Archive for the ‘Partners’ Category

Photo of the Week: Aloha from the Eco-Holiday photoshoot

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Mia Wesley, Social Media Coordinator 

On March 22, Compassionate Eye Foundation celebrated World Water Day at the Seaview Eco-Epicurean Waterfarm in Puna, Hawaii! At this unique location the photographer and founder of CEF, Robert Kent, was joined by photographer Attila Pohlmann and the shoot producer Zoe Eisenberg collaborating together for a family themed Eco-Holiday photoshoot. Below is a behind-the-scenes shot from the day featuring three of our fantastic volunteers and photographer Robert Kent.

Unsure of what an eco-holiday is? Look no further! Eco-holidays, also known as ecotourism, are a responsible form of travel to natural areas that help to conserve the most pristine areas of our environment. This form of travel is much more sustainable than traditional mass tourism. Ecotourism is not only a more environmentally sustainable form of travel but it also helps to educate the local and global communities about the importance of environmental preservation.

The Hawaiian Islands have some of the worlds most complex ecosystems and consequently the islands are at a very high risk as climate change continues to threaten the ecosystems. There is so much to learn and explore throughout the various ecosystems of the Hawaiian Islands and eco-holidays are one of the best ways to do it. The Seaview Eco-Epicurean Waterfarm is an absolutely breathtaking facility which provides “the lower Puna community with purified, blessed and structured water.” Please visit the Seaview Eco-Epicurean Waterfarm’s website to learn more about their environmentally sustainable and innovative approach to the most sacred source of life: water.


Photo of the Week: World Water Day

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Mia Wesley, Social Media Coordinator

Did you know that more than one billion people around the world lack access to clean water? This Sunday, March 22nd, is World Water Day and in recognition of this day we’d like to share a photograph from one of our clean water projects in Cambodia taken by Vancouver based photographer, Steven Ericco. The newly developed wells funded by the Compassionate Eye Foundation benefits students as well as the residents of the Kauk Chrey and Mook Pen communities of rural Cambodia. With these projects we hope to not only improve the access to clean water but to also advocate healthier and brighter futures to the individuals within these rural communities. Clean water projects are one of the most fundamentally important projects organized by the Compassionate Eye Foundation, therefore the promotion of this day is very close to our hearts.


Dan Rogers: Hope in Cambodia

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Dan Rogers, Board Chair

Several Compassionate Eye Foundation board members and a photographer spent late December and early January traveling in Cambodia, the site of many of our health and education projects. Dan Rogers, board chair, shares his thoughts on the journey:

One of the great joys of being on the Board of Directors of Compassionate Eye Foundation is having the opportunity to travel to other countries and see how projects we have funded are making a difference. This year’s trip was to Cambodia.









Cambodia is a complicated country. Thirty years of war, bombings, and a horrific genocide have had a terrible impact on the country and the people who live there. In some ways, Cambodia is in recovery mode and in other ways it is still struggling. It’s hard to not become aware of the large scale corruption and inequity in the country when looking at projects and programs to potentially fund. The government is filled with millionaires and billionaires while most people can’t afford basic health care and students pay 25 cents a day to go to school because the administrative staff and teachers are so poorly paid (an average $80-$100 a month). However, good news exists in the hard work and generosity of many ordinary Khmer, and the work being done by so many organizations like Kids International Development Society (KIDS), supported by groups like Compassionate Eye.

If you only go to Siem Reap in Cambodia (and many visitors do, simply to stay in a foreign owned hotel and visit Angkor Wat) it is a bit like going to Las Vegas to understand America. The surface of Siem Reap is not real but right below the surface it’s all there: the poverty and lack of any social safety net except for what NGOs provide; the children selling t-shirts or working in rice fields instead of going to school.

But there are great stories to share and there are the smiles of people who seemingly have little reason to. The kids who go to school love it! It is an escape from the toil of planting a rice field or working in the brutal brick yards. It is a chance for students to learn, do art, sing, and maybe a chance to change their future. Literacy is so important to making a better life and getting a better job, which in turn enables an individual to help a sister or nephew, and so on.

