EDITOR’S NOTE: Several Ismaili volunteers are helping a remarkable Canadian couple in their tireless work to help destitute children. Their mission is to raise $6-million for an endowment so the income could take care of children in four countries.
Aging Canadian couple’s work featured in a children’s book!
BY SULTAN JESSA
The inspiring work of Fred, 87, and Bonnie Cappuccino, 78, who raised 21 children – 19 of them adopted – was written by Shelley Adam of Turner Valley in Alberta.
Comical illustrations are painstaking and beautifully done by Melissa Baker Nguven.
“This is definitely an inspiring story and a true legacy of kindness that needs to be told and shared,” explains Adam. “It reminds us we can make a difference in our world.”
The Cappuccinos are the founder of the Maxville-based Child Haven International which provides safe homes and education and cares for more than 1,300 destitute and orphaned children in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Tibet.
Proceeds from the sale of books go directly to Child Haven.
And for every fifth book sold, a book will be donated to a local Canadian school library to help spread the word.
Adam said Fred and Bonnie – more affectionately known as pa and ma (father and mother) are helping change the world, one child at a time.
She adds the Cappuccinos love children and is determined to help destitute.
The couple’s adopted children came from different parts of the world and included disabled children from various cultures and ethnic backgrounds.
The philosophy of the Cappuccinos is to accept everyone so they can get accommodation, food, clean water and clothes and also go to school.
Bonnie travels to each of the nine homes four times a year.
Children and families in homes celebrate by singing and dancing when Bonnie visits them.
Some of the children have grown up to become nurses, engineers, carpenters, teachers and computer programmers.
And some even work in organization’s homes to care for children.
When Adam was growing up, she always wanted to help others by travelling to faraway lands.
Her first trip was to Bangladesh but later she visited India and Nepal.
“The children made my heart so happy.”
Child Haven was started in 1985.
But, Cappuccino’s mission began in 1953 when Fred, a Unitarian minister, fell in love with Bonnie, a student nurse.
They married and started a family.
They wanted to have a couple of children but then started adopting children from 11 different countries.
Today, the organization’s annual budget is $1.5 million and it does not receive any government grants.
All the children are treated equally, regardless of gender, caste or color.
Also all religions and customs are respected.
I have personally known the Cappuccinos and writing about this amazing couple for years.
When my wife Rosila and I visited the Cappuccino home in Maxville many years ago, we saw the large family using picnic tables for their meals.
Most of the vegetables were grown in their own garden.
What struck us the most was when Fred came back with some fresh eggs?
Initially we refused to accept because the family needed it more than we did.
Our refusal was not accepted.
This is what the Cappuccinos are all about.