Friday, September 18, 2009

Fly guides cast hope to orphans

Silver Creek Outfitters project assists children in Zambia

Express Staff Writer

Children at the Mapalo Orphanage in Ndola, Zambia, will benefit from Silver Creek Outfitters’ Fishing for Life, when fishing guides donate all their proceeds from a day of guiding on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Photo by

The guides at Silver Creek Outfitters in Ketchum have much more to offer than casting lessons and sharing secret fishing holes with their clients. For the last six years, Peter DeBaun, a Silver Creek guide and executive director of Give Hope for Life, has organized a day of fishing to benefit orphans in Zambia. Aptly called Fishing for Life, Silver Creek Outfitters' yearly fundraiser will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 23, beginning at 10 a.m.

All fishing guides, as well as several other Silver Creek Outfitters employees, donate a day's proceeds to orphans in Mapalo, in northern Zambia. Located outside the city of Ndola, the Mapalo Academy and Care Center for Orphans takes care of 300 orphans.

"What we make as guides in one day in the water can pay for an entire grocery bill for a month in Zambia," DeBaun said. "As many as 12 trips are booked for the day and 100 percent of all the trips' profits go to the orphans. It started with $35,000 in donations to help feed the kids, which evolved into the non-profit Give Hope for Life."

DeBaun said the success of the program has kids ages 3-19 years old achieving test scores 15 percent higher than the average test scores in all of Zambia. The donations to the Mapalo orphans have given them clean water wells and seven full-time certified government teachers.

"We have only lost one child to dysentery, which was in the first year," DeBaun said. "We have not lost a child since."

Poverty and widespread AIDS have left 650,000 Zambian children orphaned or with only one parent. Parentless, homeless, malnourished, undereducated and with little hope for the future, Zambian children rely on relief and aid from nonprofits worldwide. The Give Hope for Life foundation gives the children of Mapalo an opportunity to build a sustainable life by receiving education, nourishment and the hope of a secondary education as well as a future.

Give Hope for Life has built a new school for over 300 children, given all the orphaned children their first pair of new shoes, provided healthcare and one cup of porridge daily to each child. In addition, the foundation has prepared children for the government exam to graduate them from primary to secondary education.

"The African model of orphanages, based on UNICEF, is meant to do everything possible to keep orphans from being institutionalized," DeBaun said. "An African family cannot afford to feed, educate or provide health care for their kids. What we do keeps children in the community."

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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