Between 2004 and 2006 I took three trips to Africa to see development projects being sponsored by Canadian donors there. As a way to contain the shock of my response, especially on the last trip to war-effected countries, I began to write poems. These were the genesis of the chap book Again, No More. Once I returned and continued reading about the places I had traveled to, in particular Rwanda, the rest of the poems followed. In this introduction I have tried to fill in much of the context out of which the poems were created.
Click here for Again, No More
In the book “Heart of Darkness” the narrator refers to Africa in terms of “in the flicker”. After the trip I took to war-effected areas in 2006 that image haunts me still. The flickers of light in darkness. The flickers of hope that refuse to the succumb to the dark horrors that are the everyday for so many on that continent. For Richard’s full description of his trip to war affected countries please click here.
HEALCANADA is a grassroots organization dedicated to positively transforming communities in developing African countries and Canada through a holistic approach to Health, Education, community Action and Leadership development.
Based in West Vancouver, BC, a committed board with extensive knowledge and years of experience in humanitarian work leads HEALCANADA into its first year as a charitable organization.
Our organization focuses its work in the Great Lakes region of eastern Africa. This area continues to struggle in the face of conflict, HIV/AIDS, poverty and disease and yet the people are resilient and humble, brimming with gratitude and grace.
In 2003 I read a story about Colin Glassco of Calgary and the work he was doing with his foundation, The Colin Glassco Foundation for Children in Zambia. At that time, I had been looking for a project to support in Africa that would also enable me to visit Africa and get a first hand experience of that troubled place which even then had been the source of such horrifying stories of war, disease and poverty. I had know Colin in Calgary years before so I contacted him after reading the story and that was the beginning of my adventure into Africa with Canadian NGO’s.
Beginning with Colin’s Foundation it has been an inspiration to discover the many Canadian projects started by individual canadians that are making such a difference in Africa. It has been my privilege to work with and support some of those grassroots organizations.
In addition, there continues to be long-standing Canadian NGO’s which are doing so much good in the world such as Canadian Food for the Hungry (the primary host of my trip to war affected areas of Africa in 2006).