Loving Zambia from Lynn Valley

Argyle student Hope Pearmain and her mom Debbie are returning to Zambia at the end of June. It’s a story of fate, coincidence or a divine plan depending on your point of view.


Project Samuel


Today, the Lynn Valley family is supporting the education of 24 orphans in Africa, after a Texa’s businessman went to Zambia was compelled to make a difference 2006. His young son, Brenden Vowell, now leads Project Samuel and later met – and went on to marry – a North Vancouver girl, Kim Close. It was Pearmain’s relationship with Close that brought the family to Zambia last summer.

Hope Pearmain

The Pearmains spent a few weeks in the Chibombo District, three hours north from the capital of Lusaka, at Project Samuel.

“It’s super rural,” said Debbie. “It’s like living in the 19th Century. They don’t have electricity. They cook over open fires. They wash their clothes by hand in tubs. The people live in a basic hut structure.”

The small organization started by the Vowell family sits on 257 acres of land with four homes with hopes of making a difference in the lives of some of the 1.4 million Zambian orphans (that’s 10 percent of its 14 million population).

“We are used to seeing homeless people here that are usually adults or maybe teenagers and that is upsetting but over there, there are five – six – seven-year-old kids running around the streets homeless,” she said. “It’s tragic.”

Project Samuel is a youth revitalization project aiming to raise leaders who will stay and rebuild their nation, said Debbie. With such a big challenge Brenden, then in his early 20’s took custody of 24 children – choosing to take full responsibility and invest totally in improving the lives of those children and their communities. The Pearmains arrived last year to help the Vowells as they welcomed their first birth child and learn more about the project.  It was a life changing experience.


Starting with education


Debbie Pearmain

The Pearmains were naturally drawn to schools in the area in part because their children, then 12 and 15, could relate strongly but also, dad, Mark, is the superintendent of the North Vancouver School District. Schools are little more than walls and roof with a painted blackboard – and expensive, said Debbie.

“Here every child has the right to an education,” explained Debbie. “In Zambia that’s not how it works. It costs $80 USD a term [including uniforms, supplies, tuition and supplies] and the average family lives on one US dollar a day.”    

With a background in HR corporate training and coaching Debbie joined Mark at a number of professional days for Zambian teachers.

“Education is expensive and the dropout rates are high,” she said. “Then in Grade 7 the government begins to mandate exams but the students don’t have the literacy levels to be successful.”

Children in a classroom.

They spent one teacher enrichment day just teaching how to teach an exam that students had never been able to pass.

“Everyone showed up – all the teachers, even the vice principal,” she said. “They are working so hard but without the resources and training they need.”

Even Hope stepped into to teach.

“Hope had a Grade 10 education and was actually in one of the schools teaching because we went into one of the classrooms and they were working on a math problem that no one could solve,” said Debbie. “As a mom I had tears streaming down my face because I was so proud.”


The vision is long


Teacher enrichment.

Last summer’s trip had a deep impact on the Pearmains.

“When we came home we sat down with our kids and said ‘We have had this experience, so now what? What do you want to do?’” she said. “We decided as a family our mission will be to keep these kids in school. We can’t help everyone we saw – but we can help these 24 kids at Project Samuel.”

It’s a plan that was quickly supported by people in Lynn Valley and across the North Shore.

“We did some small fundraisers with family and friends and we have raised enough money for two years for all the kids to go school,” said Debbie. “There are crazy stories of people helping us – reaching out on social media. Random people who I haven’t talked to in 20 years sent us cheques.”

North Vancouver donations.

Pearmain highlights the donations of Park and Tilford Cobs Breads for their support of bake sales and the ongoing support of Dave Smith of SmithWerks Carpet and Upholstery Care and the North Shore Alliance Church. Even Grade 5 and 6 students at Vancouver Christian School raised $5000 at their entrepreneur fair. Plus local Lynn Valley families who have donated soccer gear and necessities, including the North Shore Girls Soccer, North Van Football Club as well as the Argyle PAC. These donations are important part of a soccer outreach program in the rural villages, said Debbie.

With Hope asking to go back, the Pearmains wanted to do even more.

