Wade HartwellModern technology is amazing how it brings together the energy of like-minded people.  Wade Hartwell lives in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.  Our paths would probably have never crossed if it weren’t for a mutual friend who Wade met online.  They dated for a brief period, which is how I met him.  Although that was many years ago, we’ve stayed in touch.

Wade told me about his efforts to raise funds to improve the lives of the children in Nsongwe, Zambia, Africa; a city about five kilometers from Livingstone Falls.  It typically rains four months out of the year in Nsongwe and the children don’t have access to boots or rain clothes. They live mostly in Mud huts with grass roofs and no electricity or running water.  Many of the kids stopped going to school after the 9th grade because they would have to walk to school about 9 kilometers (about 6 miles) from the village.  Wade suggested if the children had bicycles to ride to and from school, many of the inconveniences would disappear.

As a member of the Rotary Club of Lansing, I knew our club was looking for international projects to fund.   This seemed like a perfect match.  I wrote an application to apply for club funds to purchase bicycles.  The funds were approved, the children received bicycles and enrollment in high school increased. A few years later, the Lansing Rotary Club approved a second grant suppling 40 single desks for the 9th grade students.

9class (2)Wade was inspired to do even more; and continues to fund projects that help this small village.  He built classrooms in the village limits, as well as a food shelter to feed the 400 children a meal each day. He also financed an electric well for the food shelter which supplies running water for the children to wash and drink.  Wade also built new homes for the teachers.

This past August Wade sent a 40-foot container to the village full of equipment and items to make the school a better place. The school now has the first classroom in Zambia with 50 computers hooked up to Wi-Fi on Windows-7. He is in the process of building a home economics classroom with five stoves, three refrigerators and cupboards full of dishes, pots, pans, and electrical appliances.  Wade also purchased 12 new sewing machines compete with fabric and thread for the 8th and 9th grade students to use.

Kids in classroom Africa and WadeWade say’s “This is just the beginning! My hope is we can teach these children a trade. We started a nursery where we planted 500 fruit trees which will help to feed the kids attending the school, the village and nearby communities. We hope to plant at least 1,000 trees each year moving forward.  We must educate the children of the world for they are our future!”

Wade is one of the kindest people I’ve met, and I’m proud to call him a friend.

Who what inspires you?

 I spent a lot of time thinking of the answer to this question. Ever since I can remember I have had this feeling in my soul that I am on this earth to help others, to give of myself and to make the world a better place.

I remember when I was in first grade going into my father’s butcher shop after school. I would clean up and do odd chores until he was ready to go home. He would say to me, “Always do the best job you can. Ask questions if you are not sure how to do something and enjoy the work you choose for a lifetime.”  My Mother would say, “Be happy with your life and what you do. Let a smile be your umbrella and always do something to help those less fortunate than you. Remember it does not take money, just a helping hand, a smile or a kind word.”  I grew up remembering these special words of wisdom. 

Do you have a slogan, motto or mantra?

You only get out of life what you put back in!  I can’t remember when this came to me but it was when I was a young teenager. I have tried to live my life by this motto and create magic and love where ever I am and with whatever I do.  When I started my own business at 26, I began to realize that education was the key to the future.  We must educate children! 

Do you have a lesson or thought to share?

Never stop dreaming of what could be and how you would achieve it! Always think outside the box because this is where answers of tomorrow lie.  Write down your goals and how you think you will get there and always help that person in need― even if takes time out of your own moment of time.  Always wear a smile and be happy in your life’s work.

How do you deal with stress?

There are only 24 hours in a day and only so much can be achieved. Do not create stress; it is the biggest waste of time. Plan to succeed!

Anything you want to share?

You are the master of your own fate. Always help others and create something special with your life. Life is not about how much we have, but how much we create helping other with our time and resources. Make a real difference in this world. No matter how busy you are you can always volunteer to help others. We all have time to give!


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