Friday, August 22, 2014

Our KAKA Foundation Orphanage Project

After we returned from Cameroun we knew our next assignment was to work in the mission office.  The Sneddons, the regular office couple, were going home to a family reunion for 2 weeks.   We had 10 days between the assignments.  We knew that the orphanage could use some help, so we decided to do a few things for them during that period of time. 

A brief history of the KAKA Foundation would include the fact that there is a wonderful woman, Philomene, who is the founder and the director. 

She was an orphan and started the foundation 14 years ago.  She still has 4 of the original kids.  Her husband owned a small piece of property.  (Owning property is very rare here.)   I suppose the reason that the property was affordable is that it is right next to a creek. 

There are 2 seasons in the Congo… The dry season - approximately (June through September) and the wet season (October through May.)  During the rainy season it rains almost everyday.  3 or 4 times a week, it rains really, really hard.  The creek overflows and floods the entire orphanage. 
When we went to visit on Christmas, about noon, this is what the yard looked like.   It rained during the night.  This photo is after the water had receded for a few hours.  You can see the line of how high the water goes. 

The worst part of the flooding is that the sleeping rooms are lower than the yard.  When the river overflows, the water comes up to the very bottom of the top bunks.  Note the grey water lines by the bunkbed.  (Those nice shoes you see are a treasured Christmas gift, which are still almost brand new in August... because he is afraid they might get ruined or stolen if he wears them.)

When it floods, the children all have to climb up onto the top bunks … which would be about 4 to a tiny bunk, smaller than a crib size mattress.  They wait through the hours for the rain to stop and the water to recede, and then they get down and start to bail water.  It is so, so awful.  But even on Christmas day… there was no complaining. 
The Sneddons (the office couple) were so moved that they immediately hired some returned missionaries to fill sand bags.  They held the water back for the rest of the rainy season, which was wonderful.  However, the sand bags have already split open, because of the hot sun.  We knew something had to be done. 

This is a recent photo with some of the kids from the orphanage by the school.

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