Updates (2016 & Older)

Updated: December 25, 2016

Heaven wearing one of the toques she knitted

Eleven year old Heaven Loewen has been making toques and selling them to raise money for Ramona’s Reach. For Christmas she also asked her brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews to join her and put money in a stocking for the children at the school in Pamora.  Together they donated over $280 toward Ramona’s Reach!

Updated: December 16, 2016

Here are some of the things we are currently working on and actively raising money for.  We hadn’t been focusing a lot of time or money towards the school until the children’s home was running well.  Now that the children’s home is running well we want to get the school running smoothly and well supplied.

If you are interested in supporting these project’s you can either write a cheque or donate online.  See the donate tab for more info.

Updated: December 7, 2016

The team arrived back home in Manitoba after a productive trip.  Thank-you for the prayers and support.  Stay tuned for an update and pictures.

Updated: November 16, 2016

Please think and pray for our team heading to Africa from Manitoba.  They arrive in Africa today and will be there for around 10 days.

Updated: November 15, 2016

The wife of the Ramona’s Reach board member is still sick and in hospital but seems to be getting a little better.

Updated: November 1, 2016

Please pray for one of the members of our Ramona’s Reach Uganda board.  His young son passed away 2 days ago and his 8 month pregnant wife is in critical condition in the hospital.

Updated: October 11, 2016

All the children have been sponsored! Thank-you to everyone for the overwhelming support and interest in helping the children in Uganda.

Updated: 11/1/16

Thank-you for all the interest, the trip for two to Florida has been sold!

Updated: September 26, 2016

From Ray Petkau…..

A few weeks ago I won the Ramona’s Reach raffle prize – a trip for 2 to Florida complete with spending money, flights and a 1 week stay in a Condo in Groveland, Florida (30 minutes from Orlando). What a great prize! Although it truly is exciting to win this prize, I simply cannot accept it and have decided to raise more money for Ramona’s Reach by selling it to the highest bidder and donating 100% of the money back to Ramona’s Reach. While I’d love to enjoy a trip like this with my family, I just can’t accept it from a charity/cause that means so much to me personally, and I feel I can honor my dear niece by donating it back to the cause. For anyone who is curious, here is where the money goes – www.ramonasreach.com

So, we’ll keep this casual but we need to have some rules:

Bids must be submitted on Facebook in this feed to allow everyone to keep track. We’ll open this up for public viewing if you want to share it. Bids on behalf of someone who’s not on Facebook will be accepted, but again, they must be posted on here.

Bidding closes on Oct 3rd, 2016, a week from today at noon CST. Payment must be made within 7 days, and I in turn will make an equal donation immediately to Ramona’s Reach.

There is a reserve bid of $1000 (a fraction of what it’s worth), with bid increments of at least $50.

I’ll give the 2nd highest bidder a pair of Moose tickets for a game this season, just for playing along

Don’t worry, be happy! – if you didn’t get the trip, that means you have some extra cash sitting around… I know of a few really good charities who wouldn’t mind a little extra help! It’s easy to donate! www.ramonasreach.com

The Trip:
$500 CDN cash
2 return flights from a major Canadian airport
7 night stay in Groveland, Florida condo – many winter weeks remain, but the holiday season and spring break are not available. If you’re wondering about a specific week before placing your bid, please ask.

Happy bidding!

Go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/110062019340527/ to bid!!

Updated: September 14, 2016

We are very excited to be starting a sponsorship program for all the orphans! Click on the pictures of the children to see their sponsorship info and more information on each child.  If you are interested in sponsoring a child, fill out the form below and send it to Ramona’s Reach.

