Livestock for Orphaned Children in Congo

by American Foundation for Children with AIDS
Livestock for Orphaned Children in Congo
Livestock for Orphaned Children in Congo
Livestock for Orphaned Children in Congo
Livestock for Orphaned Children in Congo

AFCA is very happy to welcome Guy Likonza to our staff in Congo! Guy is an agronomist who has taken his new role as Manager of AFCA’s office in Gemena eagerly, learning at rapid speed and integrating himself with our families well. Guy has hit the ground running and already, he has been:

  1. Has set up a training for the next 70 families who will benefit from our livelihoods projects,
  2. Has distributed goats to other trained families,
  3. Has hired a new man to oversee the grinder project (where families can take corn and cassava to be ground into flour),
  4. Helped move our solar vaccine fridge from Tandala to Gemena, to be used in a local clinic

These are some of the tasks he has done in the past four weeks and we are grateful to have found Guy, who has taken each job with a smile and willingness to do well. His plate will be full, we know! He is a willing servant of his people, smiling as he asks questions to learn their stories, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. I liked the way he sat with families, seemingly at ease while asking questions and letting them get to know him a bit, as well. I liked the way he asked me many questions, learning as much as he could in the two weeks I was in town. As my French grew weaker after a day of work and tiredness crept in, he’d give English a shaky try and kept vowing that he’ll learn it better soon. Somehow, I don’t doubt he’ll make that happen!

We have great plans to accomplish much more in northwest Congo and it will be great to do them with this man leading the charge from Gemena.

Everyone here at the American Foundation for Children with AIDS, and our partners in Africa, thank you for your continued support of this important project.  If you would like to learn even more about this project and others, please contact Tanya Weaver at tweaver@AFCAids.org. 

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Charlotte with Tanya Weaver
Charlotte with Tanya Weaver

Before I was selected as a beneficiary for the AFCA project, my life was very difficult. I have eight children of my own and I raised my late sister’s six children, as well.  My husband passed away in 2011. At that time, we were spending about 1800 Congolese Francs per day for food (.90 cents) because we simply didn’t have more. Life was so hard!

Then, AFCA accepted me as a beneficiary! That is when everything changed. First, I received training in gardening and in raising animals. When I was ready, I was given rabbits, gardening tools, seeds, and a water filter. I planted the seeds and after the rains, I had corn, peanuts and vegetables and we started eating better. The rabbits started reproducing and I gave back a pair to the project, as I had agreed that I would do when I signed a contract with AFCA. I was careful with the breeding of the rabbits and soon, I had many. We ate some, along with the vegetables we grew. The extra vegetables, we sold. For our entire family, we now eat well and have 3500 Congolese Francs per day (about $1.75) to spend on extra items like sugar, flour, tea, milk, and other things we don’t grow.

The extra rabbits have become a source of income for us and we were able to build a house where we all can stay together. Now, we are so happy! We built a small house which we rent as a clinic so that other people can get help and we have income from that. Bless you all for loving us!

Everyone here at the American Foundation for Children with AIDS, and our partners in Africa, thank you for your continued support of this important project.  If you would like to learn even more about this project and others, please contact Tanya Weaver at tweaver@AFCAids.org. 

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What was the purpose of visiting Congo? Why all the crazy travel and excitement? Despite many days of travel to arrive to Gemena, DRCongo and then, the days of travel between sites, we got a lot done! Here are some examples of the things we did:

Picked up donations sent from USA for our Congo programs, including all sorts of instruments for a youth education project.  

Visited with two site supervisors to see how they are doing with their work and how the families under their care are faring. This falls under our livelihood program: animals, gardens, lights, and water filters.

Delivered seeds for three hundred families.

Traveled to a remote project to conduct a needs assessment to determine if we will be doing more to help their nutrition standards and we received the request of a school roof, as their school fell during the heavy rains.

Met with a sewing and hair dressing project twice to help them think through the logistics of growth and business as mission.

Visited grannies and their families who will be the recipients of our first team of volunteer's work. We will be building a house, remodeling a house and setting up two latrines!

Worked with an engineer twice to set things in motion for our volunteers.

Discussed finances, policies and reporting with staff.

Tried to keep on top of email by visiting a friend with a satellite dish from time to time.

Worked on a big grant that is due today. Haven’t finished it yet because my laptop has decided not to work, foiling my plans to finish it during the long layovers in various airports. Must figure out how to finish it today!

And the list goes on…

None of this would have been possible without the help and hard work of Mandaba (who translated in and out of five languages and who drove me everywhere, keeping me safe), Bebe (cooked for us and kept my clothes clean while keeping me company), Matthieu (bookkeeper), Jérôme and Denase (site supervisors), Patrice (who let us sit in his living room, charging my laptop and phone while I furiously answered hundreds of emails and wrote the grant), Toussaint (driver and battery finder), and Richard (cooked for us in Tandala). Thank you to each of you!  Now, as the plane touches down into Johannesburg, South Africa, I am tired but happy. I already miss Congo!

Everyone here at the American Foundation for Children with AIDS, and our partners in Africa, thank you for your continued support of this important project.  If you would like to learn even more about this project and others, please contact Tanya Weaver at tweaver@AFCAids.org. 

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Her name is Nikki and she’s a 40 year old widow raising three biological children and four adopted children. By 19 years old, she’d had her three children and by 20, she was a widow! Matthew, Michael, Tashi, and Dezi came into her family when her brother and sister in law died, leaving the children in her care. With seven children to raise, Nikki was overjoyed to have been selected as an AFCA family. In 2016, the family received seeds, four sheep, a solar light, a water filter, and training.  When we visited this past week to do a check up on the animals and the children, the sheep were walking around, eating and looking healthy. A couple of them are clearly pregnant, which is only going to help the family do better, allowing them to sell some for much-needed funds and food. Nikki is so grateful for AFCA, because she knows that the children are able to get an education thanks to the sale of extra vegetables, corn, peanuts, and beans from the garden.

Everyone here at the American Foundation for Children with AIDS, and our partners in Africa, thank you for your continued support of this important project.  If you would like to learn even more about this project and others, please contact Tanya Weaver at tweaver@AFCAids.org. 

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Norma sends appreciation to the American Foundation for Children with AIDS and all its donors for giving me the chance to be a beneficiary of this livestock project.  My family was living a difficult life because of the lack of money, not being able to send my children to school, no food and frequent diseases.  As soon as I entered the project, I received 4 sheep, tools, seeds and a water filter.  I started working according to the standards of the training I received from the project manager. Now my crops are sown and weeded.  I produce corn, peanuts and cowpea.

Because of this training and the vegetables from my garden, I am able give tithing to the church, we eat healthy, my children receive schooling and we receive medical care.  We have seeds for the next few seasons.  My income has allowed me to rent land that I continue to cultivate.  I also bought a bike which helps us in our business.  The water we drink from the filter has decreased our illnesses.  In any case, I say thank you to the AFCA because my family's life is gradually changing for the better.

Everyone here at the American Foundation for Children with AIDS, and our partners in Africa, thank you for your continued support of this important project.  If you would like to learn even more about this project and others, please contact Tanya Weaver at tweaver@AFCAids.org. 

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Organization Information

American Foundation for Children with AIDS

Location: Harrisburg, PA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AFCAids
Project Leader:
tanya weaver
Harrisburg, PA United States
$8,690 raised of $9,620 goal
 
134 donations
$930 to go
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