Thursday, 23 July 2015

Rwese orphanage loses its international funding...

I recently received some incredibly sad and worrying news. I have been told by my colleagues in the Congo that Rwese orphanage has lost its international funding. This is devastating news as the orphanage is currently home to 80 orphans between the ages of 1 and 16 and without funding the orphanage will close and these children will have nowhere to go.

Many of you will remember the large orphanage tucked away in the hills between Butembo and Goma which I visited last year.

I arrived with box loads of clothes, shoes and toys for them all along with medical and school supplies.

For the last 25 years, REACH Italia, an Italian charity, has been covering the costs of food, clothing, medical care and staffing at the orphanage. Unfortunately a lack of donations has meant that the charity organisation can no longer afford the $3,000 (£2,000) per month to support these orphans.

Granted, £2,000 per month does sound like a lot of money but when you work it out, it means that each child has less than £1 per day to feed them, clothe them and treat them when they are sick. This doesn't cover the costs of school fees and school supplies to get them an education.

Luckily, some of these orphans have sponsors who are covering their school fees and while I was there last year, 28 orphans had their school fees paid for by friends of mine who had made a donation to the Mission Congo fund. 

I currently have a few people who have set up a monthly donation to continue to cover the costs of school fees for these children and if anyone else would like to do the same it's quick an easy to set up - just visit and go to our 'donate' page.

In the meantime our biggest concern is to try to help this orphanage to get new funding so it can stay open and continue to care for the 80 children who call this place home. I am in contact with various international NGOs but funding takes time and unfortunately these children don't have much time to spare. My fantastic friend and fellow advocate for Congolese orphans has managed to raise $3,000 to cover the costs of running the orphanage for the next month through her charity organisation in the states called Congo Children's fund but nobody knows how we will be able to buy food for these orphans next month.

What we need are big companies with deep pockets who would like to make a donation to help us start projects making things like water filters, soap, rearing chickens and growing crops so that this orphanage can help support itself. If anyone has any ideas on who we can contact or would like to help fundraise by organising an event in the UK and getting friends and colleagues involved then I'd love to hear from you. I know it's a big ask but I just can't bear to think that these little ones that were so happy when I arrived last year with gifts of clothes and toys might soon be abandoned and have to take care of themselves when they are still so young.