“The system isn’t perfect but we have so much here in North Vancouver. We are blessed to have the North Vancouver Literacy Centre. We’ve got this unbelievable resource that we were connected to because our son struggled with reading,” Debbie said. “I started meeting with Susan McLean  – she has put resources together and has been teaching me how to teach reading.”

The year has been spent creating curriculum for students as well as professional development for teachers. It’s not all business though. There were be plenty of soccer games, movie nights, community days and picnics. The long term goal for Project Samuel is to help more children, be self-sufficient and earn income with its farm and ultimately help create a stronger Zambia.

“My personal mission is to do anything here in North Vancouver I can to get the word out. There are 24 kids who will need to go to college. There are two graduating this year. I want to send each child to college – $1500-2000USD commitment per year per child. They have 24 kids to help. If people want to partner with us on this they can receive tax donations and email me for more information,” said Debbie.

“My vision is long. Not only do I want to see them read and finish high school but I want them to be able to give back to their communities and help break the cycle of poverty for their families in the future. It’s unbelievable – the kids have such dreams but they don’t even know all their options – they don’t know what they could be dreaming about.”

To learn more about Project Samuel visit its website or reach out to Debbie.

To donate go to: icmsgo.com. Then click: DONATE, select: Canada, agency: project Samuel Foundation, supporting: children and project giving.


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Summer camps in Lynn Valley

The summer season is almost upon us. Parental planning is just about hitting its peak as families coordinate childcare, vacations and summer camps. Living where we are you don’t need to go far for some local solutions. Here are some ideas!



Check out some options for local NVRC day camps such as Camp KM Kirkstone (6-8yrs), Camp KM Nye (9-12yrs), Camp Lynn Valley (5-6yrs) or Bricks 4 Kidz (various age groups 5-15yrs).

Or search “Lynn Valley” on the NVRC registration system for more options and details as spaces are limited.



Discover a variety of member and non-member summer camp options such as Aquatics Lessons and Lifesaving, Dance, Tennis, Sportball, Multi-sport Day Camps and Summer Hockey.

Also check out Kids Corner Camps with art and culinary options. Visit the Winter Club website for more details.



Summer Mini-Camps (some spots still remain)

Ecology Centre Summer Camps are where the Forest and Fun meet! There is plenty of forest fun planned throughout the summer from Slime Time to Bear in Mind for younger children and from Survive to Making Tarcks for older kids.

Or join in for Imagine & Explore (3-8yrs) on Sundays through July & August. Themes include Creek Creatures, In the Treetops, Buzz and Art in the Park.

Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre

Father’s Day 2019

June is here and it’s been a fantastic spring. With what little rain we have had sticking to the weekdays, the weekends have been perfect for fun. Cross your fingers Father’s Day weekend will be just the same.


Go fish


fishingThe weekend to celebrate Dads also marks BC Family Fishing Weekend.

During BC’s Family Fishing Weekend free fishing events for anglers and families are held around the province. This is your opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors with loved ones and learn the joys of fishing. Knowledgeable volunteers are on-hand to teach you the tricks of the trade. In addition, Canadian residents can fish licence-free for the entire three days (but certain rules do apply – see the Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis for details).   

Members of the Seymour Salmonid Society will be at Rice Lake June 16 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.


Lynn Valley Village


Lynn Valley Village is hosting its annual Father’s Day contest.  Local merchants have put together quite the gift basket for one local Dad. Visit the Lynn Valley Village website to enter.


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Lynn Valley Days 2019

Lynn Valley Days is just a couple of weeks away! If you haven’t jotted it down already, it’s a touch later than it has been in the past. The Gala dances the night away on the summer solstice June 21. While the parade and festival take over Lynn Valley June 22.


Some changes


lynn Valley day family fun zone

It will be a bit of a different year for LynnValleyLife at the Fair. With Lynn Valley Days is growing, the organizers can ask for more but unfortunately it means the financial ask for our usual Free Family Fun Zone was much bigger than in the past or was expected. As a small business it was too big a stretch.   Instead we will be making our usual cash donation directly to a community charity. As for Lynn Valley Day, you will be able to find us at our office 3171 Mountain Hwy on the parade route Saturday morning. Stop by for a coffee, or grab a freezie. We will have a balloon twister and a chance to come and say Hi! This is a great chance to see where we spend our days, connect and share what you love about Lynn Valley!


