Kirsten Pontalti Champion

I am the proud mom of three great kids and I enjoy sharing this adventure called 'life' with my husband, Dan.

Since Hope for the Nations began in 1994, I have had a "front seat" from which to watch the organization grow and expand. I have had the privilege to serve on the Board of Directors since 2009 where I have focused my efforts on establishing standards for care for our work with children in over 20 countries.

When my youngest child started school in 2008, I returned to school to do my MA in International Studies at Simon Fraser University. My work there then opened the door for me to pursue my doctorate at the University of Oxford in the Department of International Development (Queen Elizabeth House).

Studying in such a rich environment is a great privilege and I am enjoying the opportunity to pursue my research on children and youth. Part 2 of the adventure begins August 2012 when we move to Rwanda to do a year of fieldwork.

Over the years, many people have opened doors for me so that I can enjoy the rich life that I have today. Participating in the leadership of Hope for the Nations gives me the opportunity to open doors for other kids all over the world who have enormous potential but need someone like me and you to give them an open door to walk through.

Who has opened doors for you? Who will you open a door for?

 

Opening the Door (Post fromMarch 2011)

As I write this, I find myself in Pattaya, Thailand, with my 12-year-old son and my father. Pretty cool.

This trip is my first chance to introduce my son to a world that I lived in when I was his age, and it is also his opportunity to see and feel a world that I loved, and that transformed and expanded my understanding of the world we live in.

It was while living in SE Asia as a child that I came to believe in the ability of children to create their own sense of order amidst a life of chaos. I was deeply impressed by the resiliency of children, and I continue to be amazed at their ability to hang on to hope.

I did not grow up with money or influence, but countless people walked with me, encouraged me and opened doors for me because they believed in me and loved me.

The children that HFTN works with have had one door opened for them and they now have safety, a home and education. I invite you to open another door - give them the opportunity for further education.

Funds from this scholarship will send a girl to post-secondary.

Following

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  • Sponsorship
  • Child & Home Sponsorship
  • KENYA - Kitale: Organics 4 Orphans (O4O)
  • Main Street Education Centre
  • NEPAL: Homes for Children & Young Adults
  • NEPAL: High Hope Expedition/Young Adult's Home
  • KENYA - Nairobi: Hope Gateway School, Sinai Slum
  • LIBERIA - GANTA: Foster Home - Mercy Program and Farm
  • Dalton Is Making a Difference
  • Ronalee Allen Memorial Fund
  • Hope For The Nations
  • KENYA - Bungoma: Siritanyi Home & Academy
  • MALAWI : Extreme Makeover Home Edition - Africa
  • LIBERIA - MONROVIA: Discipleship Training Center
  • LIBERIA - MONROVIA : Student Scholarship Program
  • Shan State Children's Home for Former Child Soldiers
  • KENYA - Turkana: Children's Homes & Education
  • MALAWI : Project 200
  • NEPAL - Solukhumbu
  • KENYA - Nairobi : Jerusalem Children's Ministry
  • LIBERIA - MONROVIA: Monrovia Hope Homes
  • LIBERIA - GANTA: Childcare & Feeding Centres for Malnourished Children
  • THAILAND - Pattaya: Mercy Centre Home & Projects
  • PHILIPPINES - Metro Manila: Community Care, Home and School
  • KENYA - Bungoma: Hope Transformation Center
  • ROMANIA
  • KENYA - Kitale : Kiungani Home ( Dynamic Transformation Home) - Dalton
  • UGANDA - Gulu: Home of Love children's home for vulnerable children
  • UKRAINE: Orphanages
  • National Leadership Training
  • UKRAINE: Destiny Center for Orphan Students
  • Lauren Villines
  • Community {HOPE} : Artists, Entrepreneurs & Educators
  • The BUSINESS OF {HOPE}

Posts

  • Lordy, Lordy Kirsten's Forty!

