DR CONGO - GUAOA Orphanage
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G.U.A.O.A. is an orphanage situated in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (city of Goma). The acronym in French stands for Groupe Uni pour Aider les Orphelins Abandonés which means Group United to Help Abandoned Orphans. It was founded in 1994 by Maman Marie Matiko who decided to create a home for the large number of children who were left behind to fend for themselves after the death of their parents and family members primarily during the Congo Wars where it is estimated that over 6 million people were killed. According to The Truth Source, it has been reported that about 11% of the DR Congo's entire child population are orphans due to war, poverty and disease. https://thetruthsource.org/orphans-crisis-from-war-and-aids/
Local volunteers have made it their mission to assist these children who are in great need even though they do not get compensated. Assistance is minimal from local citizens and businesses due to ongoing hardships caused by the civil unrest. Because of this great need, we are determined to let GUAOA orphans know they are loved and can have a promising future in spite of their circumstances.
Noel's Story (GUAOA Orphan): "It was in 2004 that the FDLR rebels began to terrorize the people in my village which is situated in the territory of Masisi. I was a little boy at the time when they came to my village and killed almost everyone, few people managed to flea to the bushes. I was home with my family as this was ongoing, the rebels came into my home and killed my parents whose bodies fell on me. I was left there alone for about 2 hours, there was complete silence after the rebels left, I did not hear a single thing move. I myself could not move under the weight of my parent's bodies. I lost consciousness and when I woke up, I found myself in the hospital. I later learned that my siblings were also killed.
After the death of my family, I was hopeless and prayed to God that I too should die but the Lord rescued me by sending volunteers of GUAOA to take me to the orphanage where I was cared for. I am very grateful to my sponsor in the U.S.A. whom I call "mom". Because of her, today I am a man and am considered intelligent. Because of her I was able to find a job and because of her prayers and Bible verses she often sent me, I am called a child of God."
Click here to learn how Noel is doing today!
The orphanage has 100 orphans in its care, ranging from the age of 5 to 18 years old. 80 children are housed at the orphanage and 20 are placed in foster homes.
58% of the orphans are schooled with the assistance of generous donors (public schools in the DRC are fee-based).
Insufficient nutrition is a constant threat - the children eat one to two meals per day.
The lead Pastor of the orphanage’s partner church (Pastor Isaac Balume Zibira), visits the children and ministers to them through prayer, counseling and mentoring.
The children attend weekly Bible study on Wednesdays, attend weekly Sunday Service and are involved in many areas of ministry.
According to USAID, the DRC's education system is plagued by low coverage and poor quality. 3.5 million children of primary school age are not in school, and of those who do attend, 44 percent start school late, after the age of six. National data indicate that only 67 percent of children who enter first grade will complete sixth grade. Of those who reach 6th grade, only 75 percent will pass the exit exam.
Our 2022 goal is to raise $50,000 to fund the following initiatives:
Increase K-12 grade enrollment.
Vocational Training Expansion:
Sewing machines, laptops, printer, scanner and copy machines
Purchase of 4-acre plot of land to increase crop output in order to fight against child hunger, expand training offerings and to create revenue from surplus crops.
Click Here to make a donation towards our 2022 goal.
To learn how to Become an Educational Sponsor, click Here.
2015 HS Graduate
Aline is an orphan who graduated High School in 2015 thanks to an educational Sponsor. She completed our Vocational Training Sewing program in 2018. She uses skills gained from the program to teach underserved children how to sew, and she started her own tailoring business allowing her to make a living. Aline is now married, has a baby and fosters an orphan.
2016 HS Graduate
Noel graduated High School in 2016. Upon graduating, he was hired by an organization in the outskirts of Goma. He stated he will never forget his brothers and sisters at the orphanage. He visits them once a quarter and brings them sacks of rice and beans purchased with his salary.
2017 HS Graduate
2023 University Graduate, Organizational Management
Nsimire graduated High School in 2017. She completed a 12-month certification program in English and Microsoft office. She is currently a Sophomore in college and frequently volunteers at the orphanage in between her studies to help with the younger children and to run errands.
2019 HS Graduate
Seeking University Sponsor
Benedicte graduated High School in 2019. She hopes to continue her education by attending college in order to study Fashion Design. The yearly cost for the college she is interested in is $750 per year. If you would like to sponsor or contribute towards Asha's university tuition costs, please complete the sponsorship form.
2019 HS Graduate
2023 University Graduate, Engineering
Kevin graduated High School in 2019. Although he struggled through High School and had to redo 12th grade, he persevered forward with the help of his sponsor's mentorship, encouragement and support. In the end, he overcame his academic challenges. Kevin is now a university graduate! He hopes one day to have a big impact on the lives of orphans and underprivileged children!
2023 HS Graduate
Seeking University Sponsor
Asha has resided at GUAOA Orphanage since she was little after losing both of her parents. She was paired with her educational sponsors in 2018. They were instrumental in supporting her education and encouraging her throughout the process. Asha hopes to continue her education so she can become a midwife.
If you would like to sponsor or contribute towards Asha's $750 university tuition costs, please complete the sponsorship form.
Increase the number of orphans attending school from 76 to 100 for the 2024-2025 school year.
Expand our Sewing, Computer Training and Agricultural Vocational Training Programs.
Complete renovations on the orphanage to ensure a safe and fully functioning space.
Create a self-sustaining environment in which the orphanage is able to gain revenue to cover its expenses and cover the needs of all the children.
Purchase land to construct buildings to house orphans, a school, vocational training center and a store where the children can sell items they make.
We hope you will join our efforts of giving the children we support a Hand Up (not a Hand Out).