Austin is preparing and serving meals at Alternative School Centre in Red Deer, a school program that ABW has been supporting through the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo submitted by ABW)

Austin is preparing and serving meals at Alternative School Centre in Red Deer, a school program that ABW has been supporting through the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo submitted by ABW)

Lacombe’s A Better World Canada supports central Albertan kids

Charity helping families struggling to get groceries, pay utility bills and do online school

A Better World Canada continues to help dozens of Red Deer families struggling to get groceries, pay utility bills and do online school learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the last several months, the Central-Alberta based international-development organization has been supporting the needs of schoolchildren at Alternative School Centre through Red Deer Public Schools.

Co-founder Eric Rajah says the charity was sponsoring meals during the school year, but once the coronavirus hit and the school was closed, it was discovered that families needed further help.

A number of those families were ineligible to receive COVID-19 government assistance programs, he said.

ABW has been providing groceries for about 65 families of children attending the school.

Rajah said that these children are typically living with extended family because their parents have found themselves in difficult circumstances. As well, ABW is working with other frontline organizations to find any Red Deer families struggling to pay utility bills.

“We contacted some of our partners from Halifax to Edmonton to see if there were specific needs,” Rajah added. “We had requests from some families who didn’t have small computers for their kids to take online classes.”

ABW is funding Chromebooks and recycled laptops.

The charity, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, has been facing struggles of its own.

It has witnessed a dip in donations and has had to cancel humanitarian trips to East Africa.

Capital projects overseas are expected to be postponed until this fall. Some other initiatives continue, including physical rehabilitation for children, ongoing medical expenses and feeding programs.

When COVID-19 struck with boundless force in March, Rajah said that ABW moved swiftly to provide personal projective equipment in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda.

ABW was successful at finding supplies within outlying pharmacies. As well, it obtained inexpensive training kits through the World Health Organization office in Nairobi, Kenya. These kits were dispensed to medical staff so they could teach residents and business owners about social distancing, hand washing and other techniques to lower risks.

“Our biggest investment was in training the community,” Rajah said.

Soap and water stations were placed along routes of clinics and in communities overall.

One great thing to note, he added, is that African communities are generally more prepared for any health crisis such as this.

“They have these crises like ebola,” Rajah said. “They know how to get information to the people and how to at least limit the disaster.”

ABW’s quick actions have resulted in positive results. Health workers and the entire community of Naikarra, Kenya were so grateful to receive medical supplies and they now feel like they’re part of the world fighting this virus.

Milk and bread were given to feed 35 street children in another community.

ABW also supplied 107 families at Easter with maize flour, bar soap and other necessities which was so welcomed.

“It is something some have not seen in this world since they were born,” said John Hinga, a project manager in Kenya.

-Submitted by A Better World Canada

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other prizes

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Most Read