By helping soldiers help others, military mom, Maureen Eykelenboom has been nominated as a Transformational Canadian.
The Globe and Mail, along with CTV and Cyberpresse have partnered together to find 25 Transformational Canadians, who are being defined as Canadians who through their vision, leadership and actions have immeasurably improved the lives of others.
Eykelenboom has been nominated for the work she has done with Boomer’s Legacy, a foundation she created in memory of her son, Corporal Andrew James Eykelenboom, who was killed in Afghanistan. He was a medic and known to his friends as ‘Boomer’.
The legacy’s motto is “helping our soldiers help others” and that is what Eykelenboom has accomplished. To date Boomer’s Legacy has raised over $600,000.
The foundation raises funds for our soldiers to spend on the people whose country they are helping to rebuild. Funds are accessible to meet various needs identified by our soldiers while on patrol in remote areas or through the provincial reconstruction team members.
Since her son’s death in 2006, the legacy has helped many people in Afghanistan and funded projects like replacing a flock of sheep for a farmer whose flock was blown up by an IED, providing surgeries to ill and injured children, and providing medical supplies and food to villagers in Afghanistan.
Eykelenboom is honoured to be nominated. “I am both humbled and pleased that the work we are doing, and therefore the work that soldiers are doing, has been recognized,” she said.
A few of the projects that Boomer’s Legacy is currently working on and designating funds towards are:
Training midwives – The foundation supports a midwife program run in conjunction with the Mirwais Hospital in Kandahar, which is training Afghan women. The women will provide a basic level of medical care for people in their own villages as well as looking after women in childbirth.
Painting barriers around the University in Kandahar –This is project to have the barriers around the University in Kandahar painted. A similar project was done at a military camp.
Five surgeries for children – four heart surgeries and one limb replacement.
A sports program for children – This program is designed to get more youth, females and males, involved in sports activities as there will be less chance of them getting involved in insurgency or drug use. This program bans gender-based violence. It is believed the development of programs like this is an essential building block for the future in Afghanistan.
For more information go to the Globe and Mail website.