Rick Wiebe, owner of Colour Carpet Centre in Red Deer is helping to make a difference in the lives of others, so much so that a lady in Kenya decided to name her store Red Deer Shop & Grocery.
Wiebe does his volunteering through A Better World in Lacombe. One of the many things A Better World does is income generating, something Wiebe helps do in Kenya.
“I work with local Kenyans and I help them develop ideas and different things to generate income for themselves and for different corporations,” he said.
Wiebe’s first trip with A Better World was back in 2011 and he hasn’t looked back since.
“I typically try to come at least two times a year.”
Wiebe and his company Carpet Colour Centre drilled two water wells in two different locations in Lodwar a few years ago, which have been running ever since.
“That water has helped thousands of people in that area and they regularly have droughts,” said Wiebe.
A few years ago, it was decided that they would build a school where one of those wells is located. And that school now stands, taking up to Grade 4 students. A Better World is currently raising money for another two classrooms as supporting education is a big part of what they do.
Wiebe decided to help one particular teacher who wasn’t paid anything for a year open up a shop.
“Because of A Better World’s involvement and my involvement with her she decided that she was going to call her shop the Red Deer Shop & Grocery. And that’s because her source of help, her source of income and her source of strong advice came from Red Deer,” said Wiebe.
He chatted with the teacher, encouraging her to sell something unique – something cold and refreshing.
“The idea of buying an inexpensive slushy machine (came up) because it costs almost nothing and you can sell it for the price of a bottle of Coke, so she jumped on that idea. And she will have the first Slurpee machine in Northern Kenya,” he said with a laugh.
He said they are working on sourcing the machine and supplies.
“There is huge potential for uptake for her to earn some money and support herself so that she can continue teaching at the school.”
Another way Wiebe has helped with income generating is helping a group start a school uniform project, which A Better World is looking to apply to a couple of their projects.