My African Adventure Meet Lea Apostoleris

My name is Lea Apostoleris. I have been Atlantic Canada’s territory representative with Purity Life for almost ten years now! I am proud to have grown, over the years, alongside such a great company. Because of our mutual values, commitment, passion, and integrity, rather than drifting apart, Purity and I have moved forward together in this industry. Purity Life has always encouraged and enabled me to pursue my professional and personal goals. Because of Purity Life and Natural Calm Canada, I was recently able to fulfill a lifelong dream: to visit Africa. I was also lucky to do it with a fellow retailer, who is now a close friend, from Corn Crib Natural Foods in Saint John. Continue reading to find out the details of my African adventure.

Everyone Needs to be Part of the Solution

Walking on African soil has been on my bucket list for years. This continent, so rich in natural resources, history, culture, and beauty, has always called to me in a way I find hard to express. I had spent countless hours perusing websites promoting aid missions, fundraising initiatives, and sponsorship opportunities for this broken continent, but they always failed to convince me that my investment would actually make a difference. Then I met Dale and Linda Bolton of Natural Calm Canada and learned about how they are not only helping countless Canadians with their patented ionic magnesium product but are also working to end extreme poverty. Sounds like a pretty big order, eh? Some might even go as far as to say it’s nothing but a pipe dream. How can we possibly end extreme poverty? I wanted to see for myself what this company was all about. I wanted to know how our selling an already-amazing product could actually provide an answer to a problem this world has been struggling with for years. So I went. And I saw. And I’m here to tell you—every person who reads this—that you are part of the solution, and it’s not that hard.

My African Adventure - Green SmoothieLet Food By Thy Medicine

Dale and Linda founded Thrive ten years ago. They have taken the same message we as health-food retailers, manufacturers, and distributors have been advocating for years and brought it to a place that needs it the most: Let food be thy medicine. They started a school in Kitale, Kenya, to teach just that.

I thought I knew what I had signed up for. But it wasn’t until I arrived and got to tour their school, meet their students, and listen to their stories that I was really able to see the change we can all be a part of by selling Natural Calm and supporting those living in extreme poverty with proper nutrition, education—and repetition. How many times do we as educators have to drill into someone’s head that sugar is bad and greens are good? It is no different at Thrive; however, in conditions of extreme poverty, it’s a matter of life and death.

Villages, Schools, Slums and Prisons – Where to Next?

Thrive works with small-scale farmers, focusing on four goals: food security, nutritional education, disease prevention, and income generation. For one month, four times a year for two years, students learn about gardening, proper nutrition, and healing herbs in the first year. In the second year, they continue to learn about nutrition as well as community development, time management, and income generation. Back in their villages, the students do the practical work of getting people to commit to My African Adventure investing their time in maintaining a green-based garden. Once an agreement is reached with that village, Thrive provides them with seeds, tools, and, most importantly, a course on composting, bringing the soil to life, crop rotation, seed drying, and the importance of growing nutrient-dense foods to fight and prevent disease. This also generates income for the community when they sell their surplus vegetables. When the students graduate, they receive compensation for each garden they successfully set up, thereby creating yet another income source! Currently, Thrive has projects in prisons, villages, schools, slums, and surrounding African countries. Next, they have their sights set on refugee camps and India!

African Adventure Opens Minds

The opportunities are endless, and you can even implement them right here at home. Although we do not experience anything close to what those in extreme poverty experience, we are still in desperate need of education on getting back to the land—to the soil, and letting food be our medicine. I’m sure that is why most of you do what you do! I find it quite ironic that I had to travel all the way to Africa to learn the best way to plant a garden!

In a place where the world’s resources are the richest, its citizens are among the world’s poorest. Where medicinal plants such as Artemisia (wormwood) and Moringa grow in the ditches, most people suffer yearly from malaria and malnutrition, cholera, and typhoid. Where the growing season for healthful fruits and veggies is twelve months a year, people starve. This does not have to be.

Choose HopeMy African Adventure - Kids

Now more than ever it is so important to keep organizations such as Thrive going. The EU has declared Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Ethiopia to be in a crisis of extreme famine right now! One garden with one water well per community can literally fix this problem. I have seen it happen! And I have also seen what it looks like when it doesn’t happen. I choose hope. I choose to donate my money to organizations such as Thrive rather than sponsorships or dead aid. “Teach a man to fish, and he will eat for life.” That old proverb still rings true.