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One day we visited children in a program called Smart Kids, funded by KIDS. These children receive uniforms and bicycles so they can travel the 13 kilometres to high school each day. One girl we spoke with lived with her disabled father and her three younger siblings (her mother had died) in a shack on the side of the road. Another lived with her mother in the corner of a brick factory. This program enables these children and gives them a chance. We hope to help KIDS expand this program.

As its name implies, KIDS focuses on kids. We met so many wonderful children in schools and got to know a group at a girls’ home. Such lovely kids with often very difficult backgrounds, but now with a lot of hope because they are in a safe place and go to school. And there are tens and hundreds and thousands more that need the same chance. Groups like KIDS are giving some that chance. Compassionate Eye Foundation is proud to support them–and as a Compassionate Eye supporter, you should be proud too!

You can view more photos from the journey on Facebook or by following us on Instagram!

CAUSE Kids Peer Literacy Program

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Leah Yee, Social Media Manager

Three days until Giving Tuesday! Compassionate Eye Foundation is committed to finding creative ways to support global development and this year we have chosen to raise funds for CAUSE Kids’ Peer Literacy Program in the Koinadugu District of Sierra Leone.


The program trains 60 secondary school girls to teach younger students how to read. Studying under a full-time literacy coordinator, they will develop the teaching and leadership skills needed to teach phonics and reading. After completing a year of training, they will graduate as peer literacy tutors and teach 2,880 students at nine schools during after-school classes. The high school students receive funds to pay for the necessary school fees, uniforms, and supplies so that they can continue their education. Every one of the students who participate in this program will have a higher chance of continuing their education.

However, the formal education system in Sierra Leone has been severely disrupted by the Ebola outbreak. As a preventative measure, the government has determined that there should not be gatherings of more than 15 people, resulting in school and markets closures. Continuing its focus on education no matter what the challenges, CAUSE Kids has come up with a unique workaround by airing lessons on the radio and holding small group home lessons. The Peer Tutors are working with the classroom teachers to provide small groups of children education.


Celebrate this Giving Tuesday by giving the gift of education and make a donation now. Every dollar donated will be matched by CEF and a sponsor – your contribution will triple in impact!

Join the #GivingTuesdayCA movement and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

#CEFxHeroImages – What’s the Buzz?

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Jenn Laidlaw, Blog Manager


You may have noticed the #CEFxHeroImages countdown on our social media channels this month. Perhaps you are seeing #CEFxHeroImages for the first time and wondering if it’s an algebra equation. Either way, you are likely asking yourself what does it all mean? Now is the time to find out as we are only 1 day away!

On September 13, photographers from Hero Images, who are based out of Calgary, will be invading Vancouver. But not to worry – this is a friendly invasion, their name does contain the word “hero” after all! They will descend on the city with 4 camera bodies, 12 lenses, 4 laptops, and as many lights, stands, and props as they can fit into their suitcases! These photographers are taking part in their first Compassionate Eye Foundation photoshoot as part of our summer Focus on Change 2014 Photoshoot Tour and we can’t wait to see them in action.

The location: The beautiful Perkins + Will office in downtown Vancouver.

Be a part of the excitement! Bookmark this page and make sure you check back to see the outcome of this exciting photoshoot! If you like what you see, please share it with your social communities and help us increase the buzz about CEF and our partners.Use the hashtag #CEFxHeroImages when posting and sharing online and make sure you are following us on Instagram + Twitter Facebook

New Funding Partner: Seaview Eco-Epicurean Waterfarm

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Dan Rogers, Board Chair


Compassionate Eye Foundation is very pleased and excited to announce a new funding partnership, with a historical twist. Earlier this year CEF entered into an agreement with the Seaview Eco-Epicurean Waterfarm in Puna, Hawaii wherein the Waterfarm would donate 25% of all sales to CEF’s global projects. Waterfarm is a community organization which provides locals in the lower Puna area with blessed and structured water through monthly co-op memberships.

