Welcome to New Colleagues
Maria, New fundraiser in Relay Trust
Mission and development work costs money. That is why we in Relay Trust have chosen to engage a part-time fundraiser. Maria Silkjær will help us with applications and project descriptions so that we can hopefully obtain funding to cover more of our development-related projects, including our new venture on Farming God’s Way. We have asked Maria to introduce herself to our supporters:
Dear partners in Relay Trust.
It is my great pleasure to be able to take part in the wonderful work you do for people in need. Since I was a child, I have dreamed of becoming either a missionary in Africa or an electrician like my father. While my dream of becoming an electrician disappeared, my desire to help people in Africa has remained until this day. Today I am 35 years old and the development consultant in Farming4Life, an agricultural project my husband and I started in 2010. We have three lovely children aged 6, 9 and 12 respectively, who are also very fascinated by Africa as well as by dogs and animals in general. I am a trained teacher and animal behavior therapist. I teach a few days a week at the local school, and then I have a dog kennel with the cutest doodle puppies (poodle mixes). We live in the countryside, so there is also room for a few Icelandic horses, cats and turtles. In our family we share the joy of animals and the joy of Africa, and it is an advantage when work and interests are intertwined.
In Relay Trust, my husband and I have found a group of fiery souls with whom we share visions. I believe that synergy will emerge when we combine gospel knowledge with knowledge of how to become self-sufficient as well as with technology that can help distribute knowledge. Together I believe we can revolutionize the way people think about mission, development and knowledge sharing today, and that in a few years we can reach thousands of our fellow human beings and watch them rise from extreme poverty and hopelessness.
In the process of starting Farming4life I have accumulated a lot of experience in how to jointly plan projects and activities with local partners and how to nurture local ownership. In short, how to get from A to B. Since we started Farming4life we have reached 3,000 families in Uganda and established 3 cooperative societies as well as strengthened/ planted 26 congregations. Over the past 3 years we have reached 450 families in Togo.
I believe that in Relay Trust we have the potential to reach 5,000 families over the next five years, and not only reach them, but also equip them as expert teachers, so they can reach out to people in their own neighbourhoods. I have 9 years of experience in fundraising, and during the past 3 years I have applied for more than 4 million Danish kroner (615.000 USD) for development projects. This year I expect that we will get the first minor applications approved for our Relay Trust activities with a few hundred thousand Danish kroner (approximately 30.000 USD) to establish strong partnerships, networking and to build capacity in our organization. I expect that we will also get activities where we reach out to people with life-changing knowledge, which can be supported with up to half a million Danish kroner in the new year.
I look forward to being part of passing on the baton along with my amazing colleagues and partners in Relay Trust.
Thanks to all of you who are supporting us in various ways. You make it possible.
Warm regards Maria Silkjær
New Colleagues 2
Fidèle, New French / English Translator
Years ago, I was introduced to this lady by a friend. It was great to often visit her family and spend some time of Christian fellowship. Her name is Fidèle Constance ETJEKE, a Cameroonian national, based in Yaounde-Cameooon. She is a translator/interpreter trained in the Advanced School of Translators and Interpreters, ASTI, University of Buea, Cameroon. She has been on the field for 5 years now and provided translation, interpretation and other language-related services to several agencies, including NGOs, private and government entities. She is passionate about traveling, learning about different cultures and reading. You can tell by my introduction that she is a Christian and fervent believer. She is excited to join the Relay team and to work with us towards the achievement of our objectives in French-speaking African countries. She has a dream of ending her professional carrier in the most prestigious worldwide organization. Personally, she dreams to have a well-grounded and well-adjusted family of her own. She desires to discover God’s plan for her life and to fulfill His call.