If you are interested in learning more about this amazing trip, please contact Dale or I. Do yourself a favour and open your eyes to how the other half lives, then reach into your heart and ask yourself what you can do to help. Natural Calm has made it easy for each one of us to effect change.

Click here to find out how you can win a trip to Africa with Thrive.


Lea Apostoleris

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A story of how Nic Soontiens and his wife won a trip to Africa with Thrive.

Local Grocery Store Visit Turns Into a Trip to Africa

When my 11-year old daughter and I popped into Nature’s Way Select Foods & Brewing Supplies located at 2676 County Road 43 in Kemptville, never would we have imagined that we would walk out of the store with a FREE TRIP TO AFRICA!

Well, we didn’t exactly know that we had won a trip until several months later, but to this day we still think, “what are the chances!?”

Nature’s Way was having a customer appreciation day in 2016 when my daughter and I stopped in. Seeing the store decorated with banners, balloons and various door prizes to be won certainly got our attention. As we nibbled on free samples here, filled out some ballets there, we noticed this one eye-catching enticement: “Win a Trip for 2 to Kenya, Africa!”

Natural Calm Canada Supports Trip to Africa

The trip was sponsored by Natural Calm Canada, a high-quality magnesium supplement well-known to customers and those in the natural food industry. So ‘naturally,’ I filled out a ballot! Having secured our groceries, we went on our merry way. Several months later we received a call from the Natural Calm Canada head office. They indicated that I had won the national grand prize: a trip for two to Kitale, Kenya, including a safari! At first, I immediately interrogated the girl on the phone to confirm that this was not a scam. Then I was dumbfounded and over the moon all in one! That one phone call started a chain of events that brought us to the amazing continent of Africa. A trip that my wife Jules and I will not soon forget.Trip to Africa with Organics 4 Orphans

Dale and Linda Bolton are the co-owners of Natural Calm Canada and every so often, they sponsor a trip such as the one that we were a part of. One of the reasons they do this is to bring awareness to an amazing organization that is changing lives in Africa. They started a non-profit organization called Thrive which is funded by the proceeds from Natural Calm. Thrive has one lofty goal: to end extreme poverty. With the opportunity to participate in a hands-on way during our trip to Kenya, Jules and I saw the direct impact that Thrive was having overseas. As I scrutinized the model that they are using to achieve their one goal, I remember thinking that it just makes so much sense!

Thrive for Good Teaches Anyone and Everyone

Thrive has a training school in Kitale, Kenya. Here they teach students, young and old, how to grow organic food at low cost. The graduates then work with others in their respective communities to start up community gardens. They also build nutritional awareness of what healthy eating actually looks like. While at the training center, the students also learn about food security, income generation, and disease prevention.

We got to visit several of these community garden projects. It provided the opportunity to connect with the locals who were involved in growing their own food. Despite the harsh conditions of the dry season that these communities face, it was clear that Thrive is having an impact. The graduates teach the members of the community the skills they have learned. This allows the community members to have nutritional food to eat and are able to grow healing, immune-building foods, and as a result, are healthier.

A 19-year old Girl Shines Light in the Kitale Prison

One out trip to the Kitale Prison showed this model in a “win-win-win” kind of way. This community garden project was started in the prison by a very special Kenyan girl named Joyce. She was only 19 when she started the prison garden project. At the time of our visit, it was an incredible thing to behold. Prisoners had something very positive with which to occupy their time in jail. As well, upon release, they actually had transferable skills and the capacity to generate income. They were eating their own healthier food, which meant lower food costs for the prison and fewer inmates at the infirmary. After seeing the multi-faceted benefits to this particular project, Jules and I believed in the model that Thrive is using to reach their goal of ending extreme poverty.

To be able to participate in this amazing journey where we saw once-sick people healthy again, hopeless people with a passion for the future, and countless lives transformed Jules and I still think about all the lives that Natural Calm through Thrive has impacted. Although, we are not sure which lives were impacted more, and it leaves us wondering, “what are the chances!?”

Nic Soontiens is an infantry officer with the Canadian Armed Forces. He lives in the Kemptville area with his wife Jules and their children.             

Win a Trip to Africa This Coming January!

Click here to find out more about how you can win a trip to Africa. Take part in the unique experiences that Nic and Jules had.


Trip to Africa - Nic and Jules