Award-winning author Yann Martel isn’t interested in gleaning publicity for his acts of charity. “The point is to help … not bring attention to me,” he says. “We learn by seeing what others do.”
What Martel did was partner with the Mennonite Central Committee last year to offer a house he owned for refugee newcomers.
It all started with Martel trying to decide what to do with the little house he and his partner Alice Kuipers bought when they first moved to Saskatoon.
The house is a clapboard structure built in 1912. The rooms are relatively small, there’s only one bathroom, and the walls were insulated only with newspaper. Martel and Kuipers did a lot of work improving the house, developing a yard and garden, and making it a home for themselves and the first three of their four children.
“The house had a nice feel to it,” Martel says. “It was cozy … …