Lynn Valley Day


lynn valley day parade

Get out early and join the pancake breakfast from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. Snag your favourite piece of sidewalk and get ready for the parade which kicks off from the Mollie Nye Way at 9:30 a.m. There are a lot of things to do and see at the fair. Back are games, inflatables, the Lions Cook Shack, the community group and business showcase. There are big plans for more local performances on the Neptune Terminals Entertainment Stage. For the adults there is a beer garden from noon-7 p.m.

There are a still a few opportunities to volunteer. Check out the Lynn Valley Lions’ website for details.  

Be patient and aware of road closures June 22.


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Lend a hand at Lynn Valley Days

Lynn Valley Days is back on a new weekend to kick off the summer with the favourite festival of the year.


June 21 & 22


“The event wouldn’t run without volunteers,” said Jeanette Duey, director of communications for the Lynn Valley Lions. “The Lions, like everyone else, are all volunteers who get nothing out of it but helping Lynn Valley. It’s literally a community event, run by community.”

The annual event has moved back a weekend to June 21 and 22 for 2019.

“It’s no longer on Father’s Day weekend,” said Duey. “It’s a community event and we listened to the community and volunteers who want to spend time with their families during Father’s Day weekend. It’s a big commitment for the Lions and everyone who helps out.”


Volunteer success


Lynn Valley Days has some consistent partners who show up year after year.

“Argyle Secondary’s soccer clubs and the Pipers are always there helping with rides and in the cook shack,” said Duey. “It’s not just the kids, it’s the parents and teachers too. They show leadership in being involved in the community. It’s encouraging to see the difference between a Grade 8 and a Grade 12. The older players mentor the younger one. We see the same kids the next year and we see their growth.”

This year the Lions are asking for early volunteer commitments from 30-40 people to help with the parade and traffic.

“We are working with the District [of North Vancouver] to make everything safe and keep traffic moving throughout the day – not just at the parade,” said Duey. “We need people to cover two to three hour shifts from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.”

Traffic volunteers will have a training session to ensure their safety and to establish event procedures. The Lions are looking for people 15 years and up for this role, but can also partner younger volunteers with older to fill positions. Like all volunteers they are offered free food and drink at the event.

“It’s a great chance to get some service or volunteer hours,” said Duey.

There are also opportunities for volunteers 19+ to help out at the gala.

“It’s a great way to be a part of the bigger event without having to buy a ticket,” said Duey. The gala needs volunteers on Friday, June 21 from 5-7 p.m. to act as greeters checking people in and throughout the night selling drink tickets.

“We want a day to celebrate community,” said Duey. “That’s why we aim for interactive booths – not a marketplace selling. We have rides for the kids and we are having a bigger and better community stage this year.”

To learn more about Lynn Valley Days visit the Lion’s webpage and to volunteer email lynnvalleydays(at)gmail.com.


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

An Egg-citing Way to Celebrate Easter in Lynn Valley!

It sounds like there will be a mix of sun and clouds in Lynn Valley’s future, but whatever the weather we hope the Easter weekend is joyful for all!

We are having our annual FREE family Easter Egg Hunt April 22 from 10 a.m.-noon at Viewlynn Park. There will be prizes, plenty of eggs to find and lots of family fun — think face painting and balloon twisting too.

If it is rainy, there’s no better way to spend the time than in painting some Easter eggs to give out to family and friends. Here are few novel ideas to get you started – you probably have everything you need at home already!

 

Another tradition that will keep the kids busy is to bake hot cross buns on Good Friday, or to make an Easter bonnet for Sunday. And if you’re really having fun, why not make some homemade chocolate Easter eggs as well?

Easter Egg 2017Easter Sunday is the culmination of the Christian Holy Week, and is preceded by Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Special services are being held on all three days at many Lynn Valley churches, and all are welcome – should you want more information, contact info and church websites are listed on our Clubs and Associations page. Happy Easter, everyone!

