Santa’s Helpers Make an Early Delivery to Code Blue Guests

Christmas came early to our friends at Code Blue. Our Out Reach Team, led as usual by Rachel Dwyer, Patti Riggi, and Melissa Renee, assembled little goodie bags for everyone. Thanks to Saratoga Stronger for the coffee cards. Our Giving Circle ladies clearly love working together. And Little Evie, Rachel’s personal Christmas Elf, stuffed all the bags this morning.

Eucalyptus Infused Candles To The Rescue


We have two important health related goals for 2019. We must 1) minimize malaria and 2) address the damage to lungs and eyes caused by kerosene and paraffin lamps used in most African homes and huts.

Malaria kills one child every thirty seconds or about 3000 children every day, totaling 1,095,000 per year.

In Africa and much of the third world, the only light to be found at night illuminating huts and homes is from kerosene and paraffin lamps. These lamps damage eyes and lungs. They also attract Malaria carrying mosquitoes. Most families in very poor villages cannot afford mosquito nets. As a result, even once the lamps are out, the mosquitoes continue their damage, spreading deadly Malaria to children.

In response to both these issues, there appears to be a single solution. Candles, produced at a price anyone can afford, would easily replace the lamps as sources of light. When infused with eucalyptus oil, the candles also repel mosquitoes.

The needed oil is extracted from the leaves of eucalyptus trees grown widely in Uganda for the wood. Therefore, the oil is most available. Producing candles infused with eucalyptus offers an income source to the women of our villages. In other words, making these candles may provide freedom from Malaria, healthier light sources, and jobs.

Stay tuned.


More Celebration of the Holidays

Dec 14, Mark said we must watch these videos.  They were shot during the Christmas/Holiday party in Wairaka village.  Long Live The Giving  Circle!


Posted by Mark Bertrand on Friday, December 14, 2018

Posted by Mark Bertrand on Friday, December 14, 2018



Posted by Mark Bertrand on Friday, December 14, 2018




Posted by Mark Bertrand on Friday, December 14, 2018

Proof Sponsorship Works For Our Kids

 Proscovia “Prossy” Nakiranda , part of our first group of sponsorship children, has graduated and as of two weeks ago is a registered Social Worker. And we can thank the Siragusa family (Thomas, Alison, et al) for their sponsorship and great support.

When Proscovia’s father died of AIDS in 2006, she was left living in a state of deep poverty, going some days with absolutely no food. Her mother was doing manual work for neighbors to try to raise money for food, but developed a serious illness that still prohibits her working. Whatever hope Proscovia had of attending school was stolen. That was true until she came into our sponsorship program and came to experience the love and support of the Siragusa family.

Prossy’s success story is just one of the many our sponsored kids can claim. We have had children grow into young adulthood and achieve careers as certified nurses, auto mechanics, hair dressers, and much more. And, in addition to that, two more of our now grown sponsorship kids are in law school.

It just does not get better than this.


Off to JFK and a Painful Goodbye

Heading out in a few to pick up the other two team members from their host families, Ron and Melissa Kendall Deutsch and of course Carl Korn and Cara Bloom Korn.  We’re on the way to JFK, sending off our amazing Ugandan family to their home in certainly warmer Africa. It’s been a very special two weeks: many laughs and exploration. We owe great thanks to the people and the schools who worked with us. We’ve been seeking to “help fill the gaps” in what will become our Collaborative Hybrid Curriculum making our Koi Koi teachers College the first of its kind. Thanks to all.

And now Leo and I are starting the long drive and getting ready to make a sad goodbye, for now, to our four family members.


TGC Outreach Elves At Work

We’re so proud, as always, of TGC local out outreach team!!   We find them busy playing Santa for ones in need of a little support this holiday season. Great work Melissa Renee, Patty Riggi and Rachael Dwyer!

And to quote Rachael, “Evie and I played Santa today and delivered the gifts that The Giving Circle ladies bought for three little boys, their families, and four senior citizens. Evelyn loved helping and testing out the toys.”


Hearts Filled With Joy

Feeling so much joy. Thanks to so many of you we’ve raised the poorest village out of profound poverty and little hope. We’ve built both of our schools, the orphanage and so much more. Because of you, we are having holiday parties at six locations and villages.

 Thank you again! 2018 was an amazing year, showing great growth. And 2019 will be our best year ever.

Thank you and be well and happy and hold dear what YOU have helped us to do.


Joy, because of so many of you not only have we raised from profound poverty and little hope this the poorest village both our school, orphanage and so much more. Because of you we will and are having holiday parties at 6 locations and villages, village wide.Thank you again, 2018 was an amazing year seeing great growth, 2019 will be our best year ever.Thank you and be well and happy and hold dear what YOU Have helped us to do.

Posted by Mark Bertrand on Saturday, December 8, 2018

Second Floor Coming Up: Progress on Robin’s Nest Continues

The next floor of the new Koi Koi house is coming along.   It will be a forever home for countless children for generations!