Working on the fundraising soup fixings for sale are (left to right) Danielle Hall, Sandra Richardson, Alex De Kock and Leona Tank. Mark Brett/Western News

Penticton schools offer soup support for African orphanages

Fundraising efforts by secondary school students working to building orphanages in Africa

Soup for the soul.

Staff and students of Princess Margaret Secondary are once again selling the soup packages they put together in support of a very important cause.

Money raised will go towards the on-going work of building orphanages in the east African country of Tanzania.

It is part of a project by current Maggie vice principal Sandra Richardson (who was previously at Penticton Secondary) started seven years ago and has grown to include staff, students and chaperones from the district’s three secondary schools.

At their own expense, each summer, between 20 and 30 students and adults travel to Tanzania for several weeks to work on the buildings.

The current fundraising efforts, which include the sale of soup, has an optimistic goal of $30,000 which will represent the final stage of construction for the orphanage called “Raise the Roof.”

Don Grant, a music instructor at Maggie who helps with the fundraising, recalled when his daughter Belle went to Tanzania with the group.

“It was a life-changing thing for her, just being there and seeing these poor kids who have no parents. They’re just living. They’re just trying to do the best they can,” said Grant who is also thinking about going this summer. “My daughter couldn’t believe how happy these kids were when you look at what they’ve got. It’s just so incredible that there is any joy in their lives and here our kids are back home and they’ve got fancy boats and trucks and they’re just so unhappy.”

Read more:Penticton students sing for Tanzania

Another fundraiser planned to help with the Raise the Roof Project for children in Camp Joshua project is the Nov. 18 Joy to the World concert.

According to Leona Tank, an instructor at KVR Middle School and co-organizer of the humanitarian trip to Tanzania, the show will take place at the Cleland Community Theatre. It is a licensed event and will include a trade fair with African merchandise for sale.

According to Tank there is another orphanage called Camp Moses along with Camp Joshua.

“We have built a classroom, a boy’s dorm, a library, a kitchen, and after two years, have the walls of the final project completed (the dining hall),” wrote Tank in press release. “Right now the children at the orphanage eat outside on the ground or occasionally in their classroom. With the dining hall that we built, they will be protected from the elements, have a place to host events and possibly raise their own money so they will become more self-sufficient.”

Read more:Local students return from Africa with new outlook on life

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. with tickets available at the Penticton Community Centre for $20 for adults and $12 for students.

Other events are planned for the new year including a silent auction at the Copper Mug and an African merchandise fair at the Cannery Trade Centre, according to Grant. Students will be selling their soup mix at Maggie during regular school hours.


Taylor Ernst piggybacks a young friend during her stay in Tanzania in July of 2016. Leona Tank/Special to the Western News

Students Sophia Reimer and Alex De Kock at the construction site in Tanzania. Leona Tank/Special to the Western News

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