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Gondwe Relatives & Friends: Shelby Shemilt
Profile by Eric Gondwe

Ms Shelby Shemilt is a dream-child for every family and community, and a dream-friend for all in society. She is a super humanitarian with a selfless heart that can be likened to historical greats like Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr. and other Christian saints.

At Gondwe Community promoting humanitarianism is our second most important priority (after Christian evangelism). We’re therefore blessed to have a close Gondwe friend who is a classic example of humanitarianism.

Born in 1991 in Vancouver Island, Canada, Ms Shemilt has been a humanitarian since early childhood. You’d almost assume it’s her inborn nature until you learn about her upbringing. Her parents have been serving in humanitarian causes long before she was born. However Shelby has gone an extra mile, several extra miles to be a little precise. Her whole life evolves around humanitarian causes.

Shelby Shemilt’s major service in charitable causes started in high school when she moved beyond corresponding with pen pals to sponsoring children in Africa, serving in school charity clubs, volunteering to help special needs children in her community, promoting children charities (orphanages) online, and so on. She now has four sponsor children, all based in African countries.

Shelby has just turned 18 (2009): Where on earth has she been getting the money to sponsor four children on a monthly basis all these years? (She now has nine children sponsored monthly! -as of March 2009).

She has been supporting the children through teaming up with her parents and through her own income of distributing newspapers in her neighborhood. The neighborhood newspaper distribution job historically for boys who were called “paperboys” or “newsboys” has for long graduated to boys and girls -paperkids. It’s been traditionally the first paying job available to teenagers and preteens in many Western nations.

That’s the amazing story of Shelby Shemilt’s determination and labor of love to children in need. She basically took the penny job to support “her kids” since at the end of every month she barely had any any money left to spare for her own needs -teenage wants like movies, music, endless trendy clothes and shoes, and so on. Even pocket money from her parents would sometimes end up being used in her charity programs.

She is still a down to earth person, full of life -just seeking to share it with as many as possible. She enjoys watching movies, going out with friends, blasting her music, the list goes on - and Lord have mercy: even shopping.

She’s a Christian but maintains that her humanitarian passion is not as a result of seeking to fulfill Christian responsibilities but as a result of the immense need out there. This can be said without being said. Her life is self evident. A Christian merely desiring to fulfill Christian responsibilities would simply spare some of his/her change and then pat himself on the back.

In her online work Shelby has a personal blog, pen-pal groups she coordinates, and social networks to spread the word or link up with like minded people. For example she manages the pen pal group for Child-Hope, Zambia, Africa, which she established after an orphanage she supported found itself in administrative problems then closed. She has coordinated many pen pal groups for different orphanages, some tremendous results in creating a synergy network and some with little cooperation from orphanage administrators - including embezzled pen pal program funds and gifts.

Thus her spirit is unbreakable in her pursuit to make a difference in the lives of others. Many in the face of disappointment simply quit and use their disappointment as an excuse not to continue helping people in need. Not so with Shelby Shemilt.

She’ll be completing high school (secondary school) in June 2009 and has already received job offers. She intends to work before pursuing any higher education.

No, you won’t get a prize for guessing right on what career area she’s received job offers. It’s too obvious to figure out. Incidentally she was sought after because of her service in charity and community clubs at her school. Someone was noticing her good deeds.

Her guardian angels must be rejoicing to see her enter a new phase of life full of meaning and purpose. We earthlings also rejoice for how God has been taking Shelby Shemilt from one level of noble service to another. Our continued best wishes and prayers for her entire life and future.


AfricaCanada: Shelby’s personal blog. Her life, her service, etc

Facebook.com/ShelbyAfrica: Shelby’s Facebook page. You can add her as a Facebook pal.

ChilelekoChristianSchool.blogspot.com: Shelby’s blog for Chileleko Christian School for children

Facebook Group account for: Chileleko Christian School,  for children in need

ShelbyAfrica: Shelby’s Youtube channel. You can add her to your channel

Africa_HilaryDuff_Shelby: Shelby’s MySpace page. You can add her as a MySpace friend

WickedPesto (aka Not Normal): Lawrence Shemilt’s personal blog (Shelby’s daddy). He seems like a philosopher. It’s a brainy blog to browse. One quote from his blog: “The 200 richest people in the world have more money than the poorest 582 million people combined.” This is why we have such inequalities and wonderful people like Shelby Shemilt are striving to bridge the gap.

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