TWCF News & Stories

Sustainability is the way forward

Sustainability is the way forward

TWCF has always had self-sustainably as a long-term goal. It has not, however, always been able to work toward this goal. The struggle, for TWCF, in Nigeria for survival is very real. By survival I mean, knowing where the next meal is coming from and if you have enough for everyone. Can we afford clean water today, enough water for washing and cooking, can we afford more nutritious food or must we stick with the same carb/starch diet for another few weeks without any veg or fruit? Can we pay everyone’s staff salary…who will have to sacrifice salary to ensure others who need it more are paid first…do we risk the drive to the hospital for urgent situations and what makes it more urgent then another? These are regular questions the staff at TWCF face on a daily weekly basis. When these decisions revolve around using money or resources for basic urgent needs, deciding when or how much to put into ‘sustainability’ projects are never on the table.

This has been the case for many years. In the last few years though, with a growing number of staff, who have proven faithful and loyal and become contributing members of their own free will to the livelihood and needs of the TWCF family, we have been ability to divert some finances, slowly but surely, into some sustainable options for the future. TWCF now proudly boasts a small poultry operation which holds at 300 birds on a regular basis. Half are layers and half are broilers, and while this provides a more nutritious diet and meal plan for the home now, it also provides TWCF with a small business and income to manage other needs in the home. Our poultry and egg sales have gathered a regular cliental basis, from the main junction grocery shop, the largest junction market as well as rotating village markets, to those that stop by the site as well as place all event/holiday orders (one customer order 40 broilers for an event).

TWCF ventured into small scale turkey and goat farming in the last year as well and has seen this ventures ability to grow businesswise, let alone that it provides our children with learning and skill opportunities! The staff at TWCF also started a small co-op among themselves, with portions of their own salary, and purchased various plots of land in several communities to begin farming. Not only has this again reduced food costs in the home, but is has create awareness and sales in the village markets by those who want to support the ‘orphans’ in their community. We are so excited for these opportunities and ideas, and for the ownership and accountability we see in the staff and community for the children in our care. We all must work together, share the burdens, so we can all move forward together.

Homestead Alternative Academy in its Second Year

Homestead Alternative Academy in its Second Year

Our school is currently in its last semester of the second year of official operations. It is amazing that this much time has gone by! Our last blog post two years ago before website reconstruction was to announce the formal registration of our very own ‘alternative’ school. We have now run for two years with the support of Abia State Ministry of Education, and seen drastic improvement in our children’s lives.

We have also grown from a start-up staff of 3 teachers and 1 Ed Admin, to a staff of 5 teachers, 1 Education Assistant, 1 Speech and Language (SLP) Assistant, 1 PE Teacher, and 1 Ed Admin and Principal. We also have 1 practicum placement university student and two day a week Nigerian Youth Corper (NYC) volunteers. We have PreK, K, Gr 2A, Gr 2B and Gr3 classes. We have 3 children doing SLP 3x a week, with an additional 2 children starting next year. We have 2 children on either modified or fully modified Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and basically all other children on behaviour/social/emotional adaption IEPs. Both outside school time as well as during classes, various therapeutic interventions are implemented in an on-going basis. Our teachers have staff trainings 1-2x a month, as well as weekly dialogue meetings.

It is for all these reasons that our school is becoming more noted by both the community and state government officials, and namely that our children are positively moving forward in all spheres of their life.  The Christmas holiday at starting at the end of the second week of Dec, will mark the close of the 2017 calendar year of Homestead Alternative Academy. We are so excited for the new year of 2018 and the joys and growth it will bring.

New Website!

New Website!

How amazing is our new website!! I hope by now many of you have had time to look through all the changes and updates we have made to our website. It has been a long time coming. Hopefully we have not lost too many of you in the process. It has been two years to the date since the last blog post on the former website. While we apologize for the large gap in time and updating, we are aware many of you have followed our other social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the last two years.

