PO Box 30063, 3989 Quadra St., Victoria BC, V8X 5E1


July 2010 Newsletter

Dear BVCA members

The BVCA directors met on July 21, 2010. We hope you find the following items of interest:

1. Propane Cannons

The BVCA directors met with a representative of the Broadmead Area Residents’ Association (BARA) who encouraged the BVCA to alter its position regarding the use of propane cannons in the Blenkinsop Valley. Apparently, other neighbouring community associations feel similarly.

The BVCA has taken the position that it supports farming and those farming practices which are considered acceptable under provincial guidelines. We are being encouraged to take the position that the guidelines on propane cannons are not appropriate for the Blenkinsop Valley because of the large number of surrounding residential properties.

Present guidelines permit the use of single shot cannons up to every 5 minutes from 6:30 AM to 8:30 PM or from dawn until dusk, whichever is shorter. Multiple shot cannons can be fired 11 times an hour with a maximum of 33 shots in an hour. The guidelines may have recently changed to prohibit cannon use between 12:00 and 3:00PM.

The BVCA directors have decided to request another meeting with the owners of Beckwith Farm to obtain a better understanding of the predation problems which farmers are facing and the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of alternative means of control.

2. For The Love of Africa

In the past, the BVCA has tried to acknowledge extraordinary efforts made by residents of the Blenkinsop Valley. Dave Charlebois (bone marrow programme), Steve Mann (along with Joan created of an African Orphanage) and Stacy Loutitt (Beijing Paralympics) have given us presentations in the past.
This month, Ed Polinsky, who is a BVCA founding member and one of the original directors gave a presentation about the work he and 14 other volunteers did in Tanzania while working with an organization called “For the Love of Africa Society"  This organization was started in 2004 and is based here in Victoria, it has just over 50 members.

 The Society's latest project was building a new Galilaya Orphan Centre. The timing of this project was very critical as the old one fell down during the last rainy season. A previous project was the purchase and transformation of a good vacant building into a drop-in medical facility. The Nkuhungu medical facility receives $1400 each month from “For the Love of Africa” and now provides care for approximately 1800 patient visits monthly.

The Society's first project, the Kisota school  was started in 2004 and has been in full use and enjoyed by many children since completion.
Ed and his group of volunteers travelled from Victoria for 30 hours before arriving at their first bed in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The next day they spent about 12 hours riding in a small bus to Dodoma, the Capitol of Tanzania.

 During their 3 week's of work, they were able to build and install roof trusses for the orphan centre (the walls had been constructed by an earlier group of volunteers), attach metal roofing to the trusses and dig large holes by hand for a waste system. There was no electricity where they were so all construction was done by hand.

During their stay, they were taken on home visits to better understand the living conditions of the people they were serving. Most homes have no indoor plumbing, no water and no electricity and dirt floors. On one visit, a mother and her three children in the home had been without food or water for that day.
For the home visits they took food and supplies bought at the market in Dodoma as well as many supplies that were brought from Victoria. The neighbors would somtimes crowd into a home that they knew had been picked out by the church for needing some support in order to exsist. At one home Ed counted 32 people crowded into it. This particular home which was only four rooms with a narrow hallway dividing the place in half, had three families living in it

The population of Dodoma is approximately 324,000 people but those under five years of age outnumber the adults.

Besides working on the orphan centre, the volunteers also distributed school items and soccer balls to the children.

The children won over the hearts of all of the volunteers and the children are what made the trip seem so very worthwhile. Ed is planning some time soon to return to Africa for another volunteer session. If anyone wants more information on the Society or Ed's trip please email him at

With thanks,

The BVCA directors


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