Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Inspiration for Angel Makers

Song for Nkosi

Simon Fraser Elementary School Peace Choir’s favourite song was written by their Choir Master, Marisa Orth-Pallavicini and her fellow songwriter, Pat Davit. It is called "For Nkosi", and is dedicated to Nkosi Johnson, an 11-year-old South African, who addressed the 13th International Aids Conference in Durban in 2000.

His entreaty to everyone is featured in the song:

"Do all that you can,

with all that you have,

in the time that you have,

in the place where you are."

This link will give you more information about Nkosi. Note the connection between his story and the comments that Vic writes (below) about the ARV program at St. Mary's hopsital.


Angel Donations

Where Do I send the Money?

Many of you are making angels at home and getting donations from friends and family. That's a great!

The most efficient, carbon neutral way of handling those funds is:

1. Write a cheque to African Aids Angels for the same amount (i.e. you raise $75 from your home, keep the cash and write an equivalent cheque)

2. send a message to africanaidsangels@gmail.com and ask where to send the funds.

Zambia Return

Pierre and Lee Ann Dil have just returned safely from their time working at Makeni in Zambia. They have lots of photos which we will get posted, hopefully soon after Christmas.

Teddy Phiri's Message

Appreciation from Malawi

This was just received from Teddy Phiri in Malawi.

Read it and give yourself a pat on the back!

Just wanted to remind you that we appreciate your special talent. You are the best
fund raisers. Do you imagine how any millions of Malawi kwachas you have raised
for the suffering Malawiians and yet you have not lost your zeal and
dedication since 2002.You have convinced many people to donate
materially, in time, financially and in marketing , selling etc. May God bless you

As usual we cherish the special visits made by Canadian friends to the
beneficiaries .The visits cement the special bond between beneficiaries and
the donors. (referring to a possible trip next year by a new volunteer)

The weather has become so unpredictable nowadays.

Greet all the good people.


Report from South Africa

Thembalethu and ST. Mary's Hospital

Vic and Lorraine Parsons have just returned from Thembalethu Orphanage in South Africa. They have also visited St. Mary's Hospital. These are the two projects that we support in South Africa.

Here is Vic's first note to African Aids Angels.

It is a constant source of amazement to the people we visited in South Africa how much Canadians, and I presume other people in the world, care about the African AIDS pandemic. They cannot seem to comprehend how much, and why, we care about them. Everywhere Lorraine and I went, we were embraced as sister and brother to them, and when tried speaking a few words of our pitiful Zulu, they would break out in broad smiles and often hug us. Let no one ever tell you, our brave volunteers, that you don't make a difference!

On our return this week we read about the stupendous effort of the students in raising $3500, and the house sales results, Great work!

There is so much that has been done, and so much to accomplish. We visited St Mary's Hospital last week and got in-depth explanations of where our funds go in the Born To Live program, which provides ARVs to pregnant mothers to prevent mother-to-child trasmission of HIV. Since the program started, 3000 mothers have participated in the program, and 4,000 babies are involved, with a success rate of 95 per cent. The South African government, with funding assistance from the US, now provides these drugs to the mothers. Where our money goes is to a vital part of the program, that is, counselling and outreach to make sure that the mothers are taking the drugs properly. Many of the mothers have very little education, have lives that are very disruptive, and there is risk that if the drug regime is not followed the program would fail. The hospital authorities say this is just about an important part of the program as the drugs themselves.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Angels in Port Alberni

Finding Angels in Port Alberni

On Dec. 5, Larry and Mary traveled to Port Alberni to meet with most of the fifteen members of the Xi Chi Chaper of Beta Sigma Phi. This group adopted African Aids Angels as their service project for 2007. They made about 250 angels and raised well over $1200. Capelli’s hairdressing school and the Clock Tower Studio Gallery displayed the Angels in their shops. Pat Miller was our contact for the day and Julia Rutter hosted the meeting.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

What Happened at the Craft Fairs?

Angel Craft Fairs

The Angels have just completed two busy weeks of Craft Fairs.

A warm thank you to organizers and the dozens of volunteers who worked so hard to make these events such a success.