Sponsorship Application

Sponsorship FAQs

Sunday, 8 yrs old
Sunday, 8 yrs old
Fancy, 9 yrs old
Fancy, 9 yrs old
Sunday, ? yrs old
Sunday, ? yrs old
Precious, 5yrs old
Precious, 5yrs old
 Javis, 5yrs old
Javis, 5yrs old
Hope, 4yrs old
Hope, 4yrs old (Sponsored)
Patrick, 7 yrs old
Patrick, 7 yrs old
Brian, 9yrs old
Brian, 9yrs old
Stephen, 6yrs old
Stephen, 6yrs old
Isaac, 9 yrs old
Isaac, 9 yrs old (Sponsored)
Samuel, 8yrs old
Samuel, 8yrs old
Updated: July 14, 2016

A group of 11 orphans have moved into the children’s home!  We are housing them as boarding students and sending them to the new school while we wait for legal paperwork and court orders to come through.  Once all the legal documents are in place we will be starting a sponsorship program to help support the children.

We are very excited as we have been working for years to bring children into the children’s home!  However, with bringing the children in comes a bunch of financial commitments as we have to pay for staff to look after the children, to cook for them, as well as day to day expenses, such as food and clothes.  If anyone is interested we would love to have more people donate money monthly to help support Ramona’s Reach.

Updated: March 19, 2016

See a video of James Reimer discussing his recent trade to San Jose.  Watch starting at 4:40 where he talks about Ramona and Ramona’s Reach!

HNIC After Hours Interview with James Reimer

Updated: March 1, 2016

Thank-you to everyone who came out and made the hockey tournament another huge success this year!

Updated: February 24, 2016

We are building a cooking house where our hired cook will make food for the children living in the children’s home.

Cement arriving at the site. We store the building material in the newly constructed storage shed.
Cement arriving at the site. We store the building material in the newly constructed storage shed.

We hire as many locals as possible to help with construction.

internal view kitchen
Interior view of the kitchen, it still needs a roof and the walls need to be plastered
external view

We have purchased beds and mattresses for the first children that are going to be living in the children’s home.

matresses arrived for the children
The mattresses have arrived!
Dometory and beddings for the orphanage
Updated: February 22, 2016

We will be selling raffle tickets at the hockey tournament this weekend.  Click here for more info on the raffle tickets. Raffle Tickets

Updated: January 29, 2016

See more information regarding the tournament. Ramona’s Reach on Facebook

Get excited, the annual hockey tournament is almost here!

Updated: January 18, 2016

iron sheets getting on the roof

The roof of the school is on!

Updated: January 5, 2016

Thank-you so much for the support throughout 2015.  We had a very busy year of building and anticipate a busy 2016 as well.

Start getting excited for the Ramona’s Reach 6th annual ice hockey tournament!  This year it will be on February 27-28.  Stay tuned for more information.

Updated: December 28, 2015

When the team was in Pamora late last month, they had an opportunity to help drill a well for a village approximately half an hour from Pamora village (where our project is). The well was drilled a few hundred feet from the Congo – Ugandan border for a very poor village.  In the past the villagers had been forced to walk 6 km for clean water or use water from a much closer dirty ditch. A donor had expressed a desire to donate money specifically towards drilling a well and we knew of this nearby village that desperately needed a well.  So Ramona’s Reach, both in Canada as well as our board in Uganda, made the necessary arrangements and scheduled the well drilling truck. It worked out perfectly that the team from Canada was in Pamora exactly when the well was started.  It was an incredibly rewarding experience for the team as many people would stand around for hours and watch as the well was being drilled, the look on their faces of joy and excitement was awesome to see.

Below you will see pictures of where the people would get their water from in the past.  The water they would usually drink was from a filthy ditch where the animals would drink as well.
The donation we received didn’t quite cover the entire cost of drilling the well and installing the pump ($10,000 CDN).  If you wish to help donate toward that project please specify “well project” on your donations.

This is where they usually would get their drinking water from before the well was drilled.
The stream where the people would get their water was essentially just a filthy ditch.
Drilling the well. Due to the extremely rocky soil the well drilling truck has to come from Kampala city, approximately a 7 hr drive away.
An interesting “coincidence” is that the date on the well is exactly 6 years from the date of Ramona’s death.
The completed well!
We received a letter of appreciation from the village/community leader from where the well was drilled.
Updated: December 23, 2015

The school’s roof is being built!

