Jamaa Letu Orphanages
Fullness of Hope
By Barbara Dadd Shaffer
Jamaa Letu Orphanages are located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These places receive PNW Conference support. Here is a report from these sites updated during the last quarter of 2015.
Kafweta Naweji Paul, director of the boys’ orphanage, wrote:
All of our kids are doing their activities and school is going normally according to the schedules. During their vacation, they were helping in the garden, in the compound and in their bedrooms. (They are involved with) church activities like youth singing. Also, we do have a couple of kids who are helping with the construction of the pastor’s house. For their activities at home, they like playing basketball and soccer.
They have a new basketball court and several basketballs were delivered to them last October.
A child was found on a doorstep of a convent two years ago. The nuns gave him the name Joseph. The authorities brought him to Jamaa Letu. The staff named him after the only male on the staff at the time, so he has the same name as the man who is now the director. Kafweta Naweji Joseph is now about four years old. “He is a good boy” shares Kafweta Naweji Paul.
There are currently 27 boys living at the orphanage. A former resident is now a member of the staff as a caregiver and educator. He grows a magnificent garden that provides most of the vegetables for the orphanage and raises ducks for sale to supplement the budget. There are a total of six staff positions.
“The main activities remain the same: Food, shelter, education, health care, religion and social activities, etc.,” shares the Rev. Tshisola Francine, director of the girls’ orphanage. Francine wrote: “From the school’s parent’s reunions, we have learned that our girls are doing fine at school so far. The school results will be published after the first block exams next February.” This is good news because a few of the girls did not pass the end-of-year exam in June.
Francine wrote that they have visited one of the girls in her new family. “We have noticed encouraging progress regarding her integration in her new family, giving her a proper education and attention. She will remain in this foster family for the next year to come.” There are other girls who are living with families on a semi-permanent basis.
There are 41 girls living the orphanage. There are eight staff positions, plus six for the kindergarten/pre-school operated by the orphanage. One staff member is a former resident who also lives at the orphanage as an additional part-time caregiver.
In early February, Francine wrote: Good news for all of us. Our daughter Mauwa Nadine is to be formally engaged to her boyfriend Kisimba Rudy who is determined to marry her. As it is the custom here in our country, the fiancé will bring a pre-dowry to the family in order for the engagement to become official. Then will come the proper dowry before the marriage.” Nadine is a second year university student. Congratulations have been extended to the couple.
The financial reports from each orphanage include a list of in-kind donations. About 16 different entities donated to the girls’ orphanage and the same number for the boys’ orphanage – mostly food, like flour, rice, corn flour, cooking oil, chicken, fish, produce, and sugar. Also clothing, candles, toiletries and several second-hand computers. These will supplement the computer lab installed in May. Donors include individuals, Kipendano (counterpart to United Methodist Women), congregations, and companies such as Ballore Africa Logistics (the owner is chair of the Board of Trustees) and M.M.G. Mining which is a frequent and generous donor. The Pacific Northwest Conference sends $20,000 per quarter.