We have taken part in fairs at Commonwealth Pool, Hillside, Fair Trade, the Home
Craft Fair, Dickens Fair plus many smaller events at various churches and home parties. Our total raised over the last two weeks is over $12,000.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Terrific Students

Thank You Oak Bay High!

Oak Bay High School’s student leadership group fasted for 24 hours starting at 8 am Nov. 16th. They took pledges in the days leading up to their fast and presented African Aids Angels with a cheque for $3524.73 on the afternoon of the 16th, just as everyone was starting to get really hungry.

Thanks to a great group of involved, energetic and compassionate students!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Parksville Qualicum group excels

Juliana Kratz spearheads a busy workshop of angel makers with the Parksville Qualicum Kairos group. They work throughout the year and their angels have produced significant donations to AIDS Angels projects. Congratulations and thanks go to them.

This picture and a story appeared in the Parksville Qualicum Beach News on November 9. Currently the story is available as a link here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Give a Gift of Hope

We now have gift cards which you can use to honour your friends and family. If you wish to make a donation to African Aids Angels projects on someone's behalf, we will provide a card to let the person know.

Inside the card is an explanation of the work done by African Aids Angels. You can give the card to friends, co-workers, relatives, or to anyone you would like to acknowledge.

The minimum amount is $15, and there is no maximum. $50 will support 1 child for one month in an orphanage, and $35 will pay for school fees for one year.

If you would like to make a donation and receive a gift card, please send a cheque to African AIDS Angels, c/o 1855 Neil St., Victoria BC V8R 3C6. Please indicate clearly the name and address for mailing the card, including postal code. We can send it to you or the recipient. If you have questions, please email to africanaidsangels@gmail.com.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

News from the Thembalethu Orphanage

Vic and Lorraine Parsons, the founders of African Aids Angels, are currently in South Africa, working at Thembalethu Orphanage, one of the four projects supported by the Angels.

Here is a note from them:

We are taking a couple of days off from the children's shelter at Shelly Beach which is on the Indian Ocean so thought I should e-mail you. It has been very difficult getting to a place with internet here and the telephones have been out at Assisi for more than a week due to severe thunderstorms.

I wanted to tell a bit about the kids. We are being very well looked after here, and the kids are great. They run to us now with great excitement(when we arrive each morning.

One of them, Siyabonga, which means :We thank you, is HIV positive and had to be taken to hospital at 11 p.m. about two weeks ago. He was severely dehydrated but has returned in much better shape.

Two little girls who were afraid of our white faces have become close buddies now. One, Amahle, meaning Beautiful One, is about three. No one really knows her name and parents as she was abandoned on the street until someone turned her over to the Sisters for care.

A second one was Sanelisiwe, who is very thin, and probably HIV+. She cried about 75 p.c. of her waking hours and the first time we saw her smile was when we took her into the play area and blew bubbles with the kids. Now she giggles and plays with toys all the time, and really brightens up when we come near. The Sisters were very concerned about her because for a long time she refused to eat, but now she feed happily.

Another little girl is Nomussselelo, who is six. She just came to the shelter last week. Her father has died of AIDS and her mother is quite sick, and she came to the shelter with her own meds, and is HIV too. She is quite a talented artist for a girl her age and speaks English quite well.

When Lorraine asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, she said: "Happy."

James Bay Angels?

James Bay

We have had a number of inquiries from the James Bay area . Several people are hoping to make angels in their neighbourhood.

Do you live in the James Bay area and have space for a group or 5 or 6 people to come to your home to make angels once or twice before Christmas?

If you are interested: contact Mary at lmbomford@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Malawi News

Funds to Malawi

African Angels in Malawi have presented their budget for 2007/2008.

We are pleased to be able to provide all of the items. We forwarded $16,000 to cover:

A. School fees,uniforms, books and kerosene for 45 orphanned students.

Why kerosene? The students will use it to light their lamps to study by. Many do not have electricity in their homes.

B. Farm inputs (seeds and fertilizer) for 80 families.

C. Agricultural training in market gardening for 30 boys and girls who have finished high school and are willing to try market gardening as a business.

