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May 1, 2009                                                        Issue No. 4

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In this issue
Christina Davis represents LifeNets in Malawi
Teaching English as a second language in Ukraine
Zimbabwe water project
LifeNets benefits by helping Seattle Rotary fundraiser
Greetings,
 
     Our electronic newsletter seems to be working out well. We emailed it to more than 630 people last month.

     This month we feature Christina Davis' two month journey to Malawi. We are so thankful for the great job she did in assesing our projects and giving us insight to improve on our various ongoing Malawi programs.  
 
     Then we want to tell you about a water well we have up and running in beleaguered Zimbabwe....right in the nick of time.  
 
Then we are anticipating another successful Teaching English as a Second Language program in Vinogradov, Ukraine, mostly staffed by last year's veterans. 
 
     Finally, we give you a report on LifeNets Puget Sound Chapter working with a downtown Seattle Rotary Club.  All this in the May 1 edition.  
 
     We have been on Twitter for a little over a month and continually gaining followers.  You can follow us with news that's even more timely by going to www.twitter.com/lifenets
 
                                                                   VK signature
 
                                                                     Victor Kubik
                                                                     President
Christina Davis Represents LifeNets during January-March Malawi Study
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From Christina:Christina Davis  
 
     The people Malawi, Africa send their warm greetings and thanksgivings.  We were together for nine weeks as I represented LifeNets International during an academic study funded by Seattle University. During those nine weeks I surveyed the education infrastructure and employment landscape in Malawi. Being the third poorest economy in the world, the opportunities for most are bleak. Free education ends at eighth grade, so the poor majority will not go to high school, qualify for jobs or learn the necessary skills to make it on their own.
 
     LifeNets is giving Malawians the opportunity to aspire way beyond their financial means through scholarships and small business grants.  In the past few years over 40 have attended high school or college and 20 started a small business thanks to LifeNets. As one scholarship recipients put it, LifeNets really is the "net of our lives."  With the added livelihood, they are helping the sick, orphaned and poor in their country. 

     There are challenges to manage and monitor LifeNets projects. Recipients need to be continually reminded of the long-term benefits to save and spend money appropriately. It's a struggle NOT to spend grant money on eggs or bread when the family has hunger pains or on drugs when relatives have malaria. My work aided recipients directly-like the five-hour workshop on business fundamentals-and indirectly through LifeNets management. I analyzed projects to create new applications and monitoring materials for LifeNets to more effectively edify the values recipients must have to build and sustain a better life-namely vision, self-control and hard work. 

     In summary, LifeNets is providing a unique chance for brethren through scholastic opportunity and income generating projects.  It was my privilege to document this work and I look forward to assisting LifeNets' future involvement in Malawi.
 
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Teaching English as a Second Language 2nd Year in Vinogradov, Ukraine
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 Dan and Cindy Harper
            Dan and Cindy Harper 
This summer a small group of volunteers along with Victor Kubik will make their way to western Ukraine for a two week project. Daniel and Cindy Harper from Cherbourg, France and Ken and Cherie Zahora from Indianapolis, Indiana along with Victor Kubik will have the opportunity to visit Vinogradov, Ukraine in July to teach English and mentor a very special group of children.  

     This year's project will be an opportunity to build upon a project started last year: teaching English as a second language to street children in Vinogradov, Ukraine. All year round there is an existing soup kitchen project supported by LifeNets and headed by a devoted couple, Vasyl and Irina Polichko. The Polichkos have given their time and energy to daily feeding (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) the needy children in their village. Each summer they go beyond this daily service to provide a fun and educational camp for the children.
 
     Our volunteers will provide English classes each morning of camp and help to organize and staff sports and leisure activities in the afternoon. English classes will involve basic but useful phrases and vocabulary taught through songs, games, and hands-on activities. Two separate classes are organized, one for returning children from the previous year and a separate one for the new children.
 Ken and Cherie Zahora
            Ken and Cherie Zahora
Returning children will have a chance to review what they learned the summer before and deepen their understanding of basic concepts and words. New children will experience the same curriculum from last year but with changes made from lessons learned. With these classes the volunteers aim to create and nurture a love of learning the English language as well as give the children a strong foundation in learning this powerful language of business and opportunity. Outside of class, other activities throughout the day will provide chances for further positive interaction, teaching, and mentoring. It is the hope of the volunteers to make an impact on the lives of the children, not only through English but also through loving, patient, caring interactions, positive examples and service in all the activities throughout camp. 
 
