The Henderson family philosophy is ‘everyone has a responsibility to make the world a better place.’ Their heroes are those who see a need, take action, and make a difference.
Joyce Anderson met John Henderson while attending the University of Toronto, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and her R.N. degree, and John graduated as an M.D. They married in 1962 and spent the next two years living and working on the Queen Charlotte Islands, under the auspices of the United Church. In 1964 they chose Salmon Arm as the place where they could raise a family and become part of the fabric of the community.
John became a highly regarded general practitioner (doctor and anaesthesiologist), while Joyce worked as an RN at the hospital. She then continued her education, achieving a Masters Degree in Public Health. She worked as a Public Health Nurse with Health & Welfare Canada, working with five different First Nations communities between Chase and the Okanagan. After that she taught nursing at Okanagan University College. There came a time when they wanted to give their children an opportunity to gain an under-standing of the wider world, so in the mid-1970s they took their four children, Paul, Bob, Barry and Laura, to rural Kenya where they volunteered for a year. This experience was the gene-sis of their interest and involvement in international health and community development.
Over the course of the next 30 years John & Joyce volunteered two more times in Kenya. Joyce also went to Ghana with fourth year OUC nursing students on an International Community Health Practicum. When she retired she taught nursing for a semester at the University of Development Studies in northern Ghana. Both Joyce and John had learned what worked best ‘on the ground.’ It became very clear to them that education is of paramount importance and effectiveness in creating choices, especially for women.
Now retired, John & Joyce wanted to give back to the community that has sustained them, yet also find a way to provide on-going financial support to people who are working in developing nations in an empowering way. In collaboration with UBC Okanagan, they established the Henderson Award in International Development Fund with the Shuswap Community Foundation. Income from the fund will be disbursed each year to the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus, to be awarded to a student, recommended by the Faculty of Health and Social Development in consultation with UBC’s Go Global program and the College of Graduate Studies, who is studying and is involved in community development initiatives in an international setting. They plan to make annual contributions to build up the fund, increasing the grant each year. The fund is open to anyone who would like to donate to it. By establishing this fund, the Henderson’s increased the value of the Foundation’s capital fund, thereby increasing the fund’s earnings, which benefits the entire Shuswap community, while the award made possible by the income from the fund perpetuates their vision of a safer, healthier life for disadvantaged people around the world. A perfect example of thinking globally, acting locally.