Va­lerie Nel­son’s Aids work rec­og­nized by Gov­er­nor Gen­eral

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

A woman whose name has be­come syn­ony­mous with com­pas­sion is be­ing hon­oured by the Canadian gov­ern­ment for her mer­i­to­ri­ous acts to support fam­i­lies and chil­dren who face poverty and Aids ev­ery day of their lives in the Roatan.

Drum heller res­i­dents and sup­port­ers of the Mor­gan Jayne Foun­da­tion know the name Va­lerie Nel­son well. She is the founder of Fa­mil­ias Salud­ables in the Roatan. This is the or­ga­ni­za­tion that ad­min­is­ters the Mor­gan Jayne Project and has been in­stru­men­tal in sav­ing hun­dreds of chil­dren by stop­ping the spread of Aids from mother to child. It op­er­ates a clinic and works closely with the Char­mont Academy al­low­ing those chil­dren a shot at a proper education.

She an­nounced via so­cial media that she would be re­ceiv­ing the Mer­i­to­ri­ous Service Award from the Gov­er­nor Gen­eral in Ot­tawa later in June at a spe­cial cer­e­mony. She is hum­ble and ac­cepts the award for all those who have sup­ported the work she does.

“This is a thank you to ev­ery one of you who have helped build Fa­mil­ias Salud­ables and the Char­mont Academy, through mone­tary do­na­tions to help us do what we do, through vol­un­teer­ing to help us get stronger and car­ing about our fam­i­lies and our chil­dren,” she said. “You have saved hun­dreds of ba­bies, ed­u­cated thou­sands on AIDS and other is­sues, sup­ported women and fam­i­lies, pro­vided an education to 60 chil­dren, fed them, dressed them and made them safe, and changed the world of fam­i­lies in a small third world coun­try that many of you have never even vis­ited.”

Fred Makowecki has known Nel­son for many years, from when he adopted his daugh­ter.

“It couldn't have hap­pened

to a bet­ter per­son, She has worked her en­tire life, whether it be in Al­berta with adop­tive fam­i­lies, up north with in­dige­nous youth, in Africa with Aids pro­grams and now this pro­gram,” said Makowecki. "With this, she went here and said ‘wow these chil­dren are in a bad state and dy­ing at a hor­rific rate. I just can't go home, I have to do some­thing.'”

She has spent more than a decade work­ing in Roatan. The Mor­gan Jayne Project came on about 11 years ago to support the work. While there have been suc­cesses, the work still con­tin­ues

What is un­for­tu­nate is we have been go­ing 100 miles per hour for 11 years and then the econ­omy takes this hor­rific dive and with it goes earn­ing power for fam­i­lies in the prov­ince and busi­ness support, so we are def­i­nitely short,” said Makowecki. “We are strug­gling ev­ery day just to look af­ter the kids we have in school, strug­gling to get the for­mula down to them and the day to day stuff.”

The awards pre­sen­ta­tion will be held on June 23 in Ot­tawa. Makowecki says they hope to host her in the valley shortly af­ter this date.

“She's changed my world,” said Makowecki.

Va­lerie Nel­son… to re­ceive mer­i­to­ri­ous service Award

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.