Giving Something Back
Believing that it is important for our foundation to give something back, Danny Moe, KBF VP conducts Academy Workshops on personal and professional development free for our foundation donors, friends, and students both in North America and West Africa. Attendees express transformative impact and genuine gratitude. Passionate support for project developments is often evident as a ripple effect well beyond these events. Much appreciation goes to Derek Agyapong-Poku for arranging the free use of the UBC / VGH Eye Care Centre’s facilities. And for the volunteers that faithfully arrive and prepare a scrumptious meal partway through the day. A faithful foundation friend and donor over the years, Broadway Lodge administrators enjoyed a half day with Danny, studying the principles of Heart Power (ie. serving with your heart). They express this was a transformative day in their leadership skills development.
The Greater Toronto region boasts the 3rd largest Ghanaian Diaspora in the world. Recognizing that KBF must tap into this market in a more relevant and effective way, Marj met with KBF supporter, Emmanuel Ayiku, Editor of The Ghanaian News, the largest Ghanaian monthly publication in North America. Two articles were published in 2012 authored by the President and preliminary plans are under consideration for multi-Ghanaian church promotional events hosted by The Ghanaian News and Danny’s workshops this year. Workshops are also being considered for our West African Embassy’s resident in Washington.
Another splendid packing day took place at VGH’s old laundry facility, as KBNF gets ready to ship two more containers off to Ghana. One will head for Techiman in the northeastern region of the country and the other to Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
We are so very grateful for the energized efforts of Christina Chiu and her dear friend in organizing this event. Facebook was the prime communicator, and we are ever so pleased that these university students are ready to help us again real soon.
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Last week, Brenda and I had the privilege and pleasure of attending Mr. Johnson Osei’s retirement party. A social worker for the BC Ministry of Children for many years, it was a night of warm celebrations. Whether it was the Ministry lawyer, leader, colleague or friend, everyone had passionate words for this dear Ghanaian man with a great big heart for children.
We honour Johnson, who has been a faithful member of KBNF since almost our inception.
Have a superb retirement, Johnson! Only not too restful, as KBNF needs you to volunteer for oh, the next 30 years!!!!
I am so pleased to report that our Nigerian container was cleared from Tin Can Island Port last weekend. The first half of the container, destined for our University of Benin Teaching Hospital neurosurgery unit in Benin City, was delivered while the second half is on its way to a new maternity clinic in northern Nigeria.
We want to thank all of our team for their diligence in donating their time, expertise and effort in making this shipment possible. And big thanks to Rick Diamond and Diamond Delivery for their faithful support in transferring equipment and supplies from Vancouver to Victoria. Arranging for Seaspan to take our cargo across the Georgia Strait for free was such a cost savings. And thank you to Compassionate Resource Warehouse, led by Dell’s team, for their amazing attention to detail and efforts to fulfill the requests of our Nigerian friends – ensuring the load was filled to the maximum (i.e. no air!).
This shipment started with a heartfelt plea to help provide equipment for a maternity clinic being constructed for village women dying giving birth and our neurosurgery unit’s 20-bed expansion in Benin City.
We’ll keep you posted as photos come in.
Thanks again, everyone!!!
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At the KBNF Board meeting the other night, I shared an inspiring story I came across that the team spontaneously named “When misfortune can become a fortune.” Truly, it is a lesson in how seeming tragedy inadvertently and ultimately births triumph. How when we are bereft with tragedy and loss, it just may be the silver lining that is required for us to achieve extraordinary things along this amazing life journey. It certainly puts a different perspective on how we should look at our lives’ ups and downs.
A 4-year-old British boy, son of an Essex postman, was taken by his parents to visit the gates of Buckingham Palace. While gazing on the palace, the young boy informed his parents that he was going “to paint the Queen” someday. What transpired next could only appear to be a tragedy but unexpectedly propelled him towards his dream.
Shortly after his declaration, Richard had a serious fall down a flight of stairs and suffered a serious head injury. He was rendered unconscious for several weeks and the doctors informed his parents that dear Richard would be permanently brain damaged.
Awakening from his coma state, it was discovered that Richard was completely deaf. Attending school was a challenge, so the teachers would hand him blank paper and paints and instruct him to paint a picture. “Painting was my escape.”
Eventually hearing returned to one ear and in 1965 at the age of 14, Richard visited the Royal Academy. He was struck by the clarity of two state portraits of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Writing a fan letter to the artist, Sir Gerald Kelly became Richard’s mentor and tutor for many years to come.
In spite of multiple rejections by art schools including the Royal Academy, a 22-year-old Richard daringly phoned Clarence House and requested to paint the Queen Mother. Lord Adam Gordon, Queen Elizabeth’s comptroller responded that “Queen Elizabeth is very busy and couldn’t possibly sit for any Tom, Dick or Harry who should call.” Richard retorted: “Lord Adam, with great respect, don’t ring off, I could be a latter-day Rembrandt.” A few weeks later, Richard received his first commission to paint Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, as Colonel in Chief of the Royal Anglian regiment. Within three visits, Richard was enjoying lunches and warm friendship with the Queen Mother. He was to paint her six times.
Since his first royal commission, 61-year-old Richard Stone, the most prolific royal portrait artist of our day, has annually painted members of the British Royal Family, spanning four generations, for the past 40 years. Oh yes, and his 4-year-old prophecy became a reality, when in 1989, Richard began his portrait of the Queen, conveying her extraordinary inner strength and steadfastness.
Richard Stone, as a young man, never gave up. In spite of his challenges, he kept his focus and achieved his goals, surpassing all of his contemporaries. Today, he is inspiring African children to express their talents through art. May we also continue our mission and vision with his tenacity and steadfastness.
Have a super day, friends!