D. Hospice nutrition support for 20 individuals. This includes funds for those who feel healthy enough to raise chickens for income.

Seeds For Malawi our sister group on Saltspring have joined with us in a closer partnership. They will fund the majority of the African Angels Malawi budget and channel their funds through AAA Victoria.

The Walls Go Up

St. Francis Orphanage

After a long wait the walls of the girls dormitory at St. Francis Orphanage, Makeni, have begun to go up. This building was funded by a generous supporter of African Aids Angels in Victoria.

Click on the website africanaidsangels.googlepages.com, go to Zambia, click on the child’s photo and it will go to photos of the construction at the orphanage.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Women of Malawi

Florence Moyo

What happened?

What happened to the women we have been supporting in Mzuzu Malawi? Last year, Rob Shaw of the Times Colonist interviewed many of these women who have been hard hit by Aids. His reporting had a great impact on readers all over Vancouver Island. Teddy Phiri, our African Angels contact in Malawi has just sent us an update on their situation.

Alice Lungu is one of a group of four women who are now on anti-retorviral drugs. This year, all four of these women are healthy because of the government supplied drugs and the food support provided by Aids Angels. They are all debt free and have begun small market businesses, selling baked scones, tomatoes and other vegetables, and charcoal.

Mrs. Amensty Longwe one of a six member widows’ support group, also interviewed by Rob, is now well enough to have found a support staff job at a local motel. She has plans to augment her income by sewing or vegetable selling at the local market.

Florence Moyo, with farm input funds from Aids Angels, has been able to grow enough maize to support herself and her three children.

As a result of African Aids Angels support, all of the women who were interviewed last year are alive, healthy and many engaged in small businesses. Their lives are not easy but they are there for their children and their communities. We are proud to be part of their support system and grateful to Teddy and Delirah, Vincent and Gilda whose hard work as volunteers make it possible for us to provide some relief in their community.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Expand the Network

Bring a neighbour

Bring a friend/mom/sister

Help us expand the angel making network.

This fall we are encouraging all Angellers to bring along a friend, a neighbour or relative to a dressing session. We want to inspire new angel makers.

Throughout the summer the Angels flew off the shelves. The shops which support us are looking forward to a good supply of angels for the fall and into the Christmas season.

We also have the opportunity for displays at Hillside and other Christmas craft events.

People always respond best to personal invitations. Who can you invite?

Angel Party

Angel Party

To all experienced Angellers.

This fall, plan an angel making party. Many people have found that they enjoy making angels at home with a small group of friends in afternoon or evening.

We can provide you with a compact kit of all the materials you need for 4 or 5 people to make angels. The kit will include some sample angels as examples to get people started.

If you want to try this out email africanaidsangels@gmail.com and arrange to pick up the kit.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

New Shop, New Signs

New Shop

New Signs

African Aids Angels welcome the Global Village Store in Market Square.

Global Village will be selling Angels for $7.00 plus tax. This is the first time that there will be a fixed price for angels at a particular location. This change accommodates the way that Global Village markets their crafts. We are delighted that they have asked to help us with Aids Angels. The shop markets items that help third world crafters receive a living wage for their work. It is an excellent spot to check out.

We are also trying to encourage people to consider a larger donation for the Angels. All the other shops that offer the angels for a donation have a new sign for the display spinner.

Side 1 says:

African Aids Angels

suggested donation:

Side 2 says:

$5 minimum

3kg of seed to start a garden = $7

10 days of orphan care = $10

We are trying to see if this will prompt more donations. At least it will give people a sample of how some of our funds are used.

If you wish to comment on this change please email: africanaidsangels@gmail.com

If you want to know where to find Angels check our website.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Summer Angel Reading

28, by Stephanie Nolan, the Globe and Mail’s Africa correspondent is getting excellent reviews.

Nolan has told the story of 28 individuals affected by Aids to represent the human side of Aids in Africa. Each story represents 1 million people impacted by the disease.

Where Did All the Money Go?

2007 Funds sent to Projects.

African Aids Angels raised over $70,000 in 2006. At the beginning of 2007 we consulted with our projects to determine their needs and responded to each of them. Here are the details.