On the left you can see the new outhouses, in the middle is a storage shed, and on the right you can see the children’s home.
Updated: December 12, 2015

Today we received more pictures of the progress they are making on the school!  Looks like they are almost ready to put on the roof!

Updated: December 9, 2015

One week ago a team returned from their visit to Pamora, Uganda.  One of their top priorities was finalizing the legal paperwork to bring children into the children’s home.   They made a lot of progress, however, things don’t always move quite as quickly as we would hope.  The goal is still to have children in the children’s house by the end of 2015, however that may be a fairly optimistic timeline.  Even if it doesn’t happen until early 2016, we are working hard to help the orphans of the area.  The team was once again overwhelmed by the need and the poverty they saw.

The school year is over in Uganda and they resume classes in February. Instead of having classes in the children’s home as they have been doing, they will be able to start next year’s classes in a brand new school!  While the team was in Pamora, they saw the new school’s foundation finished and the walls begin to be built!  We are very excited to see the progress of the project in Africa.

As we near the year’s end, please consider supporting our project in Pamora, Uganda as we work to help take care of and educate the under privileged in Pamora. We anticipate a very busy 2016 as we finally bring children into the children’s home as well as complete the school.

The finished children’s home
The footing being poured for the school
School staff, they are very excited to see the new school being built

They mix all the concrete by hand

Updated: October 22, 2015

We are very excited that we have finally received the official stamped blueprints for both the school as well as a guesthouse!  We are hoping to begin construction on the school very soon.  The initial plan is to build a 3 room school and if needed we can easily add additional classrooms to either side.

 The guesthouse will be used by groups/individuals that travel to Pamora to help with the project.  We are hoping to begin construction on the guesthouse sometime this year as well. (2015)
Guest House pic
We are always looking for people who want to partner with us financially as we work toward completing these projects to help the disadvantaged in Pamora. If you are interested or want additional information feel free to contact us or help us by donating to the project.
Contact Us  Donate
Updated: August 27, 2015

Thank-you to everyone who came out and made the street hockey tournament a big success!

Updated: July 27, 2015

Updated: July 26, 2015

The children’s home is officially finished!  Now we are waiting for the blueprints for the school to be finalized so we can start working on building the school. The completed children’s home will continue to be used for school classrooms for up to 140 students until the school can be built.

Updated: June 30, 2015

We are excited as we are quickly making progress on the children’s home.  The final coats of paint are going on!

front view
One more coat of exterior paint needed.
front view before final paint
Exterior priming is done
Internal Corridor and partition
The inside has been plastered and primed, waiting for the final paint
Side View
Updated: May 28, 2015

We are very excited that construction is underway again.  We have hired around 30 people who are hard at work on completing the Children’s home.  The children who where attending school in the children’s home are on a 1 month break so they are trying to get as much done as possible during their spring break.  The people of Pamora are so excited that construction has begun again!

Updated: March 31, 2015

Thank-you to everyone for once again making the hockey tournament a huge success.  We made $12,058.85 profit!!

Updated: March 23, 2015

Click here to see the schedule and teams for the Ramona’s Reach 5th Annual Fundraiser Hockey Tournament

Updated: March 16, 2015

See some pictures from our latest trip to Pamora!!

Updated: March 15, 2015

Updated: February 19, 2015

Start getting excited about this year’s 5th annual hockey fundraiser!!

Sign up to play in the Ramona’s Reach all-night hockey tournament at the Arborg Arena by contacting Jason Reimer via facebook message or email (jason.reimer.87@gmail.com). There will be girls-only games as well as a 12 and under ice time (exact time to be determined).

Sign up deadline will be Saturday, Mar. 21 at 11:59 pm. Individual fee is $40.00 to play in the full tournament, $10.00 per game for girls-only games.

