Drumheller teachers, Irv and Corinne Gerling, have headed back overseas to continue their work at the Our Lady of Grace Children’s Home in Kenya.
About a year ago, The Mail brought readers the story of the Gerlings. A few years ago, they reconnected with former Drumheller resident Rita Balachandran, nee Rovere, who established a trust fund called Action For God’s Love (AFGL).
AFGL is an all volunteer run organization, which aims to improve the material and spiritual lives of those trapped in poverty.
It built an orphanage and school in Kenya on land owned by the Catholic diocese called Our Lady of Grace Children’s Home. Since 2006, Rita has adopted almost 200 young girls, many of who has lost their parent due to Aids.
Last year the Gerlings headed to Kenya to volunteer with the organization, and this year they are headed back again.
“We have returned for a two month period to volunteer at the school. I am helping teachers to expand their instructional strategies and Irv is assisting with the administration in the home and school,” said Corinne.
Rita left the valley in the 1960’s to pursue a career in nursing She married a prominent orthopedic surgeon in Singapore. Her trust fund was initiated in 2002, in memory of her late husband.
Since they last visited Kenya, Action For God’s Love has been granted charitable foundation status in Canada. This means donors can now receive Canadian tax receipts for their donations.
“One thing we know is that 100% of all monies donated go towards operating the home and ongoing projects,” said Corinne. “Currently, electricity is being installed in the school. Rita is also planning a new building for the kindergarten classes and a playground for the home.”
This is not the only project for AFGL. It has completed projects in Mongolia, Myanmar, Uganda and Kenya. It also supports student volunteers who lend a hand for the charity.
To learn more or to donate go to www.actionsforgodslove.org