On August 15-16, fourteen riders each rode 188 miles for Dwankhozi from Seattle to Vancouver B.C. as part of the two-day RSVP (Ride from Seattle to Vancouver and Party) cycling event. Their tenacity and determination were matched only by their camaraderie and team-spirit! All had a great time and are already talking about doing it again next year… “for the kids!” Financial support is still greatly appreciated and you can easily donate here: https://www.crowdrise.com/RSVPBikeRideforDwankhoziHope/fundraiser/dwankhozi. All donations support education at Dwankhozi Basic School in Zambia.
We did it! Though 12.5 miles of mud, ice-cold water, electricity, and even fire, we finished the Tough Mudder challenge to raise awareness for Dwankhozi Hope. It was an amazing experience; one that tested us mentally, physically, and emotionally. Thank you all so very much for your encouragement, prayers, and support. It helped us persevere through this challenge and raise over $1,600 for Dwankhozi Hope. I can’t tell you how much this means to me and all involved.
We are still striving to meet out fundraising goal so if you’re interested in helping us get there, click here to donate.
Below are pictures highlighting our experience. You should get a kick out of many of them. This was definitely NOT your normal race. Every half mile there was an obstacle to overcome; some of which required us to dig deep to overcome our fears. This included …
- Jumping off of a 20 foot platform into cold water below
- Worming through 2 foot wide trenches underground
- Running through electrical wires carrying 10,000 volts of electricity
- Swimming through 35 degree freezing cold water
- Crawling through mud, under barbed wire
Alone, I’m not sure we would’ve accomplished what we did. Together, we worked as a team and buoyed each other through each challenge. This is what it was all about. This is the essence of what we’re doing at Dwankhozi Hope!
Thank you all!
It’s become a bit of a trend among some of our supporters to take on significant athletic challenges as a way to fundraise and increase awareness for Dwankhozi Hope and it’s always exciting to announce a new adventure of this kind!
Brad MacLean, Marc MacLean and Rob Garza will be taking on one of the world’s toughest obstacle races, the Tough Mudder on February 23rd in Mesa, Arizona, and they’ve added to the stakes by setting a goal of raising $4,000.00 for Dwankhozi Hope.
Check out their Crowdrise fundraiser page for more, in their own words at http://www.crowdrise.com/toughforeducation/fundraiser/bradleymaclean
And please consider adding your donation to help encourage them as they undertake this incredible physical challenge in support of Dwankhozi Community School!
As we head into the new year, we want to remember the efforts of our donors who have made it possible for us to support the Children of Dwankhozi to provide hope for a better life through education. We remember donors like Christopher Kenessey who climbed the tallest peak in the Western hemisphere to raise money for the children of Dwankhozi. Watch the video below.
Thank you all for your support!
Some of you may recall that last year, we ran this Raise for Maize emergency fundraising campaign to raise money for food to sustain the students of Dwankhozi Community School during the community’s “Hungry Period.” Well, it’s time to do it again and together, we can do this! We have a jump on the season this time, but the urgency remains the same!
Click here to contribute.
In rural southern Africa, the Hungry Period (January-March) is when you are lucky to eat one meal a day. That one meal is Nshima, a thick paste cooked from Maize meal, with cooked down pumpkin leaves. It might not sound mouth-watering … but it fills them up … and they are grateful for it.
As subsistence farmers, this season is one that rural Africans have to endure every year. Their stored food is depleted as they wait for the rainy season to end and the March harvest to be ready. That means their children are coming to school hungry. Very hungry. It makes learning difficult. The school day has to be shortened during this period. The mango fruit season (the only breakfast option) has also just ended. They have absolutely no energy to learn.
But, again this year, as we did last year, we have an opportunity to help …
Women in the community are willing to make the students Nshima at Dwankhozi Community School. (Pictured, left) This is a community of people who care deeply about their school and want to help. So we have the built-in labor to make the food, students eager to learn and teachers always ready to teach … they just need us to help buy them some maize. When we’re able to provide this nutritious meal during the school day for the duration of this tough season, school attendance remains high and the students’ and teachers’ momentum for learning is sustained. It’s a matter of health and of hope.
$10 feeds 60 students for one day.
$100 feeds the entire school for one day.
They only need to be fed for 6 weeks (30 school days.)
To keep 600 students learning.
Let’s do this. We did it last year in one week – and we know we can do it again!
Every penny we raise here will go towards the purchase of food for Dwankhozi Basic School.
Watch this video! It’s what Dwankhozi Hope is all about. With my brother Matt Maclean, and good friend Mark Russo, I had the unique honor and blessing to spend a week with the students, teachers, and leaders of Dwankhozi community in Zambia. We bonded, broke bread, and worked together to further advance hope, health, and opportunity for the students.
Thanks Mark Russo for putting the video together. Enjoy everyone!