Teams and schedule will be released on Sunday, Mar. 22. Tournament will take place on Mar. 28-29. Scheduled games will run from approximately 2:00 pm Saturday until 5:00 am Sunday, then Sunday afternoon from 1:00 pm until 6-6:30 pm.

There will be 8 teams capped at 13 skaters each, so sign up early to make sure you make it on to a roster.

For more info, contact Kevin Petkau, Randy Petkau, Jason Reimer or Earl Reimer.

Updated: December 19, 2014

2014 Update
We partnered with Action International Ministries. They bring many years of experience in missions all over the world and currently have 250 full-time missionaries in 25 countries.
-We have been temporarily using the childrens home as a school for local children. We had as many as 144 students. We are currently supporting 4 licensed teachers to help educate the children. The students receive a porridge breakfast daily.
-This year we held two large fundraisers. In January we had an overnight ice hockey tournament. In August we had a large outdoor street hockey
fundraiser. Thank you for your support!
-Ramona’s Reach has set up a board in Morweena with John Petkau, Abe Loewen, Arnold Reimer, Lorrie Reimer, and Kevin Petkau on the board.
-After years of paper work Ramona’s Reach is finally registered in Uganda and is now recognized by the Ugandan government. We are finally able to have a bank account in Uganda and can move forward with future plans.
– We have a Ugandan board with three men appointed to the board.
– The well has been repaired after numerous lengths of pipe rusted.
Plans for 2015
– We are in the planning stages of building a school. We hope to have it up and running in 2015. Once the school is completed we can begin the process of placing orphans in the children’s home.
-Overnight ice hockey fundraiser tournament March 27-28 and probably another street hockey fundraiser in summer.
-We want to be very open to God’s guidance as we make plans for 2015
We want to thank everyone for the support and interest you have shown Ramona’s Reach. If you have any questions please feel free to talk to us.
You can continue supporting Ramona’s Reach by praying for us, consider joining us on a missions trip, or by supporting us financially.
Updated: November 16, 2014

The team from Manitoba arrived safely in Pamora early this morning.

Updated: November 7, 2014

Exciting update… Next week a team from Manitoba will be traveling to Uganda.  Stay tuned for more info.

Updated: October 7, 2014

We are very pleased to announce that we have partnered with Action International Ministries.  We are excited as Action International is a large mission with over 250 missionaries (and many other team members) in 25 countries.  They have multiple teams already working in Uganda and they have a wealth of experience that we can draw on.  All charitable donations will be going through Action International Ministries. To learn more about Action International Ministries click here to go to their website.

Action International

Updated: August 24, 2014

Thank-you to everyone who came out and made the street hockey fundraiser a huge success. Stay tuned for pics/video’s

Updated: June 20, 2014

Ramona’s Reach is planning a fundraiser 4-on-4  street hockey tournament to be held on main street in Arborg on August 23rd.  For more information click here.

Pamora April 2014

December 24, 2014

I just got back from Pamora, and had an amazing trip. We brought money to continue the construction of the children’s home. The roof is completed, the doors and windows have been ordered, plumbing and electrical is being started and the walls will be plastered to complete the project.

For the past number of months this building has been used as a school to educate over 100 students whose parents can’t afford to send them to the local school. These kids have been coming early and receiving a porridge breakfast before classes begin every morning. While I was there I saw the students write their final exam before school breaks for a few months.

The people in Pamora are happy and optimistic and are putting more effort into growing gardens and small crops but I also saw how they struggle with sickness and disease.

I’m excited about the continuation of this project. I see so much need and many grateful Ugandans who are also excited to see positive change in their community.

