Help­ing Kenyan kids

In­ver­ness County Cares hosts pizza sale Sun­day

Cape Breton Post - - Cape Breton - BY CHRIS­TIAN ROACH chris­tian.roach@cb­

This week­end a lo­cal char­ity will be sell­ing more than 300 piz­zas to help a school in Kenya.

On Sun­day, In­ver­ness County Cares will host its fourth an­nual pizza sale in Port Hood with pro­ceeds go­ing to St. Charles Lwanga Se­condary School in Nairobi, Kenya.

The school was started in 2012 by Brother John Kennedy Oronjo, a mem­ber of the St. Charles Lwanga Broth­ers of Kenya. The group is com­prised of re­li­gious broth­ers, ded­i­cated to the care of youth, tra­di­tion­ally through ed­u­ca­tion.

In 2012, Oronjo be­came ac­quainted with John MacIn­nis, a mem­ber of the In­ver­ness County Cares or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“I threw the idea out to the group that we could do­nate $500 a month to the school be­cause that’s what Brother Kennedy said could feed the 100 or so stu­dents at­tend­ing for a month and they all agreed,” said MacIn­nis.

Six months later, two mem­bers of the In­ver­ness group trav­elled to Nairobi to visit the school and learned they lacked ba­sic amenities like wa­ter so the monthly do­na­tion was raised to $800.

In 2015, In­ver­ness County Cares en­tered into a three-year deal with the char­ity, Chal­ice Canada in Bed­ford. The part­ner­ship en­abled the In­ver­ness group to in­crease its con­tri­bu­tion to the school to $60,000 a year with a match­ing $60,000 a year from Chal­ice.

The goal was to have the school be­come self-suf­fi­cient and sus­tain­able, ex­plained John Gil­lies, a re­tired teacher and mem­ber of In­ver­ness County Cares.

Hav­ing St. Charles Lwanga Se­condary School nav­i­gate its own fi­nances and give the now, 280 stu­dents what they need, has been im­por­tant to both In­ver­ness County Cares and Chal­ice.

“We worked out a part­ner­ship deal with (Chal­ice) whereby $120,000 per year is sent to the school, only after a de­tailed bud­get is worked out so that we know ex­actly where the money is go­ing,” said Gil­lies.

To raise the $60,000, the In­ver­ness group en­lists busi­nesses, people from the com­mu­nity and across Canada to do­nate what they can.

The group’s largest fundraiser is its an­nual pizza sale, which ac­counts for roughly 10 per cent of its char­i­ta­ble earn­ings.

The pizza sale is a huge un­der­tak­ing that re­quires dozens of vol­un­teers, or­ga­ni­za­tion and count­less hours of prepa­ra­tion.

Colleen MacDon­ald, a mem­ber of In­ver­ness County Cares who helps or­ga­nize the pizza sale, said it isn’t an easy task.

“About three weeks ago we went over to the Clove Hitch restau­rant … and made 317 crusts and froze them, so they’re ready to go,” said MacDon­ald.

On pizza day, dozens of vol­un­teers will help pro­duce more than 300 piz­zas. In the morn­ing the chop­pers and graters pre­pare the cheese and top­pings and a pro­duc­tion line to top the piz­zas is formed. The pies are cooked in an out­door wood­fired oven.

“It’s a very pos­i­tive and good feel­ing to know that people here in In­ver­ness County are able to think glob­ally but act lo­cally in terms of im­prov­ing lives of these chil­dren in a dis­tant land,” said Gil­lies.

The pizza sale hap­pens on Sun­day be­gin­ning at 10 a.m. at 209 Main St., Port Hood and con­tin­ues un­til the last pizza is sold.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the sale and the chil­dren of St. Charles Lwanga Se­condary School, visit in­ver­ness­coun­ty­ or lwan­gachil­


Vol­un­teers, left to right, Karen Wager, Patsy Wayling and Bon­nie Boul­ton prep piz­zas at last year’s In­ver­ness County Cares an­nual pizza sale.

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