Not only was our former website under construction for just over a year, TWCF also faced various challenges in Nigeria where it was not appropriate or security conscious to post information. This is something we always have to be aware of as the security and safety of our children and staff are of utmost importance. Please enjoy the new website! Pass our links on to family and friends, post it to your social media and begin checking it periodically for updated information and pictures once again. While we will no longer be “blogging” regularly due to consistency challenges, we will be updating our STORIES and NEWS section as we are able.

Our School!!

We are excited to announce the formalization of TWCF’s school “Homestead Alternative Academy”! We have been in discussions with the Abia State Ministry of Education for two months have initiated application to formally register.  with the State.  The Ministry sent a delegation to visit to our home and upon seeing the children both in the home and in  three classroom settings that we have, we received rave reviews, and have their full support.  The Education Ministry is excited about our unique approach to schooling. We are now awaiting our official registration process were we will official in a few weeks time. This is a big step for us, not only did we initially received recognition document from The Abia State Ministry of Education.  We  continue to enjoy a fabulous working relationship with Abia State Women’s Affairs and are so grateful to all those who have helped us in this process. We know our children are so beautiful and precious and we have desired to set up a alternative school that takes into account the holistic care and teaching that they need on their journey to rehabilitation and healing. Every day we continue to be amazed at their progress, and give glory to God for it all.

Chickens!

Before Mummie Canada and I arrived in the village we had two chickens, one rooster and 7 chicks. By the time we did arrive, there were 3 chicks, and over the last few weeks there are no longer any chicks! The crows and vultures had discovered the chicken restaurant in our compound and sneakily snatched away all our babies! We tried to save those last three as best as possible however the flying thieves were too much for us to handle. We know have 5 new chicks getting ready to hatch any day, and thanks to our new chicken coop in the works will do our best to help them grow up!!

We are working on growing our chicken numbers so that we might get some good layers on our hands! We are going through 3dozen in less then a week (it covers three meals, boiled eggs or omelettes). We hope to eventually start saving a big of money in the egg department by laying our own. When we are feeling a bit more successful we will begin to explore the idea of adding two goats to our little “farm” in the compound. Our farm, as the children call it, is the area we have planted corn, some few yam and cassava, groundnuts, basil, avocado tree, vegetable leaves, and a few other things. We hope to continue adding to it over time. We are experimenting with what can grow in our very sandy/clay-like soil, that won’t be demolished by bugs, monsoon rain or intense heat.

Renovation time

It has been a very busy last few weeks! The renovations and house maintenance has commenced. There has been mass time spent fixing beds and shelving, organizing storage for everything in the house, building a new clothesline (again), knocking a wall out in the guard house, working on the vehicles and gen, new chicken coop in the works, adjusting the always flooding compound water way issue, and more! Daddy Canada and Amos, will help from some of the older boys have been hard at work to make some much needed changes in the house and compound. We also have some plumbing underway and hope to bring our toilet count back up to three again! Our Terrano has finally been towed to the city to have the much needed repairs. We are excited and hoping these changes will make a difference in the cleanliness and orderliness of the house for daily routines and living!

Daddy Canada

Steve ‘Daddy Canada’ landed safely in Nigeria 11 days ago and has now been at the children’s home for 5 days. He was welcomed with great excitement and love by all the children and staff. A great many things have changes since his last vist a year ago, when we only had 4 children! So there were lots of new faces and names to learn, hugs to give out, and hands to shake. We have all been busy since arriving, and Daddy Canada’s presences increases the workload of things to be done around the house now that he is here. The chicken coop needs alterations, the rooms rearanged, new shelving/closet spaces, storage arrangements, the gen needs fixing, the Nissan needs assessment before a mechanic is sought, mosquito nets need fixing and moving, the guard house/school class needs fixing, and the house needs great adjustments in regard to lighting, storage, plumbing, space, etc. Slowly but surely we are all chipping away at these things among the daily routines. Daddy Canada will also take on teaching some of our staff training sessions, as we continue to teach the staff in proper parenting, teaching, relationships, behaviour managment/modification, positive role modeling, attachment/bonding, and so on.

