Saturday, January 4, 2014

There is beauty everywhere-Family Bethlehem.

In eastern DRC, there is a Congolese couple that has been taking children into their home, adopting them and raising them as their own for over 30 years.  They never gave birth to any children of their own.  As years of insecurity increased the numbers of children that needed a home increased, some they were able to find other permanent homes for and others they raised as their own, still for others they were able to find their families and reunite them.

At one point they had a steady income from property and farms, but over time and with war and political changes in eastern DRC, they lost their means of self support.  That combined with increasing numbers of children that were brought to them meant that they were unable to provide for their children like they wanted to when they first started adopting children.  Donations from the local catholic church as well as individuals that wanted to support them have sustained them over the years, but barely.

Mama Sifa and Papa Jerome have dedicated their lives to giving children permanent family situations, most by adopting them and becoming their parents.   For the remainder of the children they work work on reunification and alternative care.  Their work to help vulnerable children in their midst is called Bethlehem Family.   

Papa Jerome and Mama Sifa

Reeds of Hope believe that children should live with their families, not in orphanages.  We believe in permanent long term solutions for vulnerable children.  We support Congolese men and women who are providing families for children.  We believe in supporting families through crisis (like maternal death) so they can keep their children.  We believe in helping those parents that provide loving homes to children who cannot stay with their families.  We believe children belong in families. 

That is why we are excited to start sponsoring and supporting Bethlehem Family.  I was fortunate to visit Mama Sifa in June when I was in eastern DRC.  Here is where I first shared about their work. 

Not only does Bethlehem Family need help with general support caring for the numbers of children they have in their two homes, but they also need help with reunification efforts and permanency plans for the children that won't be adopted. 

Because of our commitments to the Save the Children orphanage and the school children, we are currently limiting our level of commitment to Family Bethlehem to the number of children that we can match with interested sponsors or funds raised specifically for Family Bethlehem.  All children sponsored live with Papa Jerome and Mama Sifa, are sent to school if the funds are available.

If you are interested in sponsoring any children at Bethlehem Family you will receive a history of the child, as well as the interests of the child, grade in school and subjects enjoyed at school.  You may also have the opportunity to communicate with your child through Reeds of Hope. Children will be put up on the website this week (along with updates on currently sponsored children).  You can also contact me through my email at the top right of the this blog for more information. 

Thank you so much for your support of our work in DRC.  

There is beauty everywhere.

Here are two of the many children that live at Bethlehem Family.

Chikurru Timothy (older twin), 3 years old

Chito Timothy (younger twin), 3 years old. 

No comments: