Cowichan Valley women on journey to help children in Zambia

April 16: Sweet Potatoe Brown, Cam Styles Trio at Open Stage

Two Cowichan Valley women are getting ready for the trip of a lifetime, and are looking to their home community for help working with HIV affected/infected children in Zambia.

Jaci Geiger from Ladysmith and Jennifer Ruckemesser from Duncan, both pre-school teachers at St. Joseph’s School in Chemainus, are part of a team heading to Africa. They are leaving their classroom and families for 17 days to volunteer at an orphanage in Ndola, home to over 130 Zambian HIV affected/infected children ranging in ages from babies through to high school graduates.

Geiger and Ruckemesser will be part of a team that will be carrying with them needed supplies for the orphanage. They will also be putting on a children’s camp with music, games and crafts.

It will take two days to arrive in Zambia and their schedule may change from day to day. But their primary focus will be to ‘invest their love and time with the children at the orphanage’ as well as doing outreach to nearby villages, local hospitals and neighbouring communities.

They leave April 28 and return May 14.

They are continuing to fundraise to cover costs for the trip, and welcome both financial support and donations of new fabric markers for a craft they will share with the children.

You can sponsor them on

The Ndola orphanage is supported by an Abbotsford based organization called “Seeds of Hope Children’s Ministry”. To find out more about their projects that are changing lives around the world, check out