A big THANK YOU to everybody who donated to our recent fundraiser on behalf of the Women's Homelessness Initiative. We blew out our goal and the money has been transferred to WHI. That said, we're still accepting donations for this wonderful project.
The Cook Like a Grandma Cookbook is Published!
Ryan just published the Cook Like a Grandma Cookbook. Every one of the 50+ recipes comes from a different Grandma. There are a number of different family culinary heritages captured on these pages, with recipes that range from Asian to Eastern European, from Latin American to good old fashioned American comfort food.
Thank you to those who supported my successful Kickstarter campaign. This helped me finance the first printing of the book and made this entire project possible.
If you didn't purchase a copy through Kickstarter and would like to buy one, the official book is now for sale here:
Diamante Library in Costa Rica
The Diamante Library of the town of La Florida in southern pacific Costa Rica was founded in 2007 in an effort to create the first library in the region. The land was donated by the town's education committee and private donations were sought after to pay for the materials and construction. The library opened in 2010 and includes a bilingual book collection in English and Spanish, a computer/internet center with donated computers as well as provides a space for classes and events.
Two young adults who have been trained from the village serve as our librarians and the community helps keep the grounds clean.
Currently open 2 days a week, the library is popular with students of the local elementary schools who enjoy checking out books and perusing the collection.
Although fundraisers are occasionally held for the library, we have very limited income and monthly operating costs run from $50-75 per month.
We welcome donations in the form of cash, working laptops or books in english or spanish. If you can send the laptops to Denver CO, we can get them here! We would also like to have 12 donors who will send $50 a year in honor of their birthday month and in return the students will send you a hand made birthday card from Costa Rica! Please send your donation in advance and write to us at email@example.com with your name, address and birth date or to request shipping information.
Use the secure PayPal link posted to the right of this message to make a credit card or PayPal donation. Please remember to hit "update amount" after entering the dollar value of your donation. Thank you for your help.
Starfish Project in Guatemala
For Mom's birthday sponsored a girl from
her and Dad's first "Starfish One-by-One" class. They are working
with a group of 17 girls, who are part of a larger 200 Guatemalan/ Mayan girl
program. Through this effort we hope to enhance the educational opportunities
of girls in Guatemala and their families... one by one. Watch the video
"The Girl Effect" to the right of this text, and you will get the
picture. Then, watch the video to the left.
is about relationship. The 17 girls in Guatemala form a supportive
relationship with each other – and with their mentor in Guatemala.
We, here in Denver and beyond, have created a group to support our
group of girls that we call the Mi High Connection. We will also be in
relationship with each other. This past Halloween, we had a"Mile Hi / Starfish Connection/Halloween/Day of the/Dead Cultural Exchange and Really Fun morning"
to celebrate the generosity of our sponsors and god parents and
skype our girls and share our stories. (See pictures) We presently
have 30 sponsors for our Mile Hi Connection and over 35 godparents. We
each create a relationship with the individual girl we are sponsoring
and our group of sponsors and godparents, work
to create a relationship with the people of Guatemala. We are in the
midst of planning a trip for Spring 2013.
am truly excited about this venture. Most importantly, this is about
making a difference in the life … of one girl … and offering the support
that can change her life, her family, and maybe her community. It is
about us offering our support. It is a call for us to be “present,
awake and aware” to yet another part of our world.
Below is some further information on the project.
One by One is the non-profit program working with girls in Guatemala.
We are working closely with Connie and Ted Ning, the creators..
(See the info below). We joined our friends, Ted and Connie Ning in
Guatemala last spring to be present to the girls and families
participating and hearing their stories and visit their homes. It was a
deep and profound experience. These Mayan girls/families
live in such poverty and have little to no opportunities. We have some
great pictures and stories to share if you are interested. This
project absolutely helps these girls…one by one; gives them
opportunities to a better life; allows them to dream; and
then helps them with having their dreams become real.
Ted and Connie had started another project 20 years ago,
that is quite successful and is still operating. They wanted to start a
new project that works mostly with girls (13-21) to support them
Middle School and High School in Guatemala. There is also a boys
young girls in the Mayan communities marry early, are not educated,
have at least 10 pregnancies and most of their babies die, due to
lack of health care. Their lives consist of taking care of the men,
working in the fields, making tortillas, sometimes doing laundry for
others, and just working very hard in their families. The stories we
heard were heart breaking; talk about not having
research shows that if you spend money to educate girls…the success
rate is high for them; the change in their families, great; and the
possibilities in their communities, transformative.
sponsorship money helps pay for basic educations costs for the year,
some additional support for their mentors, weekly group meetings,
and other efforts to support our girls to have a successful year.
Besides the sponsorship of each of our girls in our group, we have
created a “godparent” group. We have committed to raise an additional
$5280 for each year. That amount of money covers
most of all the other costs to operate the group for a year: mentors,
food, other resources and education offerings. Starfish is always
looking a better and more resourceful ways to support the now 200 girls
in our program.
