Airdrie realtor Dan Peters visits some children at Home of Hope’s Nairobi Dream Centre in Kenya. Peters is heading back to Africa on May 6 for his 15th time as a volunteer with the Alberta-based not-for-profit organization.
Airdrie realtor Dan Peters isn’t one to shy away from a challenge.
In fact, he is heading to Africa for the 15th time on May 6 with Home of Hope, a church-based not-for-profit organization that helps thousands of children, orphans, and women every month through its food, microloan, health, education, animal and housing projects.
This trip, Peters will be visiting Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and war-torn Congo. While there for three weeks, he will be helping open up new campuses, assisting in training for Home of Hope’s microloan program, visiting rescued children and will even be getting his hands dirty with some building projects.
Peters’ trips started in 2007 when he met the head of the not-for-profit organization, Olds resident Brian Thomson, and was inspired to make a difference.
“The first time I went I knew my life would never be the same, ”Peters said. “Africa gets in your blood, you can’t get it out.”
Since then, Peters has met and assisted rape victims; babies and toddlers left to die alone; people purposely injected with HIV; and numerous orphans.
He has also been in some potentially dangerous situations, but in spite of the risk is passionate about helping.
“The brutality is amazing,” he said of some of the situations he has seen or heard about. “The only way to deal with it is… I have to do what I can do.”
Peters said he grew up in poverty in Canada and knows what it’s like to have no indoor bathroom or shoes to wear to school.
Now, the realtor feels blessed and passes it on by not only going as a volunteer, but by giving a portion of every commission to Home of Hope.
For this trip, he is also collecting money to purchase bicycles and preschool materials.
Donations can be made by contacting Peters at www.petersrealestate.ca
According to Karissa Paterson, Home of Hope currently cares for 8,000 children in Africa, India and Nepal.
Although visiting volunteers are a big part of the organization, much of the group’s work is done by local residents.
She said Home of Hope’s projects are varied because helping kids often requires a number of interventions.
“We have rented homes and nursed people back to health,” said Paterson of some of the ways the organization helps. “We get widows and orphans together and they become a family.”
Business and financial training and educating locals about hygiene and AIDS are also a big part of what Home of Hope does, and Paterson said the microloan program is 100 percent successful so far.
“We just see a need and try to fill it,” she said.
To learn more about the organization, visit www.homeofhope.ca