In Woldia, this year Christmas was celebrated in a special way. The VCDS community was involved making the Christmas lunch as joyful as possible; they took the responsibility of shopping, cooking, arranging and decorating the outdoor venue. Fortunately, the presence of our beloved sister and mother etye Bisrat [Libsekal] at this Christmas lunch added much joy to our celebration. Ato Demele Amare was also invited on behalf of concerned governmental bureaus.  The kids read poetry, and put on a drama show, along with other celebratory activities.  Each child was excited at receiving a gift of a chicken and 10 eggs! In turn, the children presented a traditional Agelgel [a lunch pack similar to the Japanese Bento Box] as a gift to all the donors and supporters of VCDS. This gift is a token of their gratitude and appreciation and the children’s way of saying “Thank you for providing our daily meals.”


Our 8th Annual Fundraising Dinner was held October 29th, 2016 at St Mary’s Ukrainian Cultural Centre. The special evening of celebration, food and fun was MC’d by Sudesh Jangalee and Ryan Millar. We were humbled and grateful for all who attended, volunteered and supported the work of VCDS!

All images courtesy of Kevin Tran.



I have been to many fundraisers in the past and I leave all of them feeling impacted in one way or another but the VCDS fundraiser did something to my entire heart.


We have all seen the TV commercials highlighting children in impoverished parts of the world.  I would like to think that most of us are struck with that feeling to do something but we live in a distracting world, where we want all the facts about something in 30 seconds which is why I think attending a fundraiser like the one VCDS put on is so important.


From the moment I walked in the door I could tell the people who were putting the event on were more family than colleagues.  The delicious smell from the kitchen hit me, traditional Ethiopian food was being prepared.   Handmade items from Ethiopia covered half of the room.  I felt like we weren’t being asked for money but more we were being invited on a journey with these people.


I walked over to a board where there were rows upon rows of pictures of children, most with big beaming smiles.  I wondered if these were the kids who had already been adopted…they weren’t.  All these beautiful gorgeous little souls were in need of someone to help them.  I couldn’t grab apen fast enough.  I chose the picture of a little boy about the same age as my daughter wishing I could pay for them all.


As the night went on we heard from Bea who had literally climbed up a mountain years prior with her friend to this little village to see how God could use her and as it seems she has been climbing up that mountain since.  I heard about the impact that was being made in the community.  Children were being given options to go to school and be raised by a family member or guardian, rather than having to be split from their families.


I learned that the little boy we had sponsored  – his mother’s suffered from a mental illness, and she needed help to raise her children and thanks to VCDS this deserving mother was empowered rather than shunned.  While I don’t know her whole story I know my mother has battled depression my entire life and I had to think that God had picked this little boy just for me.  Our lives while thousands of miles apart, had a blaring similarity.


I was touched, educated, immersed and God opened up my heart so really seeing how the impact of such a small amount of money could make such a huge impact to someone else.


K A R Y N   M I L L A R


Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen


Please join us at St Mary’s Ukrainian Cultural Centre (Banquet Hall) 3150 Ash St, Vancouver for a relaxing evening of tasty food, great entertainment, and inspiring stories! share our vision for the coming year. This year the dinner is set for Saturday October 21st, 2017.


For ticket purchases and availability enquiries, please contact us at :

604-786-7033 (10am-5pm)


OR purchase online via Paypal

Ticket Type


The life and story of Baye is one of heartache and challenge, but this resilient young man has redefined it to one of purpose and giving. At a very young age Baye was orphaned and left with no support or family, surviving by his wits and ingenuity.


But what a difference HOPE makes! In 2012 Baye joined VCDS and came into a new family of care and support.  Freed from the cycle of poverty with no options, Baye received a lifeline – food, shelter and help with his education. Now in university and doing well, Baye has returned to VCDS to pour hope into the lives of his fellow orphans.


This past summer, Baye spent his school vacation investing in VCDS supported students, those whom he calls his brothers and sisters, by providing English tutorial classes 3 days a week. By pouring into these kids Baye is making a difference in their understanding and language mastery, helping them make significant strides towards better grades. Additionally, Baye worked as a paid English teacher in the community earning extra income.
In the way VCDS and his sponsors have made a difference in his life, Baye is in turn  making a difference by giving and investing in the lives of his community. This is what hope looks like – a life changed by love changing lives in turn.