    Enjoying Oxford with the family

    Enjoying Oxford with the family

    Hi friends,

    I created this campaign last Spring when I received word that I had been admitted to Oxford and that I received a full scholarship for the first year. I was feeling very blessed - a very big door of opportunity was opened to me and I wanted to find a way to give back.

    For my 40th birthday I am requesting contributions to this scholarship fund rather than gifts. Dan and I will match the gifts up to $1000. When the fund reaches sufficient size over time (3-5 years), we will begin to take applications from girls who have grown up in the care of Hope for the Nations and who show the potential to do any kind of post-secondary studies. If you want to jump in with both feet and make monthly recurring donations over $15, you will be invited to help in the selection process.

    Most of all, thanks to all of you for your love and friendship. You make my life rich. Together let's pass on the love to the next generation of young women!

  • Fish pond #2

    Fish pond #2

    What do you do when you finish your fish pond? The answer for our Siritanyi Children's Home is ... you build a second pond!

    Fredrick Ogara, our director, is explaining that a second pond is necessary to ensure that Tilapia are provided all year around.

    Our second pond in nearing completion and will hopefully be stocked soon.

  • Honey - a sweet micro-enterprise!

    Honey - a sweet micro-enterprise!

    The staff of the Siritanyi Home have just invested in a small honey bee farm.

    48 bee hives have just been placed in the gardening portion of our property and the bees have begun their magic.

    The sale of honey from these hives will supplement the cost of running our home.

  • Let's go fishing!

    Let's go fishing!

    The Siritanyi Children’s Home has begun a very exciting new fish farming project. They have already built the fish pond measuring 10m x 20m for the production of Tilapia fish. The fish pond will:

    * encourage children to help and take ownership in the farming project
    * generate income for the home's sustainability.
    * supplement children’s food with nutrition
    * provide a recreation picnic site for children’s enjoyment

    The home will hire a person to provide skilled labor and assist in procuring the initial inputs costs of the fish pond which will include:

    * 1000 Fingerlings
    * 5 tons of fish feed
    * Enclosure(i.e chain link)
    * Security guard services
    * Harvesting fish nets
    * Containers for storage
    * Marketing Analysis

    Please consider helping this new iniative which will bring hope to the Siritanyi home in a way that will bring lasting change and sustainability.

  • Siritanyi farming

    Siritanyi farming

    Take a look at what adequate irrigation can do to increase production! Increased production equals sustainability and food for children!

  • Take a look at this great project in Bungoma run by local village widows!

    This project has attracted many people in the village. We have 24 widows who have so far managed to own a ¼ acre kitchen garden of organic farming. In our demonstration site which is close to our house, we have had groups of people from various places come for learning and they pay some little fee.

    Last week, I invited the chief and all 13 village elders for a cup of tea and during the meeting my agenda with them was the organic farming. We had a very fruitful meeting. They have seen what it is and to proof their support for the project, each village elder including the chief donated a ¼ an acre of land for our project. We are preparing this week to go around the location into the homes of the village elders and measure our portion which we are going to use as demonstration site for each village.

    In our first demonstration side, we have 72 beds with 21 different crops which include 8 different kinds of vegetables, 5 different types of beans, fruits, flowers, moringa tree, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, water Mellon, green pepper, e.t.c. Attached are some pictures of our organic products.

  • Post Media

    Over the past few weeks, a dire emergency has unfolded on the Horn of Africa.

    Facing the worst drought in over 60 years, the people of Somalia are experiencing massive crop and livestock failures, rapidly diminishing access to drinking water and the chaos associated with internal displacement and civil strife. The United Nations has declared a famine in Somalia, a term reserved for only the most desperate food shortages.

    Refugee camps on the borders of Somalia are filling up at rates unseen in decades. The people arriving are emaciated, having trekked for weeks through the sweltering heat of the African desert.

    The United Nations has estimated that 10 million people now face the prospect of starvation, with reports of tens of thousands already dead.

