Newsletter Fall 2015

Congo Visit Part Two - Building the Women’s Center

Thanks to our delivering some more money from the Capital Campaign – it was spent the same day to buy more cement & rebar! – we were able to witness good progress over the two weeks of our visit.

The architect Mr. Patrick Ilunga showed us (Mamans Antoinette & Monique, Elsie McKee & Beth McKee-Huger) his drawings. He explained significant features, e.g., the strong foundation to bear the weight of a second (& perhaps even a third?!) floor. Congolese houses traditionally have one level with minimal foundations, so it is a matter of professional pride to Mr. Ilunga that this building will be solid. The downside is that the ground floor is the most expensive part, & not yet complete.

They also were able to purchase a real saw for the lumber: a great improvement on this 12-inch one.

THANK YOU SO MUCH to all who have contributed! The members of Woman, Cradle of Abundance are touchingly grateful for your support in bringing them step by step closer to their dream of having a truly usable building. With our thanks we also dare to ask you to continue this good work and help us raise another $10,000 by the end of this year.

How is this for hand-molding rebar!

Karrin’s Marvelous Concert!

Sept. 20th we enjoyed the privilege of celebrating the launch of Karrin’s new CD of Rodgers & Hammerstein favorites. Accompanied by guitarist Steve Cardenas, her performance sparkled & enchanted all.

Karrin Alysson

Guitarist Steve Cardenas with fan Sam Floyd

Community Charity School Opens in War Torn Goma

On September 7, 2015, using funds provided through Hands Across the Water, Community Charity School opened its doors as a safe haven for some of the world’s most destitute children. It was founded by CENEDI, a local non-government organization, who chose the new school's name to honor Community Middle School in Plainsboro, NJ, where Hands Across the Water got its start.

It is called a “charity school” because they enroll students regardless of means to pay and have 120 students presently on “full scholarship”. They opened with few supplies but with a solid belief that education can positively affect the lives of these children. We are presently fundraising to ship books in English to start up their library.  CCS is committed  to providing first rate education including classes in French and English for the lowest possible tuition. We are so proud of our contribution to this worthy cause — and dedicated to continuing our support for many years to come!

Our Microloan Project in Uvira

Six years ago we began our high school tuition support program with five 7th grade students from Kaboke Village. We have added to the ranks over the years to providing full support for 26 orphans. They have learned French and English as part of their studies. We are very happy to announce that 9 of our students have graduated and passed their state exams! This is quite an accomplishment given their circumstances.

Three graduates are the recipients of our first micro-loan.  In August they opened Cyber Café Etioles de Mer in Uvira.  It presently providies internet, fax, photo-printing, scanning & translation services to the people of Uvira.  Applications are pending for our next loan. 

Below, two proud businessmen display their new copy machine.