The Wanted Children Foundation (TWCF) was established in 2006 to meet the growing numbers of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in Nigeria, West Africa.
The goal of The Wanted Children Foundation is to provide care and a future for these children who have been left without opportunity or hope of a better life. TWCF believes that every child deserves to have a safe and nurturing environment where they can learn and grow, reaching the full potential that was created for them. We do this by providing a compassionate home for OVC who have faced loss and trauma in their lives. Children and infants who come into the care of TWCF receive the love of s new family, the gift of belonging, as well as health, nutrition, psychosocial support, mental health support, education and skills training. The goal of TWCF is to provide environments that are family-centered, and which embrace a life-cycle approach to child-care, which means just like in a biological family, children will remain until they graduate from their schooling and/or reach the legal age to make decisions which will take them onward; they will always have a home and family to return to.
TWCF was founded in 2005 and registered as a Canadian charity in 2006, with its goal being to meet the great need of OVC (orphans and vulnerable children) in Nigeria, West Africa. Courtney Anderson had personally observed these children on an extended trip to Nigeria in 2005. It was a short time after that trip that a proposal and support team was developed to start The Wanted Children Foundation as a non-governmental organization. Courtney returned to Nigeria in 2006 and began to lay the groundwork. TWCF has struggled for the majority of its founding years in Nigeria, but in 2012 saw a turnaround begin to occur, bringing a solid start to the long-term goals envisioned as well as an encouragement to the current progress in its programs. TWCF was founded with a primarily Christian-faith Board, however, it exists to provide care, compassion and quality of life irrespective of religion. Over the years our Board, as well as many volunteers and supporters, have grown to include a diverse set of individuals who believe in the common purpose of the foundation as well as value and respect for human life. It is this type of relationship building a unity that TWCF desires to model for others.
TWCF has endured great trials and hardships concerning the establishment of the Foundation and achieving its goals, including the loss of children, staff and loved ones, lack of support, and serious safety issues. During some of these times, Courtney Anderson was pulled out of the country for safety concerns and The Wanted Children Foundation’s Site Manager Mr. Amos Antoka, who had been training under her, took over supervision of the programs. It has been a wondrous and heartening step which saw capacity-building, ownership and self-efficacy take place among the TWCF Nigerian staff.
After years of challenge and roadblocks to officially and legally set-up the foundation in Nigeria to begin permanent offering of support, it was a trip in 2012 that saw change begin to occur. In 2012, a trip that saw several Board members visit the site, and through a series of meetings and investigations, a renewed effort was given to get TWCF established in Nigeria with the proper paperwork. The goals of the trip were achieved and strong support by several prominent national leaders was given, which made way for Courtney, in 2013, to move back to Nigeria once again. TWCF was able to officially register as an NGO in Nigeria and begin running the organization in the unique way it was designed.
The first permanent children’s home was opened in August 2013, along with a homeschool centre and counselling centre. TWCF has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and gain support to reach its goals. They have always loved the people of Nigeria and work hard to provide hope and opportunities for the OVC they have. The first project site of the TWCF Children’s Home was in Amaba, Isuikwuato, Abia State. It continued on with the primary focus to reach the long-term vision and goals of TWCF by taking in selected OVC children. Children were able to come into permanent care at this location and become part of the TWCF family and begin healing from their past traumatic wounds and move toward happy, healthy education and quality of life. The community at large always received care and support from us, including whatever little we had to share was given to us. One of TWCF proudest achievements was putting in a borehole, thanks to the generous donations of many, which was tapped outside the compound walls and run daily for the community to access clean drinking water.
As TWCF continued to grow in taking on children, as it opened its own nursery and primary school called Homestead Alternative Academy, and as the children continued to grow, a new site was never far from mind as space was in high demand for everyone. In 2018, TWCF was gifted land for a new site which began the journey of meetings, paperwork, clearing and caring for the land, and eventually building moving to a new village, Eluama, Isuikwuato in 2020, a place we can truly call “home”.
Today, TWCF continues to love and care for its children, and along with running its schools, TWCF offers daily programming, tutoring, sports camps, mental health and basic health care workshops, as well as food and supplies to those less fortunate whenever they are able.