LITA’s Beginnings

ABOUT MY FIRST JOURNEY TO AFRICA


Years ago through dreams and visions I became aware … one day, I’d be traveling to Africa in response to the collective needs of children there. When I learned in 2007, because of HIV/AIDS alone, there were an estimated 12 million orphaned children living in Sub-Saharan Africa with a projected increase to 20 million by 2010, and, further, that due to all other causes of parent mortality such as war, malaria and other diseases, etc., over 50 million children were projected to be among those who would be orphaned by the same year (that’s more orphaned children than every man, woman and child in Canada, the country I was born in) I realized the time had arrived for me to make my first journey to the continent. A friend’s daughter helped me create a website that other friends had helped me realize the name of. We had noted.. I seemed to be repeating the four same words often, having heard them whispered inside when I had asked the question, “What can I do for all these orphaned children?” “Love Is The Answer“.

In September 2007, with equity from the recent sale of my home, I sponsored myself and set off solo on my first journey to Africa, inspired to live among and begin learning first hand how to best bring Love and Light to orphaned children and this current situation on our planet.

First stop … Uganda, where, according to the UN publication titled “The State Of The World’s Children- 2007”, it was estimated that due to HIV/AIDS and other causes there are 2.3 million children without parents.

During my 8 month stay in Uganda, I was very privileged to work closely alongside ‘Child Headed Families’  as well as a few small, community based initiatives working to create and implement holistic solutions for orphaned and vulnerable children in their districts. Before returning to Canada, I also traveled for several weeks by bus and matatu through Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, eventually flying home from South Africa, with an eye on beginning to understand orphaned children concerns in each of those countries as well.

To become familiar with some of my experiences as well as projects and efforts I participated in on my first journey to Africa please visit the archived PROJECTS pages from 2007 and 2008. ( To learn more about my actual journey, you can also see my archived blogs by clicking on the drop down menu that lists all entries from Sept 2007 until now, found on the blue side bar on the home page titled “Blog Archives”. )

ABOUT MY FUTURE INTENTIONS IN AFRICA – As of March 2011 ( LITA’s registration date with CRA )

Living very simply and terrifically uncluttered as I do these days, me and my constant companion backpack are always ready to return to Uganda when circumstances deem it’s time. Once there, I will continue caring for orphaned children by supporting additional locally inspired initiatives, as well as children in child headed families.

In good time, it may make sense to purchase land and establish a Love Is The Answer compound in Uganda that will serve as a simple home base for myself as well as for families, groups and individuals who wish to join me to share their Love and support personally with orphaned children.

It will also be wonderful to one day have available a Love Is The Answer camper type van in Uganda ( I think it may be green… that comes from another dream I’ve had! ) to facilitate travel and delivery of goods when visiting child headed families, as well as provide accommodation for me when staying with the children at their compounds.

One thing I learned about myself in Africa is that I very much enjoyed taking photographs and writing about my experiences with the children. I have received encouraging feedback about my perspectives and what I’ve shared in this regard so far. I’m on the lookout for ways to support my Lovework with the children and am open to an introduction, perhaps to someone in the publishing field, to help me take things to the next level. May be I can be helped to connect with a mentor regarding a few personal project ideas I have in mind, perhaps someone will consider sponsorship for equipment.. if you can recommend, please do, along with any other ideas or support you can to help me with to do what I’m doing. Thanks so much!

Since leaving for Africa in Sept 2007 up to our registration as a charity, it has been an honor for me to connect with orphaned children on behalf of friends and family and it has always been my intention as a “proprietorship” that as close to 100% as possible of all donations received for the children go towards supplies, services and projects that benefit the children directly.  If you’d like to see where donor funds were applied during those early years, click here where you will also be able to see, in many cases, how many children benefited from each donation. As of March 2011, the month of LITA’s registration, over 500 orphaned children in total! Further to the early years project links above, you can also click on the following years if you are interested in seeing what we were involved in during 2009, 2010 and up to March 2011.

As of Spring 2011 Love Is The Answer has been registered as a charity with Canada Revenue Agency and as such started undergoing some admin/organizational changes and refinement. We’re now run by a Board and Executive, all of whom you can meet on the About LITA page.

Thanks very much for your interest! As everything, it’s all about relationships. I feel in my heart, and I am so grateful to know – there is the perfect part for us each to play in uplifting and empowering the millions of orphaned and vulnerable children who are calling out for the world’s help right now!

I am so happy to join with you to Be The Love we wish to see in the world.

