Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The nitty gritty and HELP!

I thought I might share some of the details of how sponsorship and support of the orphanage is going to work when I leave.  Honestly, I seriously considered not doing anything and just moving back to the states.  Not because I didn't feel any less of a burden to help the kids, I just didn't know how to do it without anyone on the ground to provide accounting, transparency, and accountability.  This was extremely important to me.  I trust the orphanage director, and he has grown to trust me (as does the overall leadership of the orphanage).  Yet, giving anyone a thousand plus dollars every month puts that person in a very vulnerable position anywhere, and especially here (where corruption, jealousy,  and theft is extremely common).

So, I was determined that I wasn't going to do anything unless I found a trustworthy person on the ground here to do what I have been doing, do it well, and then send the accounting back to us in the states.  And I found that person!  About six months ago I found out that someone I have known for over four years now was going to be moved from full time to half time at his job.  He works as a supplier/purchaser/secretary/assistant to missionaries who live down country and run a large mission hospital (they are retiring this summer).  He has handled a lot of money over the years and has shown himself to be a man of integrity, honesty and very good at keeping good accounting.  So, he will be visiting the orphanage once a month.  He will be checking on all the kids.  He will help with monitoring their weights to ensure they are healthy and being given full strength milk.  He will monitor the quantities of milk.  He will be buying the milk and the formula.  He will be sending me reports every month as well as all the receipts and accounting.  He has been working with me the last two months now and things are going well.  I feel extremely fortunate that he accepted the Tumaini manager position and I know Tumaini wouldn't be happening otherwise.  I'm excited because we can provide accountability, transparency, and good accounting.

Each child needs two sponsors at $25/month or one sponsor at $50/month.  100% of this money (except what gets taken out for bank transaction fees) comes to Bukavu.  It pays for powdered milk, formula, extra staff at the orphanage, and the manager's part time salary.  This may not seem like a lot but it is huge.  Read some of the past posts to learn about what the orphanage was like when they didn't have staff, enough formula or milk.  It was a heartbreaking and hopeless place.

Right now, we have enough sponsors for half of the children.  Thankfully, folks have donated to general funds so we are able to make this month's budget in full.  This is where I need help.  Anyone that has been reading along and feels like they would like to help, will you pass the message on?  You can link to my blog if you would like (that is why it is public now instead of private) or you can link to the website.  Or both.  This is a big step of faith for us at Tumaini and we cannot do it alone.

As I just posted there is another new baby right now.  A premie weighing 3.5 lbs up at the orphanage.   I don't know if the baby will survive, but the baby has a fighting chance.  Why?  Because there is milk, the mamas know how to mix it correctly and there are women to feed her and hold her frequently (and keep her warm).  One year ago, this was not the case.  She would have been one of 45 kids, with at the most 4 mamas!  She would have been given watered down formula a few times a day, more if they had time.  She wouldn't have had a chance.  This has changed because people have donated to the orphanage over the past year and she has come to a much better place.  A huge and heartfelt thank you again.

If you are interested in sponsoring a child at Kaziba please see this post or check out our website.

Thank you on behalf of the beautiful children of Kaziba and their wonderful caregivers.


Sweet Ziruka needs two sponsors.  She is a happy little girl and loved the training that recently was done at the orphanage where the mamas learned games to play with the children and new ways of interacting with them to increase attachment and build sensory processing.  


This little cutie is Noella.  On this last visit, every time I looked her way, she would smile at me.  So very sweet.  She is five months old.  She is fully sponsored.  

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