Rose Charities Canada – Outputs 2022-23 and letter from Chair Maggie Francis

Chair Year End Report

October 31 st ,2022 to November 1 st , 2023

We have come to the end of another year for Rose Charities Canada with many achievements and “good news”. Our projects have carried on amidst global wars and conflicts, earthquakes, fires, floods and the
ever-encroaching impacts of climate change.

The need for humanitarian aid is widespread and as a result it is sometimes hard to know where to help.

As an organization we do step in for emergencies but we prefer to support communities in the long haul. For this reason, many of our projects have been operating over a long period of time with a great
track record and, moreover, they are well established with very positive outcomes for individuals and communities. This often results in a “ripple effect” where the small seed of a project flows out to the
wider community and future generations. For example, indigenous midwives in Guatemala are given skills to promote better outcomes in childbirth; their knowledge is then transferred to future midwives
and thence safer births.

Another example of this is in the planting of tree seedlings in Zambia which over time help to mitigate against erosion and drought bringing agricultural opportunities and food security to local communities.
In my report this year I have chosen to include the results(outputs) that most of our projects have indicated in their annual reports. I have done this because it demonstrates the wonderful scope and variety of activities the projects provide on budgets that are low in comparison to the big aid organizations. The activities can, more or less, be categorized into education, health and community development. However, they seem to offer much more in terms of broader impacts such as hope and
opportunity for the future.

It is also interesting to look at the numbers of lives benefiting from each project. Some of these numbers are large for a relatively small organization. For example, the development of a Maternal Care
Centre in Ethiopia will provide services to a community of 157,00 people. Or the production of a music video raising awareness of sexual violence towards girls in Uganda has likely reached thousands of
people. But numbers do not tell the whole story. We work from the premise that every life matters. Our understanding is that “If you concentrate on small, manageable steps you can cross unimaginable
distances” (Hick)

If you look at the outputs from Nepal you will see that nine girls were helped with their education. One of these women, married at a young age, had been unable to finish her schooling due to responsibilities
at home. The scholarship enabled her to complete her high school with the chance of lifting the family out of poverty. In fact, she obtained her certificate alongside her daughter!

In addition to individual successes, we also support whole schools – Stand Tall (200 students); Volset (250 students) and the indigenous Mayan school (37 students) in Guatemala. And then there are theenrichment programs in Ecuador, Haiti; health education workshops in Uganda with Grassroot Doctors; educational supplies; food security support and the list goes on.

When I look at the year end annual reports, I am truly impressed and inspired by the work of all our projects. And I know the board joins me in thanking everyone – volunteers, donors, supporters – who
have helped to make them a success.

With very best wishes for another productive year ahead!

Maggie Francis
Chair, Board of Directors
Rose Charities Canada
January 23rd, 2024

Haiti Children & Youth Project: summer and autumn 2023 update

Two Soccer Camps were again held this past August, one in Jacmel and one in Lavalee. Each camp ran for three weeks and Monday to Saturday each week. A total of 170 children and youth attended the two camps which were coordinated by 21 volunteer leaders and 9 other volunteers.

The Soccer Camp in Jacmel was one of the best camps that the Haiti Children & Youth Project has organized, it hosted 110 participants and offered a variety of new activities.

This year the children and youth were divided into groups of 10. Every day of the camp the groups met with their assigned leaders to enjoy an activity and eat a meal together. The groups could choose from several different activities:

  • A trip to the beach or pool,
  • Visiting an art gallery,
  • Cooking,
  • A visit to the countryside just outside Jacmel,
  • A mission day (spending the day with a single parent family or an elderly person to help them with household chores),
  • Learning to make decorations with balloons and material for a celebration or party,
  • Visiting the historic area of Jacmel,
  • Going out for an icy and sugary drink, similar to a slurpee, called fresco.

Another change this year was that camp attendees, leaders, and volunteers prepared their own meal and occasionally went out for pizza or sandwiches. For many of the children and youth it was the first time they had eaten pizza and the first time they had eaten in a restaurant – for most pizza is now a favorite!

In the late afternoon the groups gathered for soccer instruction and soccer games along with relays and fun games OR an education session and informal talent show (singing, skits, dancing, reciting a poem, etc.). Soccer instruction and games were scheduled every second day with education sessions and talent show on alternate days.

At the end the camp all eleven groups in Jacmel decided to organize a potluck with each group preparing a different part of the meal and helping to decorate the project office for a celebratory party. Their creativity was amazing! This final camp event was an emotional moment and a fun time for all.