     To get an overview of our working in Vinogradov the past eight years, see comprehensive reporting at www.lifenets.org/vinogradov.  
 
                                                                                   - by Cindy Harper 
"You Gave Me Something to Drink" LifeNets Zimbabwe Water Project 
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 Theresa Chichaya in center 
Theresa Chicaya (center) surrounded by family members
      Theresa Chichaya is a widow who lives in a small town in Zimbabwe and owns a 5-acre piece of land on which she grows corn, vegetables and fruits. More importantly, she houses 52 adults and children who make up several low-income families who sought accommodation on her land.  Some are "lucky" enough to have jobs at nearby farms but cannot afford food even with their monthly wages. Water is an essential ingredient in the daily survival of these individuals and Mrs. Chichaya has always had a well on her land to supplement this need. Running water had been available in abundance in the neighborhood before the economic downturn in Zimbabwe but under the tough economic circumstances of the last few years, it became an even more scarce necessity on this land. Frequent power outages rendered the dream of running water just that, a dream. The well they could turn to had become harder to reach manually with bucket pulleys since the water was far too deep because of previous droughts. 
 
     An electric pump powerful enough to draw the water from the well was very sorely needed but was impossible for Mrs. Chichaya and these ordinary folks to afford when all they were trying to do was feed their families at least once or twice a day at most.  LifeNets learnt of this need and provided not only an electric pump for the well, but also a reservoir tank to store water for the many dark days of power outages when the pump would not be functioning. These folks were thirsty, and LifeNets gave them something to drink.  At least 53 people's lives have been improved.  That means a lot to me because Mrs. Chichaya is my mother.
 
                                                                          -- by Angeline Chichaya 
 
Our Southern Africa LifeNets director Andre van Belkum writes further:   

     Just to let you know that the pump on the farm of Mrs. Chichaya has now been installed and is working perfectly. The timing is right as the dry season is now approaching, and she will need the water from the well to irrigate her vegetable garden. If ever you have met someone with green fingers, it is Mrs. Chichaya. She produces a variety of vegetables even during the dry season, and feeds her family and others who live on her property. 

     Thanks for your help and those who support the many LifeNets projects. They do make a difference in the lives of people.
                                                                           -- Andre van Belkum
LifeNets Benefits by Helping With Seattle Rotary Fundraiser 
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 Organizer Catherine Brumbaugh (center) with participants at benefit
LifeNets coordinator Catherine Brumbaugh (center) surrounded by enthusiastic guests. (Photo courtesy of Chris Watkins www.chriswatkins.com)
     LifeNets Puget Sound (LNPS) supported the Event by selling tickets, obtaining auction donations and sponsorships. LifeNets members sold over 30 tickets for the Event.  Sponsorships included a contribution of eight cases of wine by Chateau St. Michelle/Northstar wineries to sell by the glass at the Event. For the auction St. Michelle donated a 2005 Northstar a Merlot in a 3 liter etched, hand-painted bottle and a 2005 Artist Series Meritage 3 bottle set in a limited edition, custom box.  This was negotiated by LNPS member Alain Stefanin.

     1st Security Bank purchased a table sponsorship through a LNPS member's efforts.  Auction donations included nature photo montages by Jill Stefanin; ocean photo groupings and montages by Catherine Brumbaugh; an original oil painting by Larry Hardison; a power drill by Roberto Parada; an opal ring, spa basket and girls bath basket by Carla Hendrickson and a tupperware basket by Mary Roscoe. Kathleen King donated a handmade baby quilt with custom storage box.

     LifeNets members also obtained donations from local area persons and businesses, including a rose quartz necklace by Gibson Designs, a jasper gem stone necklace by Ceanne, a wine tasting party from the Seattle Wine Outlet and services from Prolumina, the Networker and Pacific Legal, among other items.
 
     This Event was a wonderful opportunity for LNPS to work with Seattle Skyline Rotary and in the process significantly increase LifeNets' exposure throughout the Seattle area.  LifeNets is identified as a sponsor www.seattleskylinerotary.com/casinonight on the Event's website and identified with some of its auction donations.
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