Check out the North Shore Writers Festival

Celebrating its 20th year the North Shore Writers Festival comes to Lynn Valley April 5th and 6th.


Bringing writers together


The annual North Shore Writers Festival has both writers and libraries uniting for two days this April. Together North Vancouver District, North Vancouver City and West Vancouver Memorial Public Libraries are presenting the 20th anniversary edition of the festival.  All the events are FREE thanks to the generous support of the Friends of the North Shore Libraries and there is even three hours FREE parking at Lynn Valley Village.

This year favourite events return like the 7th Annual Literary Trivia Quiz hosted by CBC’s Grant Lawrence on Friday night. From panel discussions to practical workshops Saturday is packed with something for all writers and readers.


2019 Schedule


7th Annual Literary Trivia Quiz Night hosted by CBC’s Grant Lawrence

Friday, April 5 | 7:30pm–9:30pm

Test your mental mettle and compete for prizes and glory! Register teams of 3-6 at nswftrivia@gmail.com. Doors at 7pm. Cash bar. 19+. COMMUNITY ROOM

First Nations Welcoming Ceremony

Saturday, April 6 | 9:55am

Come early to get a seat, enjoy coffee, and attend the official festival opening. Doors open at 9:30am. COMMUNITY ROOM

Finding Your Audience: a North Shore Writers’ Association Workshop

Saturday, April 6 | 10:05am–11:30am

You’ve spent years honing your skills, months drafting, and weeks editing…all you need now is an audience! How do authors find their readers and how do readers find new authors? There are many paths to publication. Join Mahtab Narsimhan, Rod Baker and Wiley Ho as they share their successes and challenges getting their works out into the world. COMMUNITY ROOM

A Storyteller’s Journey with Monique Gray Smith

Saturday, April 6 | 11:45am–12:45pm

Award-winning Cree, Lakota and Scottish author Monique Gray Smith will share her personal journey as a celebrated YA and children’s storyteller. Monique will read from her latest release, Tilly and the Crazy Eights, an epic road trip with Indigenous Elders from Vancouver to Albuquerque for a Pow Wow.

COMMUNITY ROOM

Local Author Book Fair: A Showcase of Local Writers

Saturday, April 6 | 12:30pm–4:30pm

Explore local creativity and talent at the book fair! LYNN VALLEY VILLAGE HALL, outside the Community Room

Lunch Break Lounge & Writers Café

Saturday, April 6 | 12:45pm–1:45pm

Enjoy a free light lunch! Aspiring writers are invited to chat with Mahtab Narsimhan, Rod Baker and Wiley Ho to get the inside scoop on all things related to the writing life. Bring your questions and comments. LEARNING LAB

The Art of Narration with Erin Moon

Saturday, April 6 | 2:00pm–3:00pm

Award-winning Audiobook Narrator, Erin Moon, will discuss the art of becoming a narrator and the process involved in developing an audiobook. Erin will also explore the diverse ways that narrators capture the reader’s imagination and bring stories to life. Sponsored by Recorded Books. COMMUNITY ROOM

Writing the Personal: Lindsay Wong with JJ Lee

Saturday, April 6 | 3:15pm–4:15pm

In conversation with fellow memoirist JJ Lee, Vancouver-based Lindsay Wong chats about her darkly comedic memoir and Canada Reads finalist The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family. Lindsay outlines how she wrote this deeply personal, smart and funny book, while exploring themes of youth, parenting and mental illness. COMMUNITY ROOM

Strength and Resilience through Storytelling: Darrel McLeod with Alexander Dirksen

Saturday, April 6 | 4:30pm–5:30pm

Join Cree author Darrel McLeod in conversation with Program Director for Community Knowledge Exchange, Alexander Dirksen. Darrel discusses the powerful themes of love, family, resilience and identity within his 2018 Governor General award-winning memoir Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age, as well as the impact his book has had on its readers to date.

COMMUNITY ROOM

Writers + Readers Reception with JJ Lee

Saturday, April 6 | 5:15pm–7:00pm

Join us for music and refreshments while mingling with fellow festival-goers as we close out the 20th festival! Hear the winners of the North Shore Writers’ Association writing contest and a very special announcement from the North Shore libraries. LIBRARY LOBBY