While in Haiti for the Soccer Camps, Jean had the opportunity to talk one on one with several of the participants in Jacmel along with some of their parents or guardians. Unexpectedly his guidance and counsel were needed for a few sensitive situations with youth and their families which, thankfully, all had positive outcomes.

Also, at the start of camp it was evident that a few of the children and teens were in great need of shoes or flip flops and clothes so some of the Soccer Camp funds were used to purchase these individuals the item of clothing they needed the most.

During the 2023 Soccer Camp, and with the support of very generous donors, 173 children and youth received school supplies and bursaries for the 2023-2024 academic school year.

This year-round program in Jacmel continues to have a significant and positive impact on the lives of the 100 children and youth who are registered to attend project activities in Jacmel. When Jean
spoke one on one with the children and youth who attend project activities, along with some of their parents or guardians, all expressed gratitude for the meal program. The parents and guardians are very appreciative because, since the program began, they have less stress about how they will provide adequate food for everyone in their household. One single mom shared that she is extremely thankful for the meal program because she cannot afford to cook everyday so it is a great reassurance to her that the project provides her three children a nutritious meal 6-7 days a week.

Many people in Jacmel and Lavalee, and all through Haiti, are unable to seek medical care from a doctor or nurse, or at a hospital, when they are unwell or have an accident because they are unable to pay for these healthcare services. The Medical Assistance program enables those in need to seek medical assessment and care by helping them pay their medical bills so – it is a real blessing for the community and saves lives.

Jan Johnston: love, life and care in our world of need

On 16th August 2023 Rose Charities and the world lost Jan Johnston whos superpower was boundless compassion for the needs of others and the world . It is impossible to enumerate the huge number of causes to which Jan, in her vibrant, energetic life had dedicated herself to. Jan was the 2008 Charity Rose Laureate, the highest acknowledgment of ones Rose Charities peers of service to mankind.

Jan Johnston. 2008 Charity Rose Laureat

Rose Charities was privileged to have Jan as one of its members becoming involved with her in her pivotal work supporting orphanages in S. Vietnam such as the Be Tho Orphanage in HCMC. . This lead on to her founding with her husband Bill, (the Canadian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City) of a Vietnam Rose Charities organization which was officially registered then ran for many years. This continued her work with orphans as well as supporting a blind training school (Sia Centre) , sight restoration operations and carrying out emergency relief operations especially in post typhoon and flood disaster where rural areas especially suffer greatly. In this latter area Jan extended her efforts later to pivotal work in Cebu, Philippines assisting with the organization of emergency relief and rebuild after the terrible destruction of super-typhoon Hiyan

Jan and Bill hosted the 2008 Rose Charities International conference in Ho Chi Minh City in their home. Impressively this was needed at the last minute when the Vietnam Government decided that the conference application process had not been completed correctly (despite delegates having arrived !) Perhaps this was a good thing as the event was a huge success due to the arrangements they made.

The paper flowers of Than Thien…

One of Jan’s most lovely initiatives was working towards the re-establishment in Than Thien Village of the rural ancient art of paper flower making, for which Vietnam used to be renowned.

On leaving Vietnam, Jan and Bill generously spent half a year in Cambodia assisting Rose Charities Australia’s Consultant Physiotherapist Johanna Thomson in setting up the Rose Rehab Physical Rehabilitation Centre in Chea Chumneas Hospital, Kandal, in conjunction also with Professor Nous Sarom, the leading rehabilitation (and cleft palate) surgeon in the country and another of the Rose Charities ‘family’. During that time Jan became very interested in rural apiary program(s) and spent much time and effort investigating possibilities for honey beekeeping in all parts of the country .

While most of the Rose Charities initiatives established or assisted by Jan exist to this day, simply stating the facts of Jan’s charitable work however is an utterly inadequate way to describe Jan. Rarely has there been one more instilled with the love of life, her family, and her huge number of friendships. Travelling far and wide with Bill, both in the Canadian Diplomatic Service and privately, they lived in a score of locations at different times worldwide and ever left behind people devoted to her sparkling personality and underlying kindness. Jan’s heart was truly huge and it was almost impossible for a human cause or need to pass her by without her picking it up and trying to help.

In recent years, the environment and the welfare of trees became her passion. She was a tireless campaigner for protecting the remaining stands of old growth forest in B.C . It is for this reason that Rose Charities has started a tree-planting fund in her name for anyone wishing to assist which what she loved so dearly.

We miss Jan awfully. But we at Rose Charities are incredibly thankful to have her as a star in the Rose Charities Family for so many years.

Jan Johnston Memorial Tree-planting Fund (select the fund in the list of causes)

Sustainable and Local. No frills no admin costs…