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Living Cannel Projects

We work hard everyday to better the lives of families in our area through our many projects — including feeding our children and their families, starting community gardens and forming coops to help families break the cycle of poverty and gain independence and self respect. Learn more about our efforts and how working together can make a lasting impact! Contact us if you’d like more information on how to donate or volunteer.

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Mama C_____ (whose name we cannot give to protect her identity) has a son with a beautiful smile.  When he was younger, she would carry him on her back as she worked in the fields, making pennies a day as an unskilled farm worker.  The work was back breaking, but with only an elementary school education, it was the only work she could find to feed herself and her son. 

 

Now C is getting bigger and is too heavy for her to carry.  She prepares him for the day then locks him in the house by himself while she is at work, trusting the neighbors to keep an eye out for any problems.  If the government finds out she would be thrown in jail, and her son would be placed in a government hospital.  Unfortunately, while we here in Canada complain about hospital food, in Rwanda food in the hospital is the responsibility of the family to provide.  With no family her son would soon starve to death.

Mama C needs a safe place to leave her child while she is at work, as do others in her situation.  The parents in our program – mostly single parents or grandparents – need to work to provide the basic needs for their children but have no safe place to leave them where they will be cared for.

Channel of Hope Disability Center and Sewing Coop is a planned wraparound rehab, education, respite, training and counselling center for children with disabilities and their parents in Rural Rwanda.  The center would provide care, education, vocational training, and rehab for the children, with respite, job training and counselling for their parents, leading to improved quality of life for children with disabilities.

Channel of Hope Disability Center & Sewing Coop

Women living in extreme poverty may have to leave disabled children alone or to be cared for by young siblings, while out trying to find food or work to support their families.  Living Channel Services is committed to setting up sewing co-ops where mothers of special needs children can:

  • come together to learn new skills

  • gain opportunities to earn an income 

  • enjoy the company of other mothers 

  • be assured that their disabled children are safely cared for nearby.

In January 2024 we opened our first sewing coop with 11 students taking a 6 month course to become trained seamstresses.  In April we were able to add 8 more students and 2 paying students to help defray the costs of running the school.

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Sewing Coop

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Many children with disabilities are capable of learning basic skills, like simple math, literacy and life skills which would increase their independence and long-term quality of life. These skills can help a child become a contributing member to his or her family and community, instead of a burden to their parents. Unfortunately, the schools in rural Rwanda do not have the training or space to work with children with disabilities. 

We are setting up programs to teach children in small groups the skills they need for independence and to be able work in appropriate jobs for their abilities.

In Canada, more than 1.5 million people with disabilities are living in poverty1. 50% of people who are food insecure have a disability1. As food costs soar and income levels remain the same, this problem continues to get worse. Solving this problem may seem daunting and insurmountable, but little changes can add up to big results over time.

That is why we, together with New Age Services are starting a program to work with disabled adults in Calgary and Airdrie, teaching them how to grow supplemental nutritious vegetables and greens in pots and raised garden beds at their homes.

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