But why? One of the founders of the Waterfarm is our founder, Robert Kent. Robert continues to make a difference in the world on so many levels.  Below is an excerpt from the Seaview Water Farm website:

25% of all Seaview Eco-Epicurean Waterfarm water sales will be donated directly to CEF’s work around the world. This amount will also be matched by CEF. For every $5 you donate for your water, we will donate $1.25 to CEF, which will be matched 1:1, resulting in $2.50 of impact in developing nations. The primary focus of these projects will be on clean water programs.

You can learn more about Seaview here!

Here’s to fresh, pure water around the world.  Many thanks to Robert and all involved in the Farm!

Get (more) connected with your community: Timeraiser 2014

Monday, May 5th, 2014

John Grant, CEF Contributor

Timeraiser banner

This week we encourage you to get more connected and aware of the volunteer organizations in your community by checking out a local Timeraiser event if you’re in Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Montreal, or St. John’s

Not familiar with the initiative? If you’re interested in art and in volunteering then this is the perfect event for you! Bid time (instead of money) on original local art. The time you bid then goes towards a volunteer non-profit organization who needs some help. Once your bid (hours) are fulfilled then you walk away with a beautiful new piece of art – and one that has a pretty cool story behind it when your friends and family ask about it! 

Read about one of our volunteers’ experience with Timeraiser here!

An Experience in 100 Hours

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

By John Grant, CEF Contributor

Timeraiser Vancouver is an annual event where attendees can bid volunteer hours of their own time in exchange for artwork by local artists. CEF has been participating in this event since 2010 as a non-profit organization who volunteers can pledge their time to.  The next event is happening May 8th at Segal Place in Vancouver, and you can get your tickets here.

John Grant shares with us his experience as a Timeraiser volunteer:

In November 2012, I took on a big challenge as a participant of Timeraiser Vancouver; I pledged to volunteer 100 hours with non-profit organizations in Vancouver over the next 12 months. In return, I got to take home a highly coveted piece of artwork, which was beautifully crafted by Sarah Mulder. My Timeraiser experience introduced me to a number of interesting and important organizations – including Compassionate Eye Foundation. What initially drew me to CEF was that it is a unique non-profit that marries two of my big interests: photography and support for developing countries. In some ways I thought it was too good to be true that such an organization exists!

I attended several CEF events, including their year-end celebration, Wrap8, and a fundraising event. I found both to reveal a community of very interesting people who I had great conversations with and who shared similar interests – something that isn’t always easy to find.

Chatting with CEF’s Executive Director, Susan McDonald, brought me even closer to the organization as she listened to the skill sets that I had and what my areas of interest were. She quickly identified a few ways that I could give back to the organization, while also building up some nice portfolio pieces for myself.  One of my favorite contributions is creating CEF’s monthly internal newsletter, In Focus.

I managed to contribute around one hour each week for the past year with CEF and met some great people along the way. I was also given some very cool exclusive access to a professional photo shoot; it was kind of a dream come true for an amateur photographer like myself!

You can read all about my experience with CEF and other volunteer groups I became involved with over the past year on my blog. Today, I proudly display my artwork piece in my home as a reflection of completing my volunteer hours. Now that my official Timeraiser experience is complete, I find that the artwork was merely a goal and a catalyst for me to experience something grander: The ability to connect with communities and to experience situations that I normally wouldn’t encounter. For that alone, I encourage you to also find an organization that reflects something that you’re passionate about and offer to provide them with a few hours of your time. In the end, the result will likely surprise you!

A huge thank you to John for sharing his experience with us, and for his continued work with CEF!

Thank you, for one COOL event!

Friday, March 22nd, 2013



Last night’s On the Rock’s Community Love for Clean Water fundraiser held at Heritage Hall was a wonderful event!

Sincere thanks to Jennifer Trayler and Danielle Nesbit of On the Rocks for initiating this event for CEF. They may be Ice Princesses, but they have the warmest hearts! Thanks too, to their family and friends who supported in so many ways!

