We are so excited to let everyone know we have welcome three precious new children into our home, Solomon 9, Gideon 7 and Chika 3. The came late in the night earlier this week, and couldn’t believe that this was the house they were coming too. They saw the light on (from the gen) and said to Amos, “Uncle is this your house where we are coming!!?” And Amos said no, this is your home, it is our house together now. They came up the stairs inside with big wide eyes. Our children were sitting inside, while there was a bit of a stare down as soon as we said everyone say good evening and welcome, every one exchanged greetings. After baths and food, all the children automatically started introducing themselves and sharing their ages. Our Chinomso and Chinyere filled the roll of big brother and sister right away telling them welcome and they will like living here with us. The new children beamed in shock at their beds with mattresses and sheets and at new clothes to wear. They have been settling in very well, doing lessons at home already with Teacher Chinedu, playing well with the other children and adjusting to the rules quickly. They are so happy and relieved to be here it seems, despite being a little reserved as things are still relatively new. We are so proud of our other children as the changes in their lives become so evident every day, more and more!
Although Nigeria is a wealthy country, poverty itself is still pervasive. And… unfortunately available statistics reveal that over 75% of its people live in abject poverty. Having not just enough to live on, but just enough not to die.
As I mentioned, the current house is going on amazing! We are managing despite the hardship and finding joy and progress in every day
We are also making positive motions forward on our land in Abia. We have found an amazing location and are in the process of having the village elders officially sign it over. When that happens we will begin surveying and then walling. We have also created a working relationship with the Mbaka Foundation which is also in Abia State and its head office by us in the village. Their vision and objectives fall closely along ours, but differ enough that it creates a viable relationship to work together and meet a greater number of needs. We are excited about this.
FCT ( Federal Capital Territory)
We have been putting greater efforts, due to requests for involvement, toward our set up in FCT. There have been some amazing resources and networks opening up to us. Meetings and discussions are still in active process and we are looking forward to concrete steps leading to official set up soon! Stay posted!
Thats right, I finally have a device that is semi-sort of working with internet and I have been able to access our site. So…….
Hello from on the ground over here!
Live has been insanely busy and full of chaos, tension and progress. The house in Abia is doing well and carrying on. Our staff are amazing and make us proud every day. Our children are progressing well. After one year with our older kids, the change is evident, while there is a long way to go, they have come so far! The newest two little guys have brought so much life and laughter into the house, they definitely changed the dynamic.
There have been security issues in the village due to armed robbery attacks and assaults, many way too close for comfort. But the community and security forces are trying their best to manage, so with curfews and citizen vigilantie groups, the attacks have started reducing in the last couple weeks. Also we have finished our security wires around the compound and our new front doors installed.
….Courtney has had no way to communicate it to you. Her computer hard drive crashed so I will try to fill in some gaps here from Canada.
We have a new generator this month, which was graciously donated to us by Jack Daswani . Thank you Jack. It is amazing and serves us so well. The lights are back on at night in the children’s home!!!
We also have a new member of the family. Joining his new siblings is little Tobias who is approximately 15 months of age. He was very sick when he arrived, but thanks be to God that he has recovered well and is happily running around and enjoying life as every child should.
Also, surveying is taking place on a parcel of land which has been donated and will become the permanent project site of The Wanted Children Foundation, TWCF, in Abia state. The large home we currently have, (which we have been in for almost 8 years), is a temporary location, and we will continue to use it until this new site is made ready.
The full scale vision in setting up the children’s homes to effectively care for our children, is one of a ‘village within a village’. We intend to build a TWCF community within the larger community at hand. In order to meet and accommodate needs of the children in our care in a holistic way, it is best to provide the necessary programs ourselves. Several children’s homes will be built, in a village style and this neighbourhood will also incorporate a security building, office, staff house building for those who are employed in the running and maintenance of the facility, a guest house (for expat volunteers/ visitors), a generator shed, laundry facility, a borehole, and farming space. Adjoining the property, yet separated by a fence/wall, will be; a primary school (to be added onto one year at a time as the children begin to reach higher grades), a library, a clinic, a sports center (basketball court and soccer field), and pipes accessing water to the outside community. These projects on the adjoined property will be used for TWCF and its children as well as providing access for the community at large to access. Not only will we meet the needs of the children in our program by providing every aspect of holistic care, but we bring much needed resources to our community. All very exciting!