African Aids Angels Victoria has disbursed $12,000 to Thembalethu Orphanage. http://africanaidsangels.googlepages.com/south . Our group is providing all of the 2007 funding for this small orphanage that cares for about 30 children. Thembalethu is officially a half-way house that keeps children until they can be adopted. It does not qualify as an official orphanage and as a result does not receive funding from the South African government. However there are few adoption homes and in effect it is functioning as an orphanage with minimal resources.

Vic and Lorraine Parsons, the founders of AAA Victoria will be traveling to South Africa and assisting at Thembalethu this fall. They will be able to see for themselves what the children need and how we can best assist. We look forward to their stories and reports.

Mariannhill Hospital , http://www.stmarys.co.za/ , has received $20,000 for the Born to Live Program. This comprehensive program provides Anti-retroviral drugs to pregnant mothers with AIDS to prevent the transmission of Aids to their newborns. This treatment is 90% effective. The South African government now provides the funds for the ARV drugs. AAA Victoria’s funds go to provide adequate food for the mother and child and also support from social workers. Vic and Lorraine will also visit Mariannhill to see how our funds are being used.

St. Nicholas Orphanage at Makeni Ecumenical Center http://www.makeni.org.uk/orph_news.htm in Zambia, has received two separate funding allotments. A generous donor from Victoria has provided $15,000 to build a new dormitory for the girls at the orphanage. The funds are currently held in trust as Makeni works through the paperwork for building permits. It seems like it’s the same the whole world over when it comes to working with City Hall! A recent email from Makeni:

"Gordon Wadey had been working hard with one of our Board members, Joe Pollen to get everything in order for the orphanage extension. The drawings have been done professionally, and submitted to the City
Council. "

We have also sent $10,160 towards the day to day running of the orphanage and other AIDS relief programs at Makeni.

Pierre (our Board member) and Lee Ann Dil will be working at the orphanage this fall for three months. Once again we are so fortunate as a funding group to have this direct contact with the people we support.

AAA is holding funds to distribute to our Mzuzu, Malawi group in September. http://africanaidsangels.googlepages.com/malawi This funding supports Aids widows and their children by providing farm inputs of seeds and fertilizers so that these family fragments can have assistance in being self-supporting. Our funds are co-ordinated with the planting year. Crops are are sown in October and November. We also pay secondary school fees for orphans and provide some hospice food aid as requested.

Mary and Larry Bomford are the contacts for Malawi. They do not have a trip planned to our project in Mzuzu in the near future but we have a regular email connection with Teddy Phiri our contact there.

How Does the Money Get to Africa

How Do you Send Money to the Projects?

Aids Angels Victoria has a community account with Island Savings and Credit Union. They organize the transactions direct from our account in Victoria to the bank accounts of our projects overseas.

Angel Hair

Angels Bald and Haired

Marg, our faithful organizer of bald angels in need of hair, is moving house. For the next few months contact Mary Bomford africanaidsangels@gmail.com either to get haired angels or to pick up angels and wool. Marg will pick up this task again once she is settled in her new home.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Glorious News!!

News Release:

Stephen Lewis' successor is Elizabeth Mataka

Dear All,

It is my joy and pride to announce to you that Elisabeth Mataka, the ED for Zambia National
AIDS Network-ZNAN (One of the few civil society primary recipients of the Global Fund) has
been chosen as the United Nations special envoy for AIDS in Africa- a position
previously held by Stephen Lewis.

This does me proud as a woman, does us all proud as African Civil Societies fighting against
AIDS TB and Malaria. They will no longer be told about what happens in Africa- They will
SEE it through an African's eyes.

Elisabeth wears many many hats- Since 2006, Elisabeth has served as the Board member
for developing Countries NGO delegation at the Global Fund Board and we had the pleasure
of working with her to build a strong civil society voice on the Global Fund Board.

Recently the Global Fund Board recognised her contributions and hard work and appointed
her to serve as the Vice Chair of the Global Fund Board for year 2007-2008.

Join me in congratulating Elisabeth and wishing her all the best in these challenging but truly
noble tasks ahead of her.