    The last famine in Somalia in 1991-1993 resulted in a 500,000 deaths. We now face a disaster potentially worse in scale than the earthquake Haiti, or even the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.

    Emergency Food Convoy into Somalia

    The Global Enrichment Foundation, The African Future and Hope for the Nations are working on a rapid response to this situation.

    Trucks full of emergency food aid will leave from Nairobi, Kenya for Dhoobley, Somalia on July 30, 2011 with a goal of feeding 50,000 people. The food baskets will reach Somalis who are walking to the refugee camps in Kenya, giving them sustenance to complete the journey. This will be one of the first major food deliveries into the area since the declaration of the famine.

    The cost of the convoy is $300,000 USD.

    Click here to Donate Now

    Tax receipts are available for all donations in the United States and Canada.

    The Canadian government will match all giving to this project, but they will channel their matching funds through CIDA.

  • Visiting the soldiers' 'village'

    Visiting the soldiers' 'village'

    Although I am a director for HFTN, I did not know what to expect when we heard that we were going to a “soldier village” near Poipet, Cambodia. My 12-year old son and I imagined a military training camp, but even my MA in International Development didn't prepare me for what we visited.

    To get there, we did some serious 4x4’ing – in the wet season it would have been nearly impossible terrain, but it was the dry season, so the earth was cracked and dusty with deep ruts. There was no road. Scrub bush and cacti dotted the landscape, but there were few trees; most were cut down during the war, or removed to de-mine the area (though there are still land-mines).

    When we arrived at the 'village', there was only one hut in sight. The other huts were hidden away in the scrub bush at the base of a nearby hill. Mango trees and camo-nets camouflaged military tanks that sat ready to lumber into active duty.

    The land is desolate. There is no water save the new pump that HFTN just installed. The soldiers want to work, but they make a mere $20/month – an amount so small they can barely feed their families. Although it is a blessing to have peace in the land, it does not come with a paycheck, so soldiers struggle with having nothing to invest.

    Over the coming months, 10,000 more people - military families – will move into this area. As we scanned the landscape, our hearts were heavy. How would the children live? How could they learn? What would they possibly eat and drink?

    The soldiers have invited HFTN to help their families and we are eager to do that. Since our visit in March, HFTN has installed one more well so they can now plant gardens. We would also like to provide a Mat School for the children, a safe-house, and finances to start simple micro-enterprises, which they are eager to do.

    We invite you to learn more and join us by making this vision a reality ~ Together we can start the process of change and thereby transform the lives of Cambodian children.

  • Investing in Cambodia's girls

    Our sponsor kids

    Our sponsor kids

    One of the highlights of my trip with Aidan was to finally meet 2 of the kids that our family supports through the child sponsorship program.

    At home every night - for 8 years now - I pray with my own girls for these girls, that they will be safe and grow up to be strong and healthy! It is amazing to me how our commitment to support these girls has changed us. What a privilege it is to be a part of these girl' lives!

  • Mercy Centre's new home

    Mercy Centre's new home

    I have just visited Fred & Diane who began the Mercy Centre in Pattaya, Thailand. We were so encouraged to see the love that they and their staff have for the children.

    They hope to move into their new home in May. It will be a great change for them as it is a little out of the city, very green and walking distance to the most beautiful public school I have seen on my trip so far! The kids will have lots of space to run and play in the fresh air.

    Fred & Diane are enjoying their Thai retirement as much-loved 'grandparents' to dozens. I didn't see any golf clubs lying around, but I think they are pretty happy with their work caring for the children, helping out in the nearby slums and building the local church! Should keep them occupied for a while :)

Kirsten Pontalti's Pages

  • The BUSINESS OF {HOPE}

    Project Goal: $25,000.00 CAD
    Funds Raised: $34,213.00 CAD
    Target Date: Oct 31, 2012
  • Child & Home Sponsorship

    Funds Raised: $54,813.46 CAD
  • National Leadership Training

    Funds Raised: $1,402.38 CAD

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