Well it has been an amazing two and a half months with Cat and Laurel here. They have added immensely to the strength and functionality of the home. It has been with enthusiastic and joyful spirits that Cat and Laurel have modeled for the staff the appropriate measures we have in place as well as guided and taught them. They have done a great job.
The staff have adjusted and picked up so quickly. We are so blessed to have a strong team who truly understand the calling and vision of this organization and bend themselves readily to serve it.
Steve has also been here for two weeks now and has taught our men staff a great many things with the aid of POWER TOOLS!! It has been a hilarious experience. The laundry line has been fixed, new trellises build for the garden vegetable and yams to grow on, bunkbeds sawed in half, door frames fixed, some Terrano problems adjusted, plans for the new cement gen shed extension, and so on. The guys have loved having him around and dont leave him alone.
Only a few more days left here in the village before heading to Abuja and they jump on a jet plane outta here. It will be sad to see them go although it has been an amazing trip for them and for us to have them! xoxo
We have had a wonderful man who is from Isuikwuato, who more recently heard about us and what we are doing, and stepped in immediately to start donating finances to us. It has been beyond exciting as he is the first person here in Nigeria to take a serious interest by helping, and who has backed up his words of support with his actions and follow through. We are so grateful and pray God’s blessings on him as he has continued to support us over the last four weeks.
With those donations we have been able to AT LAST put up our security wire around the compound wall. We also were able to meet a months wages for the staff as well as diesel and water for two weeks. We are continuing to do work around the house with the on going support, by having new front doors for the house made, a new door frame plus labour for installation. Also we are able to poor new cement slaps and wall to extend the generator shed, as we have also had a NEW generator donated!!! We are awaiting its arrival soon.
We are so happy to have Steve here. We are getting some much needed repairs done finally. The bunk-beds which we had built here, are now being dismantled and cut in half as they are not stable enough to be bunk beds. Not an easy task as all the legs need to be even. There are four bunks to be done. There has been repairs being made to the generator, as well as to the Terrano, both of those which have been serving us well but are falling apart. It would seem this terrain and life here are very hard on things… not to mention us, but we wont go there. :)
Well it has been a long two weeks of strange noises at night in the ceiling. While we are used to the typical lizard races and fight clubs that are clearly going on up there, as well as the chichiba (mouse/shrew thing) and rat scampering around and games of tag…there have been some strange non-legged animal sounds going on.
Well after listening carefully night after night, which is only possible as our generator has been broken and not running, and in-between the screaming sessions that Michael has, oh yes, and on the nights that there happen not to be neighbours yelling and fighting, evangelists preaching in mega phones and praying, the town square bell and town crier, or all night vigils or wake keeps… well we have discovered and come to the conclusion that there is a distinct and large SLITHERING sound going on in the ceiling! AHHHHH. Yes what in the world are we going to do!? We have checked to make sure there is now way for our new non-welcome friend to come through the roof into any of the upstairs rooms, but how do we get him OUT is the questions. So we have consulted with our staff and discussed some of our funny traditional and herbal methods lol, and have come to the conclusion we need a professional “vermin catcher”. So until such a time as a “vermin catcher” can be acquired we are sleeping with one eye open and having our torches click on and off throughout the night…just incase.
Well, our generator has been broken for one week straight this time. Often before it has been broken for several days only, but this has been the longest. And with a full house and children it is certainly not easy. We are getting by with lots of hard work, patience and with our torches as we have been lucky enough to see NEPA light come on a once a day whether for 20 min or for a couple hours, it has been enough to charge the lights. We have had the pieces of the gen in the city twice trying to be fixed as well as people in the gen-shed everyday working on it. Hopefully by tonight it may be working again! To be honest this gen is very old and it has served us so well and faithfully. It is by God’s grace that it has been running over this last year, though it has broken down many times, we always managed to get it fixed for a time. We are looking forward to a new generator soon!