The students from the Arts Institute’s Event Planning program Euthia Pham, Carla Pruner, Julia Wu and Ni Zhao did a wonderful job planning and preparing for the evening.  Thanks to the Culinary Students who took care of the food and worked behind the scenes in keeping tasty bites flowing throughout the evening.

The flair bartender, Daniel Branson, was exceptional and presented all the drinks, including the specialty drink featuring On the Rocks Ice spheres with panache!  Cakewalk Media captured the event with some great images

A highlight of the evening was the live entertainment provided by Greg Drummond and friends. Special thanks to the donors of silent auction items.  Many happy people walked out of the hall last night with beautiful purchases.

It was a terrific time to meet new friends and old.  It was a great night of connection – person to person, community to community. The event, held in celebration of World Water Day (March 22) raised money for clean water projects through CEF (if you didn’t catch the post about the recent project in Cambodia, read it here).

Thank you to everyone who supported this event in so many different ways! Stay tuned for more coverage and photos from what was definitely the COOLEST event in town!


More Stories from K.I.D.S. International – Small Donations that Make a Big Difference

Thursday, February 7th, 2013
Rey Buenaventura, CEF Social Media Manager

Compassionate Eye Foundation

Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference in someone’s life.  Nowhere is this more evident than in the stories shared by Adrienne & Rick Dartnell of K.I.D.S. International. CEF has been a big supporter, partner and friend of K.I.D.S. International and we’ve always felt inspired when we hear how much good work the Dartnells are undertaking. Below are some stories we’d like to share with all of you.

Dear Friends, 

There is a small family who lives on our street. Sompea, [and] her mother… live together with Sompea’s little girl Srey Moa who is five. They work all day long from dawn to late into the evening most every day of the week so [that] they can educate and clothe [Srey Moa]. They live in the shop/house which is one very small room . Everyday we walk past they smile, chat, laugh and never complain. We have helped them in the past with a new sewing machine and this year K.I.D.S. has sponsored the little girl for a year’s worth of tuition at a better school. The family are thrilled and it is great to see the little one go off to school in her uniform…she is teaching her Mom English!
Vanna, a man who lost both of his arms below the elbows to a land-mine, refuses to beg for a living – as many disabled people [in Cambodia] are forced to do. He stands by the side of the road day in day out and sells books out of a small cart while his wife does washing. They have two young daughters that we will sponsor for another year of education. 
Our regular tuk tuk (a small passenger trailer that is pulled by a motorcycle) driver for the past four years, whom we have gone on many missions with, has been saving to replace his [rickety old] motorcycle… This year, [we noticed that] the motorcycle was in a very sorry condition. He had saved a fair bit towards a new bike, but it was easy to see that the machine was deteriorating faster than the savings were accumulating. KIDS topped up his savings and he is now the very proud owner of a much newer bike that will allow him to continue to support his wife and two small kids for years to come. His wife was going to use the old motorcycle to get to market and take the kids to school but it breathed it’s last gasp a week after it was retired, so its replacement was timely. The family insisted we have lunch with them at their home…. [a] one room flat, which only had two mattresses, also on the floor. We talked, ate and had some laughs and they asked us to pass on their thanks.  
Sopeak [is a] girl that KIDS supports for education, who has… hearing problems.  She will [soon] graduate from grade twelve in a couple of months. We went to their house in the countryside to visit and have lunch.  She is doing very well with her English. Her family works very hard and are very poor. They are always incredibly kind to us and do their best to keep enough food on the table for the seven of them. A few years ago Sopeak had the opportunity to learn to sew with an organization and [she] proudly showed us several shirts that she had made for herself and family members.  However her family could not afford a treadle sewing machine. With funds donated we  went out and bought her one and some material to make some clothes. Sopeak was very happy and said the first shirt she would make would be for her father as he works so hard. 
We have much more to tell but will wait for a later time…
All the Best,
Adrianne and Rick