HIMH - 2021 HRC Challenge
“I hope and pray that the students and staff [in Haiti] know that they are not alone”.
Rhonda amusingly describes herself as a “Jesus loving math nerd”. This mom of three young adults, and teacher to hundreds of highschool students at Immaculata Regional Highschool in Kelowna, BC also tells us, “If teaching is my vocation then service is my passion.”
The passion to serve – and to teach her children and her students to live the Christian Gospel – brought her to travel to Haiti with two of her children six years ago. Since then, she has established annual Mission Trips to Mexico with 1Mission to build houses with her Highschool students; yet continued to ponder how to help children in Haiti.
Ironically, the Covid-19 pandemic provided the opportunity. With international travel no longer a possibility, Rhonda looked creatively at her hometown for service opportunities for her students. Mamas for Mamas, Kelowna Gospel Mission, A Way Home Kelowna, Canadian Mental Health Association, Foundry Kelowna, and now Haiti in My Heart are charities the students have served during the pandemic. Scroll down for a special spotlight on the IRHS Mission Team and their incredible day completing the Haitian Recipe Challenge!
Rhonda’s hope for her students is that they leave IRHS “a little kinder, a little more aware of the world and its people, a little more confident that God is trustworthy, and lot more math smart!”
GO. LOVE. SERVE.
School feeding programs impact the entire community. They build “human capital” – the sum of a population’s health, skills, knowledge, experience and habits. When a child is fed at school, the entire community benefits: the family stretches it’s food and financial resources, nutrition enables sound decision making and habits, local businesses are supported, and the economy flourishes.
The impact of building human capital occurs in any community, whether it resides in a first, second, or developing country. When Ms. Sali and HIMH Chair, Louise, met to talk about the IRHS Mission Students and the Haitian Recipe Challenge, they agreed the students’ initiative needed to build human capital both locally, and in Haiti. The students would make not just one recipe for the Challenge, but an entire authentic Haitian dinner to be donated to a local charity.
Louise works with the students, Ms. Sali, and staff member Tannis Rantucci to make the meal. Last year, they were an incredible team and had the meal ready for delivery by 2:00pm! The students made Haitian chicken, the national dish of rice and beans, carrot and potato gratin, and ginger cake to serve 60-70 people. The Kelowna Gospel Mission, a local drop in centre for the homeless, received the meal.
Last year, the students raised funds to provide a full education for two students. They aim to do at least that again this year!
It makes me feel happy and warms my heart, knowing I am helping other children.
I love helping people. I hope we inspire our school to help, to donate, or to join the mission team in the future.
I feel amazing knowing that only $600 can help educated and feed a child for a whole year. This project will help inspire our school community to donate.
Raising money for children in need is something small for us, [but] creates great change for those in need.
Many people think they can’t help because they’re just kids, but there is so much we can do!