded ($4,750) to buy new hives and protective gear, a centrifugal honey extractor, and stainless storage tanks for 30 Rwandan families trained in basic beekeeping. Project #3: Teaching non-violent conflict resolution skills to children and youth in occupied Palestine: $1,673.
2016 Project #1 – Help a long-running half-way house in Victoria do some much-needed upgrading. Project #2 – Support a winter homeless shelter run by the First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo. More than $8,000 was raised for the two HOW projects.
2017 – Project #1: The charity titled Help Lesotho conducts a program called Change Her Life, to distribute washable sanitary kits that last up to three years. This means that each kit can keep a girl in school for 150 days that she might otherwise miss. Exceeded $4,700 goal… raised $6,400.
2018 – Project #1 – The Likhaan Centre for Women’s Health operates four clinics in poor areas around Manila, Philippines and they serve over 30,000 patients annually. Likhaan’s staff and volunteers are trusted leaders who educate women and youth on sexual and reproductive health. Target was $4,000. Raised $4,250. Project #2 – A school dormitory (for 30 children) in a little village of Maasai people in Tanzania so children who live too far away to walk can attend school. The community believes a secure future for its children lies in education. Total cost of the dorm: $23,000. Target was $5,000. Raised $5,250
2019 – Project# 1 — Vancouver Island Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees to support translation services. Most of the money will go compensating volunteer interpreters for their clinical hours and related administration. The primary reason is that VICCIR interpreters tend to be younger and newer to Canada, so more in need of compensation. Our target was $5,000. Funds raised: $5,325. Project #$2 — Borderline Personality Disorder Society of BC for the re-building of an antiquated website, one which cannot be reached by many modern devices. Thus many sufferers and their families may be unaware of the help available. Borderline Personality Disorder (also known as Emotional Dysregulation) is a serious mental illness that centres on the inability to effectively manage emotions and thoughts. Despite the seriousness of the disorder, recent research indicates that treatment can lead to considerable improvement over time and there is hope for healing and recovery. Our target was $4,550. Funds raised $4,875.