It is not far-fetched to describe our partner Esther Ndichafah, founder and director of our longtime partner Hope Services Ministry International, as the “Mother Teresa of Cameroon.”
We know of no one who has done more for those most in need in her impoverished country whose clinics have provided free and low-cost health care to some 100,000 Cameroonians – especially young mothers with infants and for those whose lives are saved from easily treatable, but potentially fatal, diseases.
In addition, Esther has worked diligently to provide thousands of orphaned and destitute children in Cameroon and Chad with an education – their only pathway to success and out of a life of dire poverty – during our 10-year partnership through a support program which pays the school fees, purchases required school uniforms, and more, all made possible only through the support of people like you.
All of us at Bread and Water for Africa® commend Esther and are constantly amazed by how much she is able to accomplish for thousands of mothers and babies who are today happy and healthy and the children who are filled with hope for a bright future – all made possible thanks to her, and our supporters.
For the last 50 years, Bread and Water for Africa® international spokesperson Phyllis Keino has been “a mother to thousands” of children rescued from the streets of Eldoret, Kenya who have been lovingly taken in by the woman they grow to call “mum.”
In recognition of her efforts, Phyllis, founder of the Lewa Children’s Home, was recently notified that she will be presented Humanitarian Award for 2018 by World of Children for her tireless efforts in providing a loving home for orphaned and destitute children, as well as striving to ensure that they get the education they need for a bright and successful future.
Described as a real-life hero, Phyllis is being recognized as having dramatically improved the lives of at-risk children through high-impact programs including providing them with a safe home, medical care, a first-class education, and a caring family environment.
The organization receives thousands of nominations from around the world every year and uses a rigorous vetting process to select honorees, including extensive on-site investigations and an independent audit of each finalist.
The award is recognized by the media as the “Nobel Prize for Child Advocates.”
From all of us here at Bread and Water for Africa® and on behalf of all of our supporters who have assisted Phyllis in the realization of her dream for more than 20 years we offer our heartfelt “Congratulations!” to her in the knowledge that it is well-deserved.
Marcel, 16, is an orphan in one of the poorest countries in the world – Chad – and as a bright young man, he knows his only hope out of a life of dire poverty begins with graduating secondary school. In addition to finding enough food to eat and water to drink, Marcel’s main priority in life was to be able to continue attending the Government Secondary School – Belaba, in the small village of Lolo, where he is a Form 4 (sophomore) student.
Thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®, Marcel’s worries about continuing his education are a thing of the past.
“I had a lot of difficulties with my school fees and having my school outfit,” he told us. “This made me usually go to school in sadness.”
However, his life has been changed since our partner there, Hope Services, selected Marcel as a beneficiary of our school fee program.
“Since I started enjoying sponsorship, I started going to school with a smiling face,” says Marcel. “I’m very happy to be sponsored. I still have the desire to go as far as possible with my studies. I thank Bread and Water for Africa® and Hope Services very much. May God give them the ability to help me more.”
Once we begin assisting a bright, deserving student like Marcel with their school fees, we can continue that assistance until they earn their diploma and the title of “graduate,” which will open many doors for them throughout their lives.
Sometimes out of the worst situations and darkest days, a bright light is able to shine, and little Belitha is an example of just that.
She was only 9 years old when she arrived at the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre, a longtime partner of Bread and Water for Africa® that provides a loving home for the country’s orphaned, abandoned and destitute children – just like Belitha.
“Her mother was in prison for murder,” we were told by Katwata executive director Angela Miyanda, who added that Belitha had never spent a single day of her life in school.
However, in addition to making sure the young girl had plenty of food and a place to call home, she also enrolled Belitha into a local elementary school, made possible through the Bread and Water for Africa® school fee assistance program.
Although she literally had a lot to learn, Belitha excelled in the classroom and promptly graduated to year two.
When her mother was released from prison, the two were reunited and we are able to continue Belitha’s education while she and her mother get settled back in to each other’s lives.
While we don’t know the circumstances of her mother’s imprisonment and release, we place our full faith in Angela in the knowledge that she knows what’s best for Belitha – and that is for her to remain in school and work towards a brighter future.
Because of people like you, Belitha had a home in what was the worst time in her very young life, and once her immediate needs were met, the opportunity for an education.
And as Angela puts it: “An opportunity she never had before.”
At the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centerin Zambia, Bread and Water for Africa® longtime partner Angela Miyanda take in the county’s most vulnerable – its orphans and destitute children.
Her immediate priority lies in the present – to address any health issues ranging from malnutrition to AIDS/HIV, then get them fed, clothed, and sheltered in the new place they will be loved and grow to call home.
Once they are healthy and happy, that’s when Angela can begin to take the long view of ensuring that the boy or girl will have the education necessary to become a successful adult and put the poverty of their childhood in the past.
2017 is the year that brought a great sense of achievement for both Angela and seven children under her care.
“Seven children who grew up in the home have successfully completed their high school education and are ready for college,” she told us.
And that is a remarkable achievement in a country where few actually graduate from high school, and fewer still have the opportunity to go to college.
For Angela, it’s never too late to start a child or youth on the path of education.
Such was the case for Joseph, who came to Kabwata at age 18.
“Joseph is an orphan and has been living in a compound with relatives,” she told us. “He had never attended any school until now but he passed with excellent results to get into a new, senior secondary school.”
Angela also makes sure that children who arrive at Kabwata with special needs also get the best education possible to suit their abilities.
Emmanuel was just 2 years old when he arrived at Kabwata and in just one short year much has changed in the young boy’s life.
“His mother is mentally sick and used to feed Emmanuel with food from the trash bins,” said Angela. “He had already developed signs of mental challenges.
“However, today, Emmanuel has improved for the better and will be starting preschool in two weeks.”
In addition, thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®, Angela is able to help ensure there are actually teachers at the schools attended by Kabwata children.
The Amali School in the village of Kaweza serves 80 students from preschool to second grade and “is manned by two teachers, namely Mr. Chama and myself,” wrote Kondwani Shezongo.
He described the many challenges he and his colleague face, not the least of “the inability by parents to make payments for their children due to poverty levels which are high in our area.
“Our only source of income as teachers is the monthly allowances we get from the Kabwata Orphanage of 1300 kwacha per month,” he told us, which amounts to less than $135.
And Mr. Shezongo had good news for the future, saying “I wish to report that on a positive note we have seen tremendous interest by both parents and pupils in education which is a good sign for development.
“In my conclusion, I wish to thank Mrs. Miyanda and the entire orphanage group of Kabwata for the tireless efforts they have been lending to us the teachers which gives us the strength to want to see our community change for the better.”
As for Angela, these are the words she left us to pass on to you, our loyal and generous supporters:
“The program was born of love and compassion for suffering children. Today, the vision is beyond imagination because of the assistance it has rendered to many different groups of people.
“It’s a place of refuge and also a ladder to step on for those with an ability to achieve their dreams.”