Thank you for your encouragement, prayers and support for our team during the Hood to Coast Relay Race this past weekend. As part of the 12-person relay team for the 200 mile run, our runners, Tom and Matt MacLean, ended up running 17 miles in 3 separate legs during a 25-hour period. The official finish time was 25:48:14, placing them 92nd overall out of 1068 teams. They were one of the 1st teams to start and held the lead for the first 26 legs (not in time but in position). They ended up being the 4th team to cross the finish line.
Thanks to your generous support, they were also able to raise $1,500 for Dwankhozi Hope. Again, thank you very much!
Click here to check out Tom’s fundraising page.
Click here to check out Matt’s fundraising page.
This Friday, Aug 24th, Matt Maclean, DH Director, and Tom MacLean, Matt’s Uncle, will join a team to participate in the longest relay race in the United States called Hood-to-Coast. A team of 12 of will run 200 miles from Mt. Hood in Oregon to the Pacific Ocean. The main reason for committing to this task is to raise money to continue our support of a rural school in Zambia.
Last year Matt was able to complete the journey and raise $2,800 for this cause. It was an amazing experience and the donations had a tremendous impact. In particular, these donations helped fund our project for solar power at the school. Since that time, the solar project has transformed the school by allowing us to develop an e-reader program creating a digital library for the school using Kindles. The light generated from the solar power has also allowed the school to create a place for the students to study at night, the teachers to prepare for their classes, and to provide adult literacy classes to the parents. Moreover, Matt and other volunteers from Dwankhozi Hope recently returned from a trip to the school where we leveraged the solar power to create a computer lab, with donated laptops, and provided computer training to the Dwankhozi teachers. Imagine, one year ago this community had never before had lights. Now, they have access to computers, the Internet, and a whole library of books which can be read at night. It has been an amazing success and would not be possible without your support.
For the upcoming race, we hope to raise enough funds to expand the solar project to the nearby villages. Many of the students live too far away from the school to come back to school at night to study. Our hope is to build “Reading Rooms” in each of the villages near the school. These rooms will have lighting so that children can gather in the evenings and study. During our last visit, we piloted a reading room in one of the villages. The reports back have indicated that it has been a great success and children are using it to study for tests and complete homework. We would like to expand this program to other nearby villages. Your support in this effort will go a long way towards the goal of every child having an opportunity for a healthy productive life through education. For those of you new to Dwankhozi, I have included some additional information on the organization below.
We would be so grateful if you would consider supporting their efforts in this race either through thoughts & prayers or in the form of a donation. Thank you again for your past support and your thoughtful consideration of walking (or running!) with our team as they help the Dwankhozi community “break the cycle of poverty and reach their God-given potential.” The race begins Aug 24th – next stop: making it to the ocean!
As Moses had said, “the last day was overtime.” The plan was for us to be finished with our work by Friday and to use Saturday to begin to prepare for our departure. However, due to the excitement of the teachers and the adoption of the computer lessons, the computer training program was extended one more day. We also used this time to install reading rooms at one of the villages. Brad, Mark, and Bertha focused on training the teachers in Internet search, e-mail, and typing. They also taught one of the teachers, Maurice, advanced techniques such as PowerPoint, projector usage, and troubleshooting techniques. The teachers now will be able to develop lesson plans in MS Word and print them out for the class. They will also be able to perform Internet education research and communication via e-mail. Moreover, Maurice will be able to develop presentations using PowerPoint and show them to the students using the projector that we delivered. While there is still training that needs to take place and there will probably be some initial issues on adapting to this technolgoy, this computer lab represents a huge step forward for the school. I have never seen the teachers more excited. They know their newfound skills will serve them for the rest of their lives. A window to the world has been opened which will allow them to, as Moses put it, “Dream wider.”
While the team was busy with computer training, Moses and I visited a nearby Village (Mphanga) to install our first reading room. The idea is to deploy solar lighting to one of the buildings in the village so that students will have a place to study in the evening. If this pilot program works well, we plan to deploy solar reading rooms in all of the villages that make up the Dwankhozi catchment area. You can see some pictures of the team and the children outside of the reading room as well as one of our students (Martin) using the lights to study. As you might imagine, the students are very excited about this and we are hopeful this will help improve student performance by giving them more time to study.
There was an air of sadness within our team as we prepared to depart from the school. However, this feeling was surpassed by the overwhelming sense of joy and excitement we all felt about the accomplishments of the week and the hope for the future. It was a tremendously busy week and much was accomplished. Even more importantly than the tangible accomplishments, was the renewed sense of friendship, partnership, and hope for the future. We look forward to the next time we see our friends. Although that may be some time, the newly installed computer lab will allow us to stay in touch more easily. The students, teachers, and parents of Dwankhozi are never far away from our thoughts and now they will no longer be too far away for us to connect.
See you all back in the US soon! Thanks for keeping up with us.
Matt, Mark & Brad
(Mphanga Village Reading Room)
(Children Watching Video of Themselves on Smartphone)