Hem­ming joins Ger­lings to teach in Kenya school

The Drumheller Mail - - Front Page - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

Lynn Hem­ming is join­ing fel­low teach­ers Irv and Cor­rine Ger­ling to teach in Kenya.

In Fe­bru­ary of 2016, the Mail brought readers the story of the Ger­lings vol­un­teer­ing at Our Lady of Grace Home and Our Lady of Grace Academy in Kenya. These or­ga­ni­za­tions were founded by for­mer Drumheller res­i­dent Rita Balachan­dran (nee Ro­vere), sis­ter of Re­nata Oman, through a trust fund she ini­ti­ated called Ac­tion for God’s Love. It is a vol­un­teer-run or­ga­ni­za­tion which aims to im­prove the ma­te­rial and spir­i­tual lives of those trapped in poverty.

The Ger­lings will be head­ing there this week and this will be their third time to Kenya. This year they will be joined by Lynn Hem­ming.

Hem­ming will join them April 29 for a month. This will be her first time to Africa and while she has trav­elled ex­ten­sively, this is the first time go­ing to work as an ed­u­ca­tor.

“I haven’t vol­un­teered as a teacher be­fore, so it is amaz­ing. The school just re­cently got elec­tric­ity, so it is def­i­nitely chal­leng­ing to think about go­ing back to teach­ing as it was 100 years ago,” said Hem­ming.

Cor­rine says in the years they have been there it has been re­ward­ing work. Cur­rently, there are about 150 or­phan girls at the school.

“Rita is the driv­ing force there. She is now 76 and she con­tin­ues to sup­port this. These are her girls,” Cor­rine said. “The girls are great, it is al­ways nice to see them grow­ing and learning.”

“I am look­ing for­ward to hav­ing Lynn and an­other teacher in the school to share the ex­pe­ri­ence and see what we can do,” she said, adding their mis­sion is not only to act as teach­ers but to sup­port and share their knowl­edge with the teach­ers at the school to broaden their in­struc­tional strate­gies.

For Hem­ming, this is an op­por­tu­nity of a life­time.

“It is a lifelong dream I have had to do this. I think I said when I was 10 years old, some­day I am go­ing to go to Africa and vol­un­teer,” Hem­ming said. “I am re­ally ex­cited about do­ing what­ever I can do to help within the school. I am sure they will put me to work. I am sure it will be life chang­ing, I have no doubt about that.”

To learn more about Ac­tion for God’s Love or the Our Lady of Grace Chil­dren’s Home, or to do­nate, go to www.ac­tion­for­god­slove.org


Re­tired teacher Lynn Hem­ming will be head­ing to Kenya for a month to teach at Our Lady of Grace Academy.

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