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Fundraisers in Pointe Noire

We are very grateful for and excited about our growing support base in Congo. This past month, we benefitted from two fundraisers right here in Pointe Noire!

The first event was a Family Parade where attendees enjoyed a traditional African dance and music performance and then processed down beachfront road to a local restaurant where kids played and all enjoyed refreshments. We were able to gain visibility for Mwana and share the stories with those who came.

CPGOS de Total held an event benefitting Mwana wherein attendees came to enjoy crêpes, drinks, and see local artists (both professional and student) display their work. A musician and live painting demonstration provided entertainment and two items were auctioned off in a silent auction to benefit Mwana.

We look forward to continuing to grow our support base, both here in Congo and across the ocean! Contact us at info@mwana.ca if you have any ideas that you'd like to share for fundraising opportunities.


 


  
 


 

Norina's volunteer year in Congo




Norina Werner, a recent high school graduate from Germany, committed a year to living and serving Mwana Villages in Congo. With Nadia’s upcoming departure in April and her return to begin her college studies, we recently sat down with her to ask about her experience over the past year. 

How did you decide to spend a year in Pointe-Noire?

I knew that I was incredibly fortunate to have been born in Europe…thousands of people don’t get the same chance that I had. I wanted to give of myself for others, especially children.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day at Mwana Home starts with Leila, Daniel, and Amandine running to me to say hello and give me big kisses—this is always a magical moment for me! This is really what reminds me why I am here. Then, I work with Fatima on her math studies to help her prepare for her first year of school next year. Fatima is making so much progress and she is such a bright and quick learner. Then we play… laugh together, make cakes, braid hair…

What would you want others to know about Mwana?

I have been so impressed by the work that everyone does at Mwana Home—everyone works with all their heart and gives what they can. For me, Mwana is truly an exceptional organization and is all based on people being generous and benevolent. It impresses me that no one is paid except the Congolese people working there—this is like no other organization who use money for their own personal gains. I am seeing more and more how the people with Mwana Home can truly change the lives of the babies who are there. The fear and insecurities in the eyes of the babies when they arrive disappears after time and in its place is joy and love. It’s truly indescribable.


We are truly grateful for Norina’s selfless love, time, and gifts that have deeply impacted all of us here at Mwana. You will be deeply missed!








Gaining Visibility

Support for Mwana Villages enables us to continue to do the work that saves and transforms lives in Pointe-Noire. Just one example is the support Georgetown Church in Ontario provided, part of which enabled us to put these signs up in the city.

Just last week, a young woman saw the sign and came to Mwana Home: with a premature baby born at only 1.5 kg, the baby was in desperate need of additional support. She has been unable to work since the baby's birth 2 months prior and was in critical need for care for her baby and herself. Even in her extreme poverty, the mother was careful to take care of her baby as well as she could: the baby was clean and in nice clothes even while she herself was in rags.

Mwana is now helping this young mother to provide for her child by training her for an honorable and dignified position as a cook or maid. Additionally, we are caring for the baby in Mwana Home and training her each day on how to care for her baby's physical and developmental needs.

It is amazing what a little sign visibility can do to save a life...






A bright future for Frida and Emmanuel


Young mother Frida was unable to care for her baby son, Emmanuel, and he was placed in the custody of Mwana at about 2 months old. Frida returned recently to regain custody of Emmanuel, though she was wholly unprepared in supplies and experience needed to effectively parent her son.


Mwana offered to help Frida with supplies (diapers and formula) and training if she would agree to come daily to the home and learn from the mamas how to effectively care for her son's needs. Recently, Frida has chosen against a life of prostitution and is committed to being trained for dignifying work that will allow her to raise her son in a physically, emotionally, spiritually healthy way. 



Mwana is currently supporting Frida in a nine-month professional training program where she will learn construction skills to be marketable in a growing industry. She has also learned many valuable skills at Mwana Home and enjoys interacting with her son during circle time with the volunteers and mamas.









Meet Fatima

Fatima came to be cared by Mwana after she escaped an abusive situation where she was forced to beg in the streets. Having lived in three different countries and multiple cities in her young 11 years, Fatima showed she was eager to learn, affectionate, helpful, and inquisitive.




We learned that Fatima had not attended school, never celebrated a birthday, and never received her own baby doll. With the kind donations of Mwana volunteers, we were able to celebrate Fatima and provide some special things for her to call her own.



Fatima is now learning to read, write, and do math and is blossoming in the safe and consistent care at Mwana Home. 






Many families' lives changed


These abandoned children are finally learning to read and write. From left to right: Mr. Makita (their tutor), Jarell (19), Eugenie (15), Matondo (14) and Valdi (14).



Maman Emilie had to start a business of her own, in order to take care of her children because she had no source of income when her husband passed away. Now Fanny, Nixon and Patricia are back in school and doing well.



Maman Pauline and her elderly mother are now able to meet their own needs through their mini store which is in the yard of their home.

Just to mention a few changed families! 

Renewed Hope for Maman Emile and her teenagers


Maman Emilie is a widow with three children.  Her husband died in 2012 and since then she has been struggling to make ends meet. Their sleeping conditions were not good...they were all sleeping on ripped, dirty, old foams on the floor with no sheets or mosquito nets, so we gave them new beds and bedding and mosquito nets as well.  She had nowhere to live because her in-laws took the home where she was living with her husband and children. Her brother took her in, but with his own family expenses, he was unable to pay for his nieces' and nephew's schooling and clothing.  So, her children were not able to continue their studies without some help.

We started by provided what was needed for them all to go to school--supplies, registration fees, sandals, school bags, books, uniforms. 

Then we bought them a freezer and a cooler and start up ingredients to sell cold drinks.

They are now able to have enough each day from this small business. 


























Since April, these teenagers, Jarel, Valdi, Eugenie, and Patricia have been coming for literacy classes six days a week at Cheryl and Lambert’s house, where they meet their tutor. Now they are well taken care of and all their needs are met. They even have their own little business so that they can contribute and feel that they are part of their solution.

Jarel is a 19-year old orphan, and the nephew of Maman Emilie. His Mom and Dad died when he was little. He has been neglected by his family members and had no bed to sleep on, no schooling and hardly any healthy food. Since we started helping him, he has clothes, food, a bed, a mosquito net, soap, etc. 

He has also been learning to read, write and do math in my backyard past few weeks. Jarel is doing well! He comes faithfully every morning from Monday to Saturday with his cousins, Valdi and Eugenie, who lost their father and whose mother, Maman Emilie, is unable to be there for them.


Jarel came one morning about two weeks ago in a lot of pain and with strange blisters across his back and chest. He was in so much pain, he was unable to sleep for a week. Cheryl discovered it to be shingles. Thanks to early treatment, it has healed. 


Cheryl is able to be there for Jarel and his cousins as a mother figure, making sure their needs are all taken care of, and teaching responsibility at the same time. They sell kerosene in the evenings, and every morning they come and bring the money from the sales. The small profit barely puts a dent in the cost to feed them and pay their tutor and everything else, but it is good for them to work, contribute and not just let others take care of them. 

We at Mwana love them and are so glad they have a better life thanks to Mwana Villages' donors.