Thank You To All Of Our Donors Who Have So Generously Supported Us in 2019!
Your contributions are making a huge impact in the lives of 35 war orphans in the Congo. It is not too late to make a donation before the 2019 tax deadline. Tax receipts will be issued for all donations made before midnight on December 31, 2019.
This past week the children and staff of Grace Orphanage made the move to their new, permanent home. This is the culmination of years of hard work, planning, and incredible financial support from so many generous donors. To mark this milestone occasion, we thought we should take a look back at how much has been accomplished since IWOF officially incorporated and began supporting Grace Orphanage back in June of 2013.
International Widows & Orphans Fund (IWOF) Incorporated
A team from Nanaimo with a heart for orphans came together to formally incorporate IWOF to raise funds in support of Grace Orphanage. IWOF officially received Charitable Status registration with the CRA in February 2014.
Introduction - Grace Orphanage - 2013
Children Start Attending School
Education was the first priority, and in September 2013, all the children were able to attend school - some for the very first time!
Small Vegetable Garden Started
A small vegetable garden was planted at the orphanage to supplement a staple diet of rice and beans.
Children Moved to Mango Tree School
The children moved to Mango Tree School with smaller class sizes and dedicated teachers.
First IWOF Visit
Johann Van Rensburg led a small team from Nanaimo to meet the children and the team on the ground, and to see first-hand the situation in the Congo (DRC).
Container Arrives at the Orphanage
A 40-foot container was sent from Canada to Congo in June to provide much-needed supplies to the orphanage and surrounding community.
After School Teacher Starts
To build on the education the children were receiving at school and to improve academic performance, an after-school teacher began visiting the orphanage to teach the children.
Land Purchased to Build A Permanent Home
2 acres of land were purchased to build a permanent home for Grace Orphanage.
First Crop Planted
Approximately a quarter acre was fenced for vegetable growing. Hosea (Orphanage Manager) with the help of some of the children planted cabbage, eggplant, and wild spinach.
Guard House Completed
The guardhouse was completed, providing much-needed security for the property.
Grace Orphanage Construction Update - September 2018
First House Completed
The first home for 10 children was completed, a major milestone in the development of the new permanent home for Grace Orphanage. The children expressed their gratitude for the progress at the new site.
IWOF's Visit to Grace Orphanage - Fall 2018
Second House Completed
A second, larger home for 18 children was completed, intended to eventually be used as a transitional home to bring new children into the orphanage's care.
Security Wall Completed
The security wall with razor wire and gates is completed, providing much-needed protection for the orphanage. A big undertaking considering it is no small feat to fence 2 acres brick by brick.
Ana Mbilizi was the first child under Grace Orphanage's care to graduate secondary school. Congratulations Ana!
Communal Kitchen Completed
The communal kitchen was completed, providing facilities to cook efficiently for all the children.
Septic System (Phase 1) Installed
The septic system for the first 2 homes constructed was installed.
Construction Starts on House #3
Construction got underway on the 3rd home for 10 children at the new site. So far, the foundation and exterior walls have been completed, with fundraising ongoing to cover the balance of the estimated $25,000 construction cost.
Solar System Installed
The Congo (DRC) benefits from an abundance of sunlight, so the new solar system providing electricity at the new site should ensure the facility has the energy it needs each and every day.
Grace Orphanage Update - October 2019
Fresh Water at New Site
The well was drilled, the water tanks were installed, and the plumbing was hooked up, providing fresh water to the new site. Good quality water will go a long way in preventing waterborne illness.
The Outside Community Receives Access to Fresh Water
Not only does the well drilled on-site provide clean water to Grace Orphanage, but a tap was hooked up to provide fresh water to the outside surrounding community.
Move to the Permanent Home
A dream years in the making, the move from the temporary rental accommodation to the Orphanage's permanent home has taken place, just in time for the holidays! The children are so thankful for their new home.
Give The Gift of Hope This Christmas
As we approach the Christmas season, we hope you will consider supporting Grace Orphanage as a part of your giving plan for 2019, touching the lives of 35 war orphans seeking a better future. As the children and staff transition to life at the new site, here are some immediate needs that we are looking to fund:
If there is a specific cause that you would like to support, but you don't see it on this list, please click here and include a brief note about what you would like your donation to support in the message box.
We commit to keeping our fundraising expenses to a minimum and will ensure that your donations make it to the children. IWOF is 100% volunteer run.
Still To Fund...
While there has been significant progress recently at the new permanent home for Grace Orphanage, there is still a fair way to go on our journey towards completion of the facility to house up to 60 orphans and ultimately, self-sufficiency for the orphanage.
With your continued support over the coming months, 3 more children's homes will be constructed. A Reading Centre will be the next project that will benefit not only the children on site but also the widows and orphans of the immediate community. The centre will be used to teach basic literacy and give hope to these extremely poor neighbours.