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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

A small woman with a wide smile greets us on the other side of an arch made of fronds. Her children, all holding flowers, shyly shake my hand as I enter their small plot of land and greet them one by one. Smiling gently, her husband stands back a little, letting her talk and entertain, gifting us with a plate of chicken eggs to take home. We are led to the seats they’ve set out in the open air for us, backed by a streamer entwined between trees and I feel like royalty in my cargo pants and hiking boots. I ask questions regarding the training they’ve received, the animals they are raising, and the garden they grow. They answer correctly, showing me that their training has been excellent. As with other families AFCA supports, they no longer need to purchase eggplant, onions, spinach, beans, corn, or peanuts, as they have enough for themselves and to sell.

Again, we look at their animals – goats this time – and find them healthy and cared for. Two are pregnant, moving this family closer to more stability in their lives. We check out the goat housing and with the brightest smile, Seraphine shows us corn stored for the winter. This, THIS, is a miracle. Something so small as stored corn is a symbol of a job well done, both by the trainers and by the families. This moment, standing in a dark little mud room, looking up at a wooden structure where the corn lays in a sack, is the moment when my heart breaks. I know it because my eyes fill with tears and my throat closes up, a lump forming so that it is hard to swallow. The father of the family comes up to me and asks earnestly that we continue this project so that others can benefit. He explains that his and his family’s lives have been changed and that he wants others to know the same joy. I can’t talk. I honestly can’t say a word because the lump in my throat won’t allow me to make a sound. I am glad for the darkness, as I am afraid I am about to cry. He is waiting for an answer, but I have no words.

Instead, I nod.

As we say that it is time for us to go, the family presents us with bananas and smiling, Seraphine points to her husband, who is tying the legs of a rooster. I look on, not quite understanding what is going on until he laughs out loud and hands the rooster to me, saying over and over again, “Merci Mingi (thank you very much)” with a huge smile on his face. Smiling back, I thank him profusely and learn how to say “my chicken” in Lingala. They all laugh as I point at the rooster on the motorcycle and declare him mine. It is a fantastic feeling, this giving and taking, this smiling and laughing. This breaking of my heart.

The team here at the American Foundation for Children with AIDS thanks you for supporting this project and the work we do for the children in Africa.  As you start to make decisions regarding your end of year giving, please keep us in mind so we can continue our good work into 2020 and beyond.  We wish you a new year full of many blessings and as much hope as you have shared with us.  If you would like to learn even more about what we do or how you can meet some of the children you have helped, please contact Tanya Weaver at tweaver@AFCAids.org. 

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At the beginning, I can say that we worked in ignorance, in the sense that we did not give importance to the garden, sowing and the use of good seeds.  As a result, our family suffered from several deficiency diseases: diarrhea, kwashiorkor, slump and anemia.  The lack of money to support our home made life difficult for us.

I thank AFCA for providing us with tools, good seeds, animals and the water filter which have all gradually changed our daily life.  Because of our proximity to the hospital, I help the sick with my vegetables (garden) and the field income allowed us to send/dress our orphans to school, feed the family and we also bought a bike and a goat.

I salute the work of AFCA which is so commendable and request to continue this work until reaching the vulnerable of the Democratic Republic of 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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Charlie has been a beneficiary of this project since 2016.  He sends his thanks to the AFCA organization for considering the needs of the orphans in his care.  Charlie also extends his appreciation for the project director here for guiding him in forming his herd, his follow-up advice and his support of those who apply his lessons. 

Charlie has received goats, vegetable seeds, corn seeds, peanuts and agricultural tools.  Although he almost lost everything when his house burned, he was left with one female goat and endured the loss.  He now has 6 goats and the lives of the children in his care have changed.  They eat, sell field products and the children are educated and receive medial care.  Charlie was even able to buy a means of transportation, a motorcycle, from the profits of the peanut products! 

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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I welcome you to distribution day for our families!  It is my favorite day for my job.  Everyone is happy, yet cautious because they are receiving such an incredible gift.  I think the responsibility weighs heavily on their shoulders. They thank us over and over again.  It is a very good day!

Today, William's family stands out to me and will stay in my heart for a period of time.  William is just 5 years old and lives with his aunt and uncle.  He is HIV+ but is in excellent health right now.  I note the sparkle in his eyes and I think he understands how important these new goats are to his family.  They hold hope for many things for this family's future, including nutrition and the money for William to one day attend school.  Thank you for supporting this vital project.  I wish you could see for yourself how life-changing it really is for our beneficiaries.

The team here at the American Foundation for Children with AIDS thanks you for supporting this project and the work we do for the children in Africa.  If you would like to learn even more about what we do or how you can meet some of the children you have helped, please contact Tanya Weaver at tweaver@AFCAids.org. 

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Nicole would like to thank AFCA for giving her a chance to be involved in the livestock program as an orphan, and for helping people in difficult situations - especially HIV/AIDS orphans. She appreciates the regular visits from the project director, and looks forward to their advice to keeping things running smoothly. 

Nicole's family received sheep and vegetable seeds and they have already returned 2 sheep to the multiplication center.  The corn, peanuts and cowpeas have been beneficial to their nutrition.  They keep the seeds for the next season and sell the surplus, being able to purchase medical care and to pay the school fees.

This family's life is changing every day because of this program and their hard work.  The team here at the American Foundation for Children with AIDS thanks you for supporting this project and the work we do for the children in Africa.  As you start to make decisions regarding your end of year giving, please keep us in mind so we can continue our good work into 2019 and beyond.  We wish you a new year full of many blessings and as much hope as you have shared with us.  If you would like to learn even more about what we do or how you can meet some of the children you have helped, 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
$8,123 raised of $9,620 goal
 
112 donations
$1,497 to go
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