THANK YOU to everybody who supported the construction of the GeoDiscovery Lab at OrphanAid Africa in Ghana. As you will see from the video to the right, your money was QUICKLY put to good use and the lab launched less than 2 months after fundraising began.
The next step is to purchase 10 new computers. With the new routers we've installed and the orphanage within 2 months of connection to the hydroelectric grid, children in this rural village will have the most modern and powerful computer center within hundreds of miles. If you'd like to find out more or become involved, please CLICK HERE.
Planet Flahive International Microlending Projects
For Drennan's birthday, Planet Flahive has given a group loan to Rubina baji's "Women's Loan Group" in Lahore, Pakistan. Rubina is a seamstress who works with her daughters to cut and sew dresses to order. She has successfully repaid her previous two loans and now needs to buy another sewing machine to further grow her business. She has several other members in her loan group who will will use the loan to buy seasonal fruits, clothes and paint brushes to resell.
Cousin Michael used his PlanetFlahive microlending credit to support Mr. Messan Délali Agbodji in Lomé Togo. He is single and sells phone cards in Lomé as his trade. He has been running this business since 2005 and has clients to whom he delivers these cards. Given the large number of clients, he is unable to satisfy them all. It is for this reason that his is requesting this first loan to buy two boxes of phone cards.
This year for his birthday, Colin took a motorcycle ride along the border of Mongolia. With this in mind, and with Denise and I heading to Cambodia in the next couple of weeks, this loan seemed ideal. Mrs. Lim Lin, 34, lives in Siem Reap Cambodia, home to the country’s famous Angkor Wat temples. She is a housewife and her husband is a taxi-driver. The couple has four young children, one of whom attends school. Lim is now seeking work opportunities for herself and her family. She would like to borrow $1,000 in order to purchase a motorbike that she and her husband could use to commute to work.
Father's Day 2008 plus Dad's Birthday. With a birthday that always lands within a week of Father's Day, Dad always gets stuck with one gift for two holidays. Not this year. We've made two PlanetFlahive loans in his name. Since we were on our way to Togo on Dad's birthday, we made a microloan to Azizi Adededzi in Togo. Also, looking over the available projects, I was drawn to the Clairbel Group in Bolivia. If you want to find out more about either project, please click on the links above. We love you Dad!
Kouroka Women's Group, Senegal (cllck image for more information)
Later today (5/5/08), Denise and I leave for Africa. Unfortunately, this means that we will miss Mother's Day. Queen Diana of Planet Flahive has given so much to all of us over the years that she deserves a wonderful gift. I know that she already has everything that she needs and would rather receive a gift that gives to somebody who needs it. With this in mind, we have made two additional Planet Flahive loans to women's groups that benefit mothers in Africa. We Love You MOM!
Bbogo Women's Group, Uganda (click on photo for more information)
Identity Protected Kirkuk, Iraq: The entrepreneur is 27 years old. He is married and has two little children. One of them was born 4 months ago. He is living in a small rented apartment. He has an old taxi, and will use our loan to replace this old taxi with a new one in order to increase his income and save for a better life for his small family. This entrepreneur is from a volatile region where the security situation remains unsettled. As lenders to this business we are aware that this loan may represent a higher risk and have accept the additional risk in making this loan. Personally identifiable attributes of this entrepreneur have been altered to protect him (i.e. blacking out portions of the entrepreneur in his picture, altering his first and last name, etc.). Click on the photo for more information.
Identity Protected for His Safety
Diomande Fatoumata (left) lives in the Ivory Coast with her husband and two children. She is an entrepreneur with her own cosmetics store in the Sideci Market. With our loan, she is able to stock her stall in the market.
Kaltoum Alwess (right) lives in the suburbs of Beriut and owns a grocery store that is her only source of income. She suffers from a debilitating handicap but is determined to support herself.
Rose Akinyi Odhiambo is the chairman of the Faida Self Help Group (left) based in Kisimu Kenya. Her primary business is a nursury school and home care center that started off with 10 children in 1998 and has expanded to 60 children. She is using the money from her Planet Flahive microloan to expand the learning facilities and feeding programs for her nursury school.
Planet Flahive has also sponsored two scholarships through Friendship Bridge, a Colorado-based non-profit, non-governmental organization that provides microcredit and educational programs to help women and their families create their own solutions to poverty. These scholarships will purchase school supplies for two children.
The Good Food Workbook
In honor of Food Day 2004, I've published the Good Food Workbook, a website with activities that help kids better understand and enjoy the good foods that are available to them regardless of where they live.
In the short term, this is just a place to host exercises online, but the long term goal is to have every kid receive a customized printed cookbook that is specific to their city/town and the foods that they most enjoy. These books would be made available for free to children living in poorer communities and "food deserts".
I'm asking parents and teachers to submit more activities and will award $50 to the four that get the most votes/comments. Feel free to share if you know any foodie parents or teachers.