John Petkau

December 1, 2013

It is nearing the Christmas season, and as we prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth with family and friends we are reminded of all the things we are blessed with. There are many children around the world who this season will not have family to celebrate with, and who would feel so blessed to just have food in their bellies. As we reflect on all this season means we’d like to share a few of the things that are happening with Ramona’s Reach. In the summer of this year the roof of the children’s home in Pamora was put on. It is exciting to see such noticeable progress in the building of the home. There are still a few finishes such as windows and doors that need to be completed before children will be able to move in to the home. The home also needs to be furnished and children selected. At the end of November of this year a team from Canada arrived in Uganda to participate in another crusade and to continue planning for the next phase of the Ramona’s Reach children’s home. They are expected to return within the next week or so. More in-depth details concerning the progress will be available once they return. In other exciting Ramona’s Reach news we are looking forward to another annual all-night hockey tournament which is being planned for January 11-12 2014.

We have not updated you on the Pamora Project for a while, so I would like to just fill you in on some of the happenings that are going on. Last summer(2012) we were there to start the building of the walls of the children’s home, after we left they completed the building up to the gables. In November of that same year a big crusade was held in the area, and hundreds of people attended. Many many souls were drawn closer to Jesus Christ. So although the actual structure of the children’s home has not progressed, many souls have been touched, and a lot of spiritual growth has happened. While the people in Pamora are waiting for us to send them money to put on the roof and complete the home, they have not just been waiting.They have been inviting children from the community, and have started a school program. They have put up a temporary roof, on the unfinished building, and are using that and the church for their school building. Children have been eagerly coming, and are learning academic skills, singing and playing together. The last I heard they had an enrollment of 147 students! How incredible! I think this is a beautiful picture of how excited and encouraged the Africans become, when given some extra help and support, and an occasional visit. The money that you have donated  will have life long value in the lives of the people there. The money for the roof and the completion of the building will be given to them shortly. and the progression of the children’s home will continue.    

August 1, 2012The orphanage is making progress, all walls are now built!

July 17, 2012

We had an amazing and meaningful time in Africa
The first day we were there we went to Jinja, to the slums. It was a very heartbreaking place to visit. The destitute and needy children living in extreme poverty and very dirty conditions were desperate for love and attention. We blessed them by giving them hugs, holding their hands, and singing with them. The mothers were also so desperate and yearning for help. We were able to pray for some specific mothers.
I had the privilege of holding a baby in my arms for quite some time while we walked around from place to place. When it was time for us to leave I wanted to give the baby back to the mother. She did not want to take the baby back but spoke to our interpreter and told her she wanted me to pray for the baby and give her a name. I felt really honoured and prayed for her dear baby. The interpreter thought the baby’s name should be Carol after me. So we left it at that, said good-bye and were about to leave, when one of our team members said to me, “Carol, why don’t you name the baby Ramona after your daughter who passed away?” I thought that was a good idea, so we hurried back to the mother. We told her about Ramona, and about her dream for Africa, and if she could name the baby Ramona. The mother was touched and said she would name the baby Carol Ramona. Wow! What a powerful experience. Think of it-a beautiful little African girl named Ramona growing up in the slums of Uganda. Who knows what God will do through her.
After a few nights in Kampala, we took the bus to Pamora. A number of men met us at the bus stop with the truck that was purchased a few months ago. They had put benches in the box of the truck, and we got a ride in the back with our luggage for the 7 km from the highway to Pamora.
How very good it was to be back there again. Such wonderful, giving, and caring people, who welcomed us, made us feel at home, gave us a place to sleep and fed us.
We were able to help with putting down the first bricks of the children’s home. Bricks, sand, and cement were hauled with the truck. Many, many hands put lots of work into the building. Women carried water from the well we drilled last year for the men to mix the cement. Children helped with hauling bricks in wheelbarrows, or with pumping water. Men mixed the cement and did the brick laying. We tried to get in there and help along as best we could. It was a whole community event.
It felt so good to be able to do something with our hands to help with the dire need we had seen earlier in the week. Building a home for 65 orphaned children.


June 27, 2012  They’re home!! Everyone except for Lisa (who’s coming home on Friday) made it home safely today.  Thank God for protection in travel and on their trip.  Stay tuned for lots of pics as well as stories!

