all images and stories are the property of Catherine Beerda-Basso and are not to be used without given permission...thank you

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Our World Community...and how you can help

Hello My Lovelies!

It has been two years since my last visit to The Seeds of Love and Hope International Society Community Center in Medellin, Colombia, and I am thrilled and over joyed to announce that I will be returning March 10th, 2016. And even more exciting Steve and Aiden will be accompanying me for their first time! Also our nephew, Evan, will be coming with us as well, which will be such a treat.

the neighbourhood

A brief back story. This will be my fifth time going down to volunteer at the center. My first time was back in 2009, (Nathen came with me), and I my heart was ever change and truly a piece of it remained, and still remains. I did not return till 2012 as we were unable to go as a group due to the violence not only in the city but in the ghetto neighbourhood of our community center. I then went back in 2013 and also 2014 with Nathen returning with me, along with my brother and niece, (yes I am recruiting my family lol). The first two years I went I did hair services, setting up a little make shift hair studio for the children and moms of the community. For the last two years I have been conducting one on one and group sessions with the kids in our program and the women who work at our center, along with some of the moms of the kids who are in our program. I have been listening to them and collecting their stories for a book I plan to put out about this community and some of my experiences there. This year I will be my last year of interviews and also I am contemplating setting up a hair studio again as I will be going for over two weeks this time as opposed to our usual 10 days. While we are there, Steve will be setting up vegetable gardens as self-sustainability and community service is a huge part of our program down there. The garden would not be able to sustain what the center needs for the meals we provide but it will assist in supplementing the need and also it will get the children involved in learning how to create and tend to a garden as 
they will be the ones taking care of it.

a typical family kitchen

We are excited to be a part of this wonderful place 
and I am so looking forward 
to sharing my “other family” with Steve and Aiden.
the caretakers home at the center

So as I have done in the past I am putting a call out to anyone who would like to contribute in a financial way to this cause. What I have found since my very first trip is that always, when we are there, unexpected needs come up within the community that we are assisting. Things like emergency medical services, transport back and forth from appointments, medicine costs, housing costs, basic food needs not being met, shoes, clothing….and more. I quickly learned that having cash on hand when I go down has been a very good practice. This is where you come in, if you are interested. Your donation would come directly with me, down to the center and I will distribute it directly to the need at hand. This will be my fourth year doing this and I have collected up to $1500 from all over the world. Donations run from $10 to $100, and let me tell you, in a third world country a little goes a long long way. Some of your money may also go towards some of the supplies Steve will need for the garden start up and also maybe put toward the gifts bag that I put together every visit for our staff there…12 women 2 men….

NONE of your money will be put toward our personal trip costs! 
The Community Center which is behind the caretakers home...offices/classrooms and then the mess hall and kitchen

That is important for you to know. Whatever is left over will stay at the center in the hands of our very capable coordinator, and she will put it where it is needed. 
One year we were able to buy a much needed industrial fridge for the kitchen with the money I gathered from generous hearts.

There is one catch to all of  this. 
There is no tax receipt for this donation. 
So if this is important to you and you would like to contribute then I invite you to go here and donate directly. 
But if you are interested in sending your money directly to the trenches and hearing back from me about where it went, then I invite you to respond to this post or email me at and we can discuss further. 
I am even open to requests if you have something specific on your heart. I so appreciate you reading this. I also invite your prayers, good thoughts and love as we travel down. 
That our eyes and hearts be open to all that is happening around us and 
that where there is a need, 
we might rise to meet it.

Love and Light my Lovelies

for the stories of past trips go here:
Stories from The Hill