*Needed: International Volunteer Teachers and…

***We, The Wanted Children Foundation, are looking for two individuals to come and serve/volunteer with us in Nigeria, in our extremely RURAL village area, and work with our orphaned children for a duration of no less then 1yr, preferably 2yrs with possibility of renewal each year:

Either a married couple or two individuals who are either both teachers, or one is a teacher and the other is in mental/physical health profession (pediatric nurse/physiotherapist/massage therapist…etc)
(If married couple you are NOT planning on having children during your time with us.)
Teacher(s) must be extremely competent in curriculum from kindergarten – grade 12 (whether BC, NS, or United States). Must be flexible to adapt various Nigerian curriculum/lessons/culture (we will help/train you) into teaching. Must have several years experience teaching. Must have experience working with Learning Assistance or Special Education, must know how to write and follow IEP’s and do assessments. Teachers must be able to teach Christian curriculum, understand and value our rules and expectations. Must be relational and social, must be strict yet understanding. You will be working with children who ALL have behavior challenges and vast learning issues due to the traumatic histories they have. You also will be working with staff and with a specific staff member appointed to you as an understudy.
Person who is a health professional must have education, further training and experience in pediatric health and/or mental health. Not only do all children need support, there are specific children with disabilities and need regular concentrated support. You also will be appointed an understudy. Must be compassionate, patience, flexible, joyful, understanding, relational and love children.

If YOU, or someone you know are interested, please contact us here at TWCF. We want to hear from you asap. We will host interviews for possible candidates. Go to our website, use the online submission form or email.
www.thewantedchildrenfoundation.org
Also, you can email thewantedchildren@gmail.com
Thanks!
Looking forward to hearing…

Broken Nissan

Well last week as Amos and I traveled to Umuahia to get some things for the house and have some meetings, our Nissan Terrano finally gave out. I had driven a few days before and said to mom, while we drove to an Eze’s house, that the SUV was in terrible condition and I couldnt believe it was still running while we were just driving it. It felt as though the whole thing would give way. With great thanks to poor road conditions, the struggle to maintain care for it, and lack of original parts or items to fix small things… it has now had a large issuse. Unfortunately I did not do a great job in picking it out for purchase in the beginning, as I dont know that much about the mechanics of a vehicle (just how to change oil and tires and carefully maintain thanks to dad), that along with the misleading fact that the small test drive on a very smooth Abuja city road, was a great difference from the rough roads and lack of any road in the village. The true condition of the vehicle popped up quickly with in the first few months. We did our best to fix and maintain it however, grateful for it.

Now however it would according to my best knowledge an opinion appear that clutch has completely given way and the gear box is ruined. It has been parked in the yard for just about a week now. The local mechanic, who trained himself, clearly was not able to know or fix the problem after banging around. And it has been decided the truck will have to be towed to one of the main cities, either an hour or several hours away, where it may take several days and a lot of money to fix. We are waiting on dad’s arrival to make the final decision.

Speech struggles

We have recognized that speech is a large issue in our house. We have at least half of our children that struggle with various speech challenges, from simple lisps to severe stammers and word formations. It shows very clearly how the ‘shock and trauma’ of their previous lives has so greatly affected them. That, along with the lack of proper support to guide correct teaching of learning languauge. We are working our best to help these children so that communication will not be a challange for them in the future.

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Our Mandate

The Wanted Children Foundation (TWCF), was established in 2006 to meet the growing numbers of orphans and vulnerable children in Nigeria, West Africa.

The goal of TWCF is to improve the quality of life for these children by providing a family-centered home that promotes the love and compassion of Jesus Christ, where there is care in a safe and nurturing environment, health and nutrition, education, psychosocial support, and access to necessary medical care.

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