June 22, 2012   Another update…possibly the last one before the team heads back home. The team continues to build the children’s home using bricks…the walls are going up. PTL!!! They will be attending a wedding sometime this weekend. On Sunday, the team will be attending church and Lisa will be speaking. On Monday they will all head back down to Kampala. PRAYER REQUESTS – One of the team members is not feeling well so please pray that God would bring restoration and healing! Pray for Lisa as she will be speaking at church on Sunday. As always, please pray for safety during travels. Thank you to everyone who has been supporting this team in prayer while they have been serving in Uganda. The Bible tells us in Matthew that “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” Let’s praise God for ALL the workers who are spending themselves in the mission field. Let’s continue to lift them all up in prayer. God bless!

June 21, 2012 The children’s home is well underway! Many bricks are being laid and a lot of cement is being poured. The building is coming up! This will be much more than just any building, it will change the lives of so many hopeless children. Thank you Ramona, for having such a beautiful dream! Thank you God, for making it happen!

June 18, 2012 This weekend was full of things to do for the team! On Saturday they went to see some land that Hearstrings owns in Dei, a village bordering Congo. Also, all of the building supplies were purchased this weekend. The team went to some hospitals to visit the sick as well. Today they went to get the bricks so the building can get underway! Keep praying for God to continue to work in the hearts of those the team encounters. Pray that they would see that God is good, and that He is faithful!

June 15, 2012 The team is safe and sound in Pamora! They were welcomed by people from the community and given their first of many meals consisting of rice and beans. The team has experienced God’s goodness in many ways already but the enemy has a way of discouraging when God’s work is being done. The team is in good spirits but is feeling some opposition. We praise God that he is stronger! Tomorrow morning, the first brick will be set in place for the start of the children’s home!

June 13 2012 The team spent most of the day in Jinja. There they spent the morning working(playing) with the kids at the slum. Also time was spent with the ladies of the slum encouraging them. Please pray that the Lord will touch their lives and that the church will be raised up to meet the needs of the orphaned and the oppressed

June 12 2012,  The team arrived in Kampala safe and sound.  Thank God for protection in traveling.  They are staying at a Dwelling Place guest house in Kampala city.

June 11 2012, A team consisting of John and Carol Petkau, AJ Reimer, Philip Plett, Clarence Sinclair, and Julia head to Africa to meet up with Gord and Lisa who headed out to Uganda last week. A young couple from the U.S.A. will be meeting them in Kampala, Uganda and are planning to stay in Pamora for up to one year.The team is planning to begin the actual construction of the orphanage.  The foundation is in place already and they plan on beginning the building stage with bricks as well as continue developing relationships and encouraging the people of the community in their walk with God.April 19th, 2012 We broke ground for the children’s home in Pamora Uganda! The foundation and slab for the floor will be completed, and we will be taking a team in June to work on the building. We also have purchased a truck for the project to haul all supplies needed. Praise God for his faithfulness. Thank you to all who have, fundraised, donated, prayed and encouraged us to walk out Isaiah 58:10!

The team spent most of the day in Jinja. There they spent the morning working(playing) with the kids at the slum. Also time was spent with the ladies of the slum encouraging them. Please pray that the Lord will to touch their lives and that the church will be raised up to meet the needs of the orphaned and the oppressed

I just got back from Pamora, and had an amazing tip. We brought money to continue the construction of the children’s home. The roof is completed, the doors and windows have been ordered, plumbing and electrical is being started and the walls will be plastered to complete the project.

For the past number of months this building has been used as a school to educate over 100 students whose parents can’t afford to send them to the local school. These kids have been coming early and receiving a porridge breakfast before classes begin every morning. While I was there I saw the students write their final exam before school breaks for a few months.

The people in Pamora are happy and optimistic and are putting more effort into growing gardens and small crops but Ialso saw how they struggle with sickness and disease.

I’m excited about the continuation of this project. I see so much need and many grateful Ugandans who are also excited to see positive change in their community.

John Petkau

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