Robin’s Nest Is Under Construction

In Uganda, construction of Robins Nest is under way, hand digging for the foundation and making blocks.  We have videos from Moses showing how tough but steady the progress is.

This will be a MOST important building, home to all our current Koi Koi kids and to all who, over the generations, will be our sons and daughters. Also, when school is in session, each year it will be home to one-hundred deaf and disabled children for many generations to come.

We are still short of our goal, please consider helping us make this dream come true

Posted by Mark Bertrand on Friday, September 14, 2018

Posted by Mark Bertrand on Saturday, September 15, 2018

Posted by Mark Bertrand on Saturday, September 15, 2018

A Special Thursday Night Outreach Dinner

Favorite night of the week! Tonight was extra special…. guest chef and musician was Donny!!! Lots of friends joined us for a wonderful meal and music. So thankful you wanted to giveback!

Collette and her crew made delicious desserts and served the meal!  Lisa stopped by with a yummy mac and cheese!  Thanks to Jay for getting the golden boys home. 

We missed Jack and Melissa!!


Work on Robin’s Nest Has Begun

Good news from our brother in Uganda. The work is progressing on the new home, Robin’s Nest. Sooner than we dared to hope we’ll have a FOREVER home for our Koi Koi Kids, for generations of kids who need us to make them family, and for countless deaf and disabled children who deserve to have futures.

Building a forever home, what could be more important for children who have never known such a thing?

Leo Has More Pictures from Our Walk

Here are a few more photos from today’s walk for the Koi Koi House. We did 12km — one for each of the original orphans for which the house was created.  Now, we’re building a new and larger residence. The top picture is of many of the deaf and disabled children who will be moving into Robin’s Nest.  The rest were taken Sunday when the three of us walked the 12km.

 Learn more about  Robin’s Nest at:


We Finished Our Walk

Well, we made it. We managed to cover all12 K of the 12 we planned. That translates to1k walked to honor each of our first Koi Koi Kids. Soon we’ll have Robin’s Nest near our original Koi Koi House and it will become home to a far larger number of deaf and disabled children.

The first pictures show ten of our first dozen kids as we first met them. They are almost all teenagers now and doing wonderfully because we cared for and loved them. And this was possible thanks to the help of so many of you. This new house will be for generations a safe, clean home of love and education.

I did not fall all because I had Kelly Mommakoikoi, Leo Geoffrion, and Rob Wright ( Barefoot) to lean on. Still, I am tired – really tired – as this is the longest I have walked in a year. Also I am VERY sore. But WE made it.

One last big push! If you have not donated yet, please get on it. Monday is the last day to contribute to help meet the $40,000 match challenge. Oh, and did I mention that I am REALLY sore.

We’re Walking Again on Sunday

This Sunday it’s again time to walk for a cause. And this time the cause is to replace our endangered orphanage by constructing a boarding house, Robin’s Nest. We are SO close to reaching the funding goal that we think we can walk there (pun intended).

THANKS to SO many of you, particularly two very generous donors. This includes of course our benefactor who made the $40,000 challenge donation.

Sunday, I plan to walk and wobble 12 km. My Kelly Mommakoikoi, Leo Geoffrion and Rob Wright will accompany me. We’ll cover 1km in honor of each of our first 12 Koi Koi kids. Koi Koi house residents number far more than twelve now. But Robin’s Nest will be able to house close to 100 deaf and disabled children.

Because we are so close to the total amount needed to build the new structure, we’ve started construction.  The history of your generosity makes us certain that we can get the balance. So, in the spirit of “bring ‘em home”, we confidently ask that you sponsor our walk. The site for pledges is

Dennis Has Become Remarkable as a Nurse And as a Man


It’s time to brag about this young man just a bit more. When we first meet Dennis he was a VERY sick little boy suffering from the same HIV/AIDS that took his father. We were able to insure that he was on a reliable, consistent medication regimen. While this was positive, it had a down side. While in high school, there were times Dennis was made so tired by the meds that he would wake late for school. We got him a bike to make sure that he would be at his beloved school despite the fatigue. He finished high school and then asked to go to nursing school. Thanks to his sponsor, this became possible.

He was doing very well in nursing school. But after a change in his HIV meds, he became very ill and was hospitalized. This caused him to miss taking his boards. When we arrived two summers ago, he asked to speak to us, telling us over and over that he was so sorry to have let us down by being unable to take the boards. He added that he’d be allowed to return in six months to sit for them. We assured him we felt nothing but pride in him. His illness was of course beyond his control. Further, we believed in him, knowing that he would pass his boards. And pass them he did. It does not get better than this.

Oh, and notice that when he delivers babies he wears a birthday hat!


Thanks to Aaron We’re Getting Terrific Support From Kentucky

We need to offer great thanks to Jockey Aaron Gryder (co-founder of The Giving Circle), to Kentucky Downs, and to this year’s Triple Crown winning Jockey, Mike Smith. The Giving Circle is included as a beneficiary from a terrific fund raising event next week. The wonderful part of this news is that a major share of the proceeds will be given to The Giving Circle.

Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will make his first post-Derby trip to Kentucky Downs Thursday, Sept. 6. While he won’t be riding, he will be raising money for three charities: Old Friends equine retirement facility, the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, and The Giving Circle. They are billing us as an all-volunteer non-profit organization founded in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. They also describe us as seeking to connect communities in need with the resources to help.

From 1 -3pm, Smith will sign limited edition 18×24-inch Coady Photography prints of Justify’s Kentucky Derby victory for a suggested $10 donation. The autograph session, from which the proceeds will be split among the three charities, will take place near the Finish Line Pavilion. Folks will have the opportunity to hang out with a racing icon and raise money for great causes!  They should then stay and watch the $250K Old Friends Stakes, sponsored by Red Brand Fence.