Stella Robi is surrounded by friends she has gained since her arrival in the Comox Valley. Photo by Brent Reid

UPDATE: Fundraiser in Courtenay for Kenyan student in need of financial help postponed

Original sponsor’s situation has changed and Stella Robi is unable to pay her foreign student fees

UPDATE: Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this event has been postponed indefinitely.


Submitted to The Record

Members of the Comox Valley community are raising funds for the education of a young Kenyan woman, Stella Robi, whom they have brought to the Valley to complete her tertiary education at North Island College. As her original benefactor’s situation has changed, she now needs additional funding in order to complete her final year.

Stella’s story:

“Best believe that I’ve come a long way to be here in the Comox Valley: from Africa to the Middle East and now to North America.

“It all started in the Middle East when I was going about my day-to-day chores cleaning houses and babysitting to make extra money. I met this lovely lady who was visiting from the Comox Valley. I should say she saw something in me that prompted her to seek a conversation. One chat led to another, a bunch of obstacles were passed, life sacrifices made, and here I am!

“I enrolled and graduated as a Health Care Assistant student in 2017 and am currently studying to become a Social Service Worker. I feel very fortunate to be here and the Comox Valley community has really come together to offer me support and encouragement on this life journey.”

Cheryl’s story:

“I met Stella through my friend, Cynthia, who was responsible for bringing her to the valley so that she could pursue her dream of a post-secondary education. Bright, eager to learn, hardworking, articulate, wise, and constantly grateful, Stella has been embraced by a local community of friends who are fundraising to pay for her foreign student fees, encouraging her and celebrating her successes. She, in turn, contributes so much to our community as she works with seniors, adding joy, compassion and care to their lives – and ours.

“Stella continues to achieve top marks and is motivated to do her very best as a sign of her gratitude to all of us, she says, unable to believe the generous and supportive community that is behind her.”

Christina’s story:

“Having been blessed with a privileged start of life at the southern end of Africa, one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2020 was to get involved in another ‘giving back’ project, with no idea what it might be. I also set the intention to use my huge collection of photographs to help others, with no idea what that might look like. Serendipity led me to Cheryl’s doorstep – to buy a pear pie to help Stella’s education fund and in that moment the idea for a larger fundraising event was conceived – to help generate the fees for Stella’s final semesters.”


Readers who feel moved to help Robi reach her goals, or are curious about Africa, are invited to join her community for a fun evening – which will include an “Armchair Travel Slide Talk about KwaZulu, the Land of the Zulu People” – on Saturday, April 4.

Our journey showcasing the smallest and lesser-known province of South Africa will begin in the majestic 3,000-metre high Drakensberg Mountains and end on the tropical coast, as our tour guide weaves a rich tapestry, with threads consisting of the natural and cultural history intertwined with a weft composed of the underlying geology that shaped it all.

Guiding us along this exotic journey will be Christina Nienaber-Roberts, a KwaZulu Natal native, former geologist, international speaker, Comox Valley resident and craniosacral therapist.

At this event additional opportunities to help Stella in manifesting her dream to complete her final year’s studies at NIC will include: a 50/50 draw and a silent auction; while a call will go out to anyone with great fundraising ideas and a willingness to help generate the $16,000 we need.

This inspiring opportunity to give and receive will take place at the Stan Hagan Theatre at North Island College on Saturday April 4. Doors open at 6 for a silent auction; talk at 7 p.m. Tickets, at $20 cash, are available from Laughing Oyster Books, Blue Heron Books, or Cheryl Macdonald (250-339-3679. With special thanks to everyone who has already bought tickets, helped spread the word, donated Silent Auction Items and have been working behind the scenes. FMI about this evening – or to donate good quality silent auction items – call Cheryl Macdonald at 250-339-3679. FMI on our tour guide please visit

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