Saanich woman making a difference in Africa

Donna Cino is currently travelling through Tanzania, working as a child sponsorship ambassador with World Vision

Saanich resident Donna Cino is currently travelling through Tanzania

Donna Cino’s affinity for Africa began at an early age.

“My brother’s godfather worked (overseas) when we were kids and I think that got me going,” says the Saanich resident. “I was tiny and he would come home with slides and tell us stories about what was going on. So I always had an interest.”

These days, it is Cino who will be coming home with the stories and the slides, as she is currently travelling through Tanzania, a country of 51 million in the southeastern corner of Africa.

In her role as a child sponsorship ambassador with World Vision, Cino will be visiting various area development projects, many benefitting the local Muslim population, that World Vision undertakes in collaboration with locals in Tanzania, while raising awareness about World Vision child sponsorship program.

Cino, who sponsors three children herself, has seen its impact up close. While with World Vision in South Africa she encountered a local woman who was crying.

Cino soon realized the woman was crying for joy, as she had received a donated school uniform for her child.

“So these are the sort of things that you see and witness,” she says.

Cino’s current African trip, which began last month, is her third with World Vision and her fifth overall. As such, it helps her renew a lifelong love affair.

“To me, it’s where we all came from,” she says. “Once you have been…your heart just stay there.”

She experienced various hardships along the way, as the countries that she has visited over the years (South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe) consistently rank among the lowest of socio-economic development rankings.

The poverty and frequent absence of basic services such as power and water that Cino has encountered during her trips have altered her perspective.

“It really opens your eyes and broadens your horizons, that is for sure,” she says. “I find it makes me a lot more tolerant of things here.”

Her visits to Africa have also made Cino aware of the sense of community that has gone increasingly missing in developed countries such as Canada.

“The people [she has met in Africa] are fantastic,” she says. ”As poor as they are, they are so happy to see you and welcome you.”

Their daily experiences have also changed the way Cino lives her life. She has become more conscious about her water use and cut back on unnecessary expenditures around mass consumption events such as Christmas.

“The excesses that we used to do were crazy, compared to now,” says Cino’s husband Tom, who credits his wife’s trip and works for these changes. “I’m really proud of what she does. It’s amazing.”

Money now goes towards items and programs that cost little to Canadians, but can make a big difference abroad.

“If every Canadian were to sponsor a kid, there wouldn’t be the poverty that exists there,” says Cino.

 

Just Posted

Victoria Police host Faith-Based Safety Forum in light of recent religious attacks

More than 35 faith-based leaders voice concerns, air questions

Still barriers to abortion access on Vancouver Island

Experts say transportation, support, doctors can be barriers to accessing abortion

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Most Read