Due to decades of conflict there are an estimated 5 million orphans in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These children are significantly more likely to become victims of sexual violence, child trafficking, or become child soldiers than children living in families. Additionally, there are regions of the country where up to 40% of the women are widows. These women often have their land, home, and possessions taken from them following the death of their husband and are left with no resources to survive. They are forced to turn to begging or prostitution to provide for their families.
At Restore Elikia, we strive to transform the lives of these orphans and widows. Our approach is to develop a system by which this occurs in a self-sustaining way over time. We have partnered with local leaders to provide the initial resources, training, and support they need to develop this project into a reality.
▪ Purchase land
UPDATE: Phase 1 Completed January 2015 with the purchase of 25 acres!
There is currently no electricity or internet and only limited cell phone capabilities in this region. Improving communication with our partners on the ground is essential to a successful project.
▪ Implement basic internet access to allow for improved communication for project development- $1000
Reliable access to clean water is an enormous and life threatening issue in this area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A deep well needs to be drilled for the community around and for Restore Elikia. This will ensure a constant source of clean drinking water for daily use. Water will also be sold to community members at a very low cost. Profits from the sale of water will be used for maintenance on the homes, living area, and well.
▪ Dig a well for provision of clean water for orphans- $22,000
▪ Clear land and build a fence to protect orphan homes and the well- $500
Total cost Phase 2- $24,500
UPDATE: Phase 2 Completed December 2015!
Phase 3 –
We will need funds available for upkeep of homes, clothes, and personal hygiene items for orphans and widows until this monthly need becomes fully self-sustaining with income from the well and agriculture projects
▪ Select widows to serve as house mothers and receive parenting education and training- $1200
▪ Supply personal items, clothes, furniture, cooking supplies and move kiddos into transitional housing- $2300
Total cost Phase 3- $3,500
UPDATE: Phase 3 Completed May, 2017!
Phase 4 –
We believe children best thrive in a family environment. Therefore, we are trying to avoid a traditional orphanage setting. Instead, our goal is to build 8-10 small homes. In each home a widow will raise 3-5 orphans. This will provide the women with a place to live and food to eat in exchange for their love and support of these precious children. A central living and play area, dining hall, and kitchen will promote a feeling of community. An outdoor play area for kids will be provided.
▪ Construct orphan homes and shared living area- $60,000
Promoting a thriving community around Elikia Village is vital to the success of this project. There are a number of vulnerable populations beyond our orphans in our village including large numbers of widows and teenage mothers. We will work with these women to provide education, job training, and support. There are also a number of infants whose mothers died in childbirth who are unable to care for them. Without resources, these infants also often die. We will start a foster care program where babies are placed with a breastfeeding mother until they are old enough to eat food and return to their biological families.
▪ Community development- $3500 annually
Total cost Phase 4- $63,500
UPDATE: Phase 4 Completed October 2017!
Phase 5 – ONGOING
Food security is a major concern in this area with over 40% of women and children experiencing moderate to severe malnutrition. We want to ensure adequate nutritional intake to the widows and children at Restore Elikia. We will do this through an agriculture and farming project. Indigent families in the area who otherwise do not have access to land will work on the farm, raise livestock and chickens, and tend fruit trees. A portion of the food they grow and raise will provide for their families. The rest will provide nutritious food for Restore Elikia orphans and widows.
▪ Seed, supplies, equipment, purchase of livestock, chickens, and fish- $25,000
▪ Fruit trees (avocado, mango, papaya, banana) and pineapple bushes- $2,500
Total cost Phase 5- $47,500
Phase 6- ONGOING
Currently, the DRC has the 2nd worse infant mortality and the 5th worst childhood mortality in the world. Poor access to medical care is a significant contributor to infant and childhood death in the Congo. To ensure the best possible access to health care for the orphans, widows, and community working with Restore Elikia, we will raise funds to build and supply a medical clinic. We will train local health care workers to staff the clinic. Community members will have access to the clinic and the nominal fees that are paid will be used to pay for the staff of the clinic as well as to provide for the basic medical needs of the orphans and widows living at Restore Elikia.
▪ Build a medical clinic and provide ongoing education and training to house officers- $80,000
Total cost Phase 6- $80,000
Overall, this project will provide safe and secure housing, clean water, nutritious food, and medical care for orphans, widows, and community members in this remote region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Please join us in restoring hope to the neediest people in this community.