Go Liz Go!!! Let Africa speak!!!

Lucy Ng'ang'a
Executive Director
Eastern Africa.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Malawi Students Get -Together

Teddy Phiri, our Malawi contact in Mzuzu, gathered the orphanned students whose school fees are paid by African Aids Angels Victoria and our sister group Seeds for Malawi.
You can see him addressing the group. (Teddy is wearing the white and grey shirt).

Malawi Youth Agricultural Training Program

More notes from Teddy Phiri, describing the field day for youth who are learning how to become market gardeners.

55 men and women attended the show. They were 2 senior traditional chiefs, 3 senior chiefs, 1 teacher from nearby primary school, 1 veterinary field officer and 1 agriculture field officer (trainer). They had come from several villages surrounding Lusangazi demonstration garden.

The field day was organized to show the parents and the general public what the youth in the area had learned through training and the Demonstration.

Lottie Chirwa, leader of the youth group in Lusangazi area, gave brief history of the group. 10 boys and 2 girls were selected. The Agriculture Field Officer trained the group for 14 days in modern methods of farming, farm management and leadership skills. A demonstration field was chosen to demonstrate what they had learned. They planted a number of vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, tomatoes etc. A quarter of an acre of corn was also planted using the easiest and cheapest method.

Children of Makeni, Zambia

Manyando, Gloria and Esther

Here stories of some of the orphans who are being cared for at Makeni. African Aids Angels are providing support to build a new dormitory and also some of the funds for day to day operation.

The St. Nicholas Village for Orphans gives the children a sense of security and continuity, whoever comes and goes, they have a roof over their heads, food and guaranteed education.

Manyando, eight years old, came to the St. Nicholas Village for Orphans four years ago. She has a loving grandmother, who works at the market place just opposite the Makeni Centre but she has many orphaned grandchildren, and even working all day at the market, she cannot make ends meet, or pay for schooling for Manyando, who is the youngest of her grandchildren. Manyando lost both her parents to AIDS four years ago.

Gloria and Esther , nine years and 13 years, are bright intelligent sisters. They come from a household that had been stable and happy, but which had been totally shattered when first their father and then their mother died of AIDS. They went to stay with an aunt, who was a nurse at the Makeni Centre Clinic. That is how the Orphan Home heard about them. The aunt had lost her husband, and when she discovered that she too was dying, started distributing the children in her care. Her own children would go to relatives. She begged the St. Nicholas Orphan Home to take Esther and Gloria. At that stage the Orphanage was fresh off the drawing board. Esther became the very first child of the St. Nicholas Village for Orphans. Gloria came later. Esther always comes top of her class academically. Her mother, like her aunt was a nurse, and both Esther and Gloria want to be nurses too.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

More support for Makeni

We Believe in Angels

In December we received a generous donation of $10,000 to assist in building the new girls dormitory at the orphanage in Makeni. (see below)

The donors have returned with a further $5000 to make sure that the building is funded to completion. There is also discussion about providing some personal items for the girls when the building opens.

Makeni is full of gratitude for this wonderful gift.

It makes us believe in angels!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Malawi message

A message from Teddy Phiri our Malawi contact. The Youth Programme is providing agricultural training for orphanned teens who are finished school It is funded by Seeds for Malawi, our Saltspring sister group.

The Youth Programme is doing very well. We had a very good field
day where by chiefs, government extension officers, local population came
to view the youth garden of maize.We had more than 50 people.It was very
successful and people really appreciated the efforts of agricultural
development through the youth.


Dancing Aids in Malawi

The Village is Tilting: Dancing Aids in Malawi

Feb. 6 to Sept. 3, 2007

Museum of Anthropology at UBC

A ground breaking exhibit of the Gulu Wamkulu secret society masks from Malawi. These masks are being used in reinvented dances to open up the message of AIDS. The exhibit contains dozens of video interviews with Malawiians expressing their beliefs and fears about AIDS.

Check the Musuem of Anthropology website www.moa.ub.ca for more information.

March 8 to March 10 will feature discussions on Perceptions of Africa.

Marion Recommends

There is No One Without You

One woman’s odyssey to rescue Africa’s children by Melissa Fay Green.

Marion recommends this as a good account of Aids as it affects children in Africa.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Thanks from Malawi

This letter was forwarded by Teddy Phiri, our contact in Malawi. Stuart's wife died of AIDS. He is HIV positive but is now on anti-retroviral drugs. He is working with others to educate them about AIDS. Now that his health is stronger he is able to support his five children. One of the great benefits of ARVs is that they keep the parents alive to support their children.

The Coordinator

AAA Project


Dear Sir / Madam


I write to thank you for saving my life. I would have been dead without you. You did not stop at just saving my life but you have continued looking after me all through out from 2003 you have been looking after me through with life necessities such as days provision you have provided daily bread when sick, you taken me to the hospital, you have been giving me medicine, providing me soap, sugar, blankets and fertilizer when my family was lacking you giving me poles, wrap plastic paper for roofing and cash for grass.

I cannot say all what you do for me to date, I want you to understand that I am very thankful for all what you are doing for me, it is not easy for you to come all the way up to my house and appreciate my problems please keep it up.

May the Good Lord Almighty Bless You.

Thank you.

Stuart Mhango.

Angel Fundraising 2006

Fundraising Total 2006

Our final tally for last year’s fundraising was $72,000.

Since we began in 2001, we have raised a total of $150,000.

You can see how quickly we have grown.

In 2006, half our funds came from angel sales and half came from donations. We are a registered society but not a federally registered charity. However, our donors are very supportive because they like to know where our funds are going. They appreciate our direct project links. See the Thanks from Zambia section for one example.

How Much goes to Africa?

How much of your fundraising goes to Africa?

Over six year operation, 93% of our funds have gone directly to our 4 projects. Most of the 7% expenses covers the cost of buying the wooden pegs and beads, the glue and the wool that make up the base of the angel bodies.

How Many Angels?

How Many Angels have been Made?

Since 2001, Aids Angels Victoria have made 20,000 angels.

Thanks from Zambia

Thanks from Zambia

This message comes from Mrs. Dil at St. Nicholas Orphanage in Makeni, Zambia.

A very generous donation to African Aids Angels Victoria has enabled us to provide funding to build a new dormitory for the orphanned girls at Makeni. She addressed it Dr. Dil and his wife Lee Ann, our contacts for this project.

Dear Pierre and Leeann,

I became aware of this wonderful news ( funding for the dorm) on Sunday evening when Anton phoned me from England, but lost two very enthusiastic letters of thanks to you and AAA when we had power failures. As it happened in the daytime, I had nothing to warn me of the power failure until the computer stopped and I completely lost my messages !

We have had very good daily rains, but also daily electricity and telephone failures,.

…immediately convey to them (AAA and the donor) our heartfelt thanks for this wonderful gift. We are totally overwhelmed !!

We struggle with the immense workload, trying to keep uptodate with 21st century equipment, while the elements… and financial constraints, resulting in short-staffing, are constantly sabotaging us.

It is now 11.30 at night Tues. and I could reread your amazing news for the first time since yesterday morning, at 10am, when we had a powercut till 5pm, and I have since had no use of my telephone.

We have got in touch with the builders, and will let you know as soon as we start.

I am hoping that Truus and Jan will be coming out, sometime in this year, and it will be a lovely project for the children to do with Jan. I can just imagine the building covered with flying Angels ! (one of these guests is an artist, who could paint the dorm walls with angels)

At first we were only going to do an extension for the girls dormitory, but now we will try to do the same for the boys. Truus and Jan and friends of MEC in Holland and Flanders, have also been doing fundraising for this project, since it is quite expensive, so we will put our resources together.

As soon as we have done our sums and checked our combined finances, we will give you exact details of how your money will be spent.

Once again, grateful thanks and love

Blog Count


Look at the bottom right hand column. You will see a counter that tells how many people have looked at our blog since January 1, 2007.

Click on View My Stats then on Recent Visitor Map to see where the last 100 contacts
came from. Someone from Poland checked in this week, plus many hits from all over North America.