Two children feed each other at The Home of Good Hope

Two children feed each other at The Home of Good Hope

Victoria woman receives international award for work in Africa

Eileen Greene founded The Home of Good Hope in 2007, a soup kitchen that feeds children in Namibia, Africa.

In 2001, Victoria’s Eileen Greene travelled to Namibia in southwest Africa with an international team to explore the AIDS epidemic. It was here that Greene met a girl who would change her life forever.

Greene was working in the Katatura Hospital in the early 2000s where she was researching the disease that was spreading rapidly throughout the country.

“We worked in a huge inner city hospital, 850 beds — no soap, no wash cloths, no towels. It was filthy,” said the Oak Bay resident and professor of nursing at the University of Victoria.

“Katatura means the place to come to die. That hospital, once you got in, people rarely got out.”

It was here that she met Maria.

The 16-year-old was dying from AIDS.

“She was so sensationally beautiful and such a lovely girl,” Greene said, who hired 24-hour care for Maria. “She was on the adult ward and she was one of the youngest people on the ward. Maria was one of the sickest of the sick. She was just frothing, she was so sick and that was it.”

Maria’s mother Monica was working in Greene’s guest house at the time.

“I couldn’t understand the bravery of Monica. She would work and she would be smiling at all these guests and her child was dying,” Greene said.

Shortly after Greene left Namibia, Maria died.

It was in Maria’s memory that Greene and Monica founded The Home of Good Hope, a soup kitchen to help feed children in Monica’s neighbourhood in Katatura in 2007.

Monica, her son Peacemaker and six other people help run the kitchen that feeds more than 530 children between the ages of 18 months to 15 years old daily, seven days a week. Greene works from Victoria raising the roughly $4,500 in donations needed to run the kitchen monthly.

“The one thing about the Namibians is they’re stoic people. They never ask for anything. They don’t whine, even in their illness are gracious,” she said. “Everybody takes care of everybody else. Nobody grabs. They have a generosity of spirit and when you go there all you feel is joy.”

Greene’s work to feed children in Namibia earned her one of this year’s Human Rights and Nursing Awards from the International Care Ethics Observatory, a worldwide collaboration of researchers in ethics.

“Eileen is self-effacing and humble about her involvement; for her, it is all about the children,” said Anne Davis, a professor at the University of California who nominated Greene for the award.

Verena Tschudin with the observatory said Greene’s was was one the strongest candidates this year.

“I think it is clear that [the children] benefit because they get fed regularly and have access to education,” Tschudin said.

Now that that soup kitchen has been registered as a charity in Namibia, Greene is working towards purchasing a parcel of land to build a structure and commercial kitchen to operate out of. She continues to visit Namibia once a year and speaks with Monica every week over the phone.

For more information or to make a donation, visit homeofgoodhope.ca.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This male Dungeness can safely be harvested after passing muster. An official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is not clear how well locals on the Saanich Peninsula are complying with crabbing regulations, but her comments suggest that any problems might be of a minor nature. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Submitted)
Sidney and Sooke record 57 crabbing violations in 2020

While recreational crab fishery has ‘compliance issues,’ no evidence of ‘large scale poaching’

Police seek information after a pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk at the intersection of Goldstream Avenue and Veterans Memorial Parkway on March 3.(Google Maps)
Witnesses sought in Langford pedestrian hit and run

Suspect is older man driving four-door, gold sedan

The University of Victoria has said some of its students were impacted by an off-campus exposure to COVID-19 last weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria students impacted by off-campus COVID-19 exposure

UVic has not specified where the exposure occurred

Const. Mat Jones of the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit joined a team of Saanich police officers and ICBC representatives cracking down on distracted driving at the McKenzie/Quadra intersection in Saanich on March 3. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
‘Leave the phone alone’: 40 distracted driving tickets issued in two hours at Saanich intersection

Saanich police, CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit crackdown on drivers’ cell-phone use

Victoria police are investigating after a person broke into and stole a vehicle from a Douglas Street car dealership on the morning of March 3. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Suspect sought after vehicle swiped from Victoria dealership

Suspect broke into Douglas Street dealership shortly before 5 a.m.

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read