Over the years, families often desire to donate gifts to the orphanages that cared for their children in an effort to enhance the lives of children left behind. We created our Gifts of Love program to allow our families to do just that!
Seeing the Need Firsthand
Our staff members visited orphanages in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in November, 2010, and witnessed first-hand the heart-melting stories of the country’s countless orphans. We traveled with CAN’s DRC in-country team down unpaved roads to an impoverished area of town, and were met by children playing soccer barefoot in the road outside the orphanage.
After announcing our arrival to the orphanage director, we were warmly greeted by the orphanage staff members and a swarm of young, bright-eyed children who were patiently awaiting a small lunch of rice and tomato sauce prepared by some of the older children. One of the staff members walked up with his arms full of a set of adorable fraternal twin infants, a boy and a girl, who had just been abandoned only a week earlier. The newest members of this orphanage’s large family of children stole our hearts, and from there we realized this was the place we could support, and from which our future adoptive families could be matched with their new Congolese sons and daughters.
As we played with the children, one of the DRC in-country team members began passing out handfuls of trail mix we had in our backpacks to the children anxiously awaiting their lunch. It was then that we saw generosity in its purest form straight from the hearts of the children. Since we had unfortunately come up short on snacks for the larger than expected number of children, those who were given the handful of trail mix began passing out one nut or dried cranberry to each child holding out their hand, so that each one would have at least one bite of our trail mix delicacy. We discovered through our visit that these children need our help, and we have plans underway to provide donations for these children who have shown us their beautiful hearts for others.
Congo Orphan Project
We support a humanitarian aid group called Espoir Congo in the DRC. The individuals who run this project tirelessly who devote themselves to helping children and have supported CAN in the development of our adoption program. We want to give back by supporting their orphan projects in DRC, where close to 11% of the total child population is orphaned. Espoir Congo has created projects caring for over 100 orphaned children in a small village outside of Kinshasa. They provide the following services to the orphans of all ages:
- Weekly distribution of food
- Distribution of medicine, as needed
- Distribution of other necessities, such as clothing, hygiene items, and toys
- Education: enrollment of the children in local schools and the supply of uniforms and books. A school building was completed and classes are underway, but there is still a great need for supplies.
- Agricultural project: Vegetables and pineapples are grown as a micro enterprise to provide income to support the orphan work. Plans are underway for the addition of fish ponds and agricultural training for older boys.
- Vocational training: A training center where the older orphaned children learn agriculture, woodwork and sewing, which will enable them to make a living.
Although the country is rich in abundant natural resources, with its history of civil unrest, it’s an understatement that the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have suffered enormously. Sixty percent of the population of the capital, Kinshasa, are children, and many daily wander the streets scrounging for a living, each day more vulnerable than the last.
Help Espoir Congo in DRC by providing donations for their orphan projects! Click here and select “Congo Orphan Project” to donate.
Our representatives in Uganda have a huge heart for children and for their country. Their main project is the development of a fully self-supporting school and facility for orphans in war-torn northern Uganda, where the teachers receive training and the children receive holistic care, including emotional healing. Children also receive schooling aimed at academic excellence and character building, while providing them with opportunities for a variety of forms of vocational training. Changing lives for the better is as the heart of the process of transformational development.
Uganda is a unique and wonderful country that is beautifully green and unusually fertile, but it has been ravaged by war for many years. Idi Amin’s regime killed hundreds of thousands, followed by the atrocity-ridden war with the LRA rebels for 20 years in the northern part of Gulu, ending only a few years ago. There is a huge vacuum for healing, for training, and for love. A shocking 58% of the population are 15 years and younger, and child-headed families abound. There are millions of orphans, especially in the north of the country where we are focusing our efforts, where so many were abducted from their schools to be forced into becoming child soldiers or sex-slaves to the officers of the rebels.
You can help our representatives in Uganda by providing donations for their orphan school. To donate today, please click here and select “Uganda Orphan School” to make your donation!