Blessings and Service in Love,
Catherine

ABOUT SOME OF MY PERSONAL HISTORY

After graduation from high school in Vancouver in the mid 70’s, I went to work at a popular clothing store and ended up spending the next 7 years there helping the chain grow from 8 to 84 stores! Being a case of right place, right time, right fit, I held positions of assistant and store manager, trouble shooter and area supervisor, on to district supervisor of 18 stores as well as a secondary chain of 6 stores, and assistant buyer for the entire chain, all before I was 25. It turned out I was a natural in service, and management, and even better, I Loved every minute of it!

From there I went on to sell residential real estate on the west side of Vancouver for about 10 years. Work in the field greatly appealed to my appreciation and Love of hearth and home. In 1991 I co-founded a recycling business specializing in new home construction waste recycling. As registered members of the ‘BC Recycling Hotline’ of the day, and having been awarded the “BC Hydro Fridge Buy Back Program” for the Gulf Islands, “The Recycler’s” literally recycled and re-directed tonnes of stuff from going in the land fill during the next 5 years.

Motivated by a soul connection with Native Medicine, I decided in 1996 to study natural medicine and herbalism and took a job at a health food store to compliment my studies. Before long, I was happily managing the store as I continued to expand my knowledge in the field.

Following the passings of my Beloved Mom and Dad 10 months apart in 2000, and after spending several months sorting through their home of 30 years and shared belongings of 47, I climbed into my old VW van with a friend and headed out on what may turn out to be the road trip of my life! Returning 11 months later, I had driven 26,000 miles ( my way of circumnavigating earth!) from Canada to Panama and back, flown to/from Panama to Peru where among many other special and magical places, I visited the very beautiful, mystical Machu Picchu and enjoyed the privilege of climbing and sitting at the summit of Huayna Picchu, literally 2 years to the day of my Father’s passing. And, I had traveled through every Central American country, spending precious time at literally hundreds of Sacred Sites throughout, as well as in Mexico and the US. Beyond an amazing journey I am so grateful to have gone on, an entire book could probably be written about that incredible drive! ( … Lately, hmmm, I consider what another tremendous journey the road trip from Cairo to Cape Town might be, one day! )

In more recent years I have studied and received certification in various natural, alternative and Spiritual disciplines including Paq’o (Shaman) training in Incan/Andean Medicine, Usui Shiki Ryocho REIKI Level 1 and 2, Laying of Hands and Laying of Crystals training as well as Angel Healing Medicine. Prior to my first journey to Africa I was supporting myself by managing and supervising large (60, 120, 200 person ) remote camps in the wilderness providing catering and accommodation for bush workers in northern BC and Alberta.

While it is true for me to say, there have been times when I’ve felt quite perplexed about being here on planet earth because of the insensitivity one can encounter, throughout this life some very simple basics have remained constant and ever present for me. Before she passed in 2000, my very special Mother, June, made sure I would remember a story from my early years, to help me understand and always recognize these basics that inform my life, and help to hold clear my reason for being here.

She said I was 5. It was my first day of school. We were walking down the hallway on our way to the classroom, me and her, hand in hand. I was excited and happy! With 2 older brothers already in school it was finally my time to get on with putting all my well learned and very practiced letters and numbers to good use!

Mom and I saw a little girl crying, standing with her mother outside the classroom door. She was scared. Mom said, without hesitation I let go of her hand and walked over to the little girl. I took her hands in mine, I looked in her eyes. I comforted her. “You don’t have to cry,” I said, “we’re going to have lots of fun!” And with that, hands joined, my new friend and I turned and walked into the classroom together. Mom said the other mother, somewhat stunned, looked at her questioningly … to which Mom replied “That’s Catherine”.

I didn’t remember the experience when Mom told me, but the feeling in it is one I have felt over and over through the years. I call it following my heart, I call it Love, and I was born knowing – it is all that life is really about!

And so it is, right from the start to today, life continually inspires me to choose Love with an open heart; and, takes me on the most wonder filled and empowering, magical adventures, when I do. Adventures that always, always seem to have children at the heart of them. Although I’ve been told many times how I could’ve been at the top of some ‘big business concern’ for years now, I made a very conscious choice many years ago..

To Love, to serve, to uplift – to embrace my career as a care-er – it’s simple, it’s my heart, and it’s why I’m here.

Enter millions of orphaned children in Africa.

I will use and develop all my gifts and do all that I can to Love and empower as many of you as possible.

One of my little Beloveds in Uganda who we call ‘Morning’ made the Angel in the photo out of bark from a banana tree ~ Love ~