Posts Tagged ‘Village’

Congo Update — Spring/Summer 2014

Friday, June 27th, 2014

150 children
8 University / Vocational Students
8 homes / 11 families

A photo of ICC’s Patmos Children’s Village with Lake Kivu in the background

Project Contact
Communication is very difficult between this project and the outside world. Even when ICC’s children’s services personnel try to call, their conversations are often cut short due to poor phone communication and internet connections. It is difficult to discuss all topics from either end.

Email communication is challenging when working through issues. There is nothing like sitting face-to-face. Rick and Sharon Fleck plan to take a trip to Congo later this year. If they can’t go into Congo for some reason, they will meet with the key personnel in Rwanda for a week.

Project Staff
The project has a new children’s service director. She seems to be doing a great job. The progress reports indicate that the children have experienced many positive changes. This could also be partially due to the presence of a psychologist who is working with the children’s services director.

Education
The children are growing up. A majority of them are in secondary school which has caused an increase in the education costs. They have a European style of education where students start specializing in the areas that they will be studying in university. This project is not able to offer all the different streams of study at the campus school, so some of the students have to go to other schools to continue their education. Funding for education is one of the greatest needs at this project.

Desire, the project administrator is encouraging the students to study for different specialties so that eventually they will be able to help our program with their education. They may also be able to help in an area that will provide funds for the project. It is a wonderful concept.

A photo of the secondary school at ICC’s Patmos Children’s Village with Lake Kivu in the background

Construction and Development
Construction continues on the secondary school. An additional amount of about $22,000 (€16,176) is needed to complete this important project.

Work continues on completing house #9 so that the new children will have a home to live in.

The Patmos children’s village also is in need of staff housing. Current facilities are not adequate or appropriate to for administrative and support staff.

Doug Congleton and Joel Reyes placing the special message that was included with the container ICC shipped to the Patmos Children’s Village

Container
In February, ICC US sent a container of much needed supplies. As of the end of June, 2014, it had arrived in Rwanda is the process of getting it out of customs is underway.

Potato Harvest in Romania

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Potatoes are a staple food for our ICC children in Romania. Potatoes are prepared in different ways and the children love them. For a few years now, our ICC partner in the Netherlands has found a company to help supply seed potatoes for our project. These are shipped to Romania along with other needed items for our children and the wider community.

Harvesting Potatoes at International Children’s Care’s Romanian Children’s Village

Harvesting potatoes at ICC’s Romanian children’s village

This past March, 1,200 kg  (2,645 lbs.) of seed potatoes were included in the transport. These were planted in the ICC Romania garden and nurtured through the growing season. When the staff and children harvested the potatoes, the yield was 6,000 kg (over 13,000 lbs). This quantity is enough to feed the children until the next harvest.

Potatoes grown on the ICC Romania Farm

Some of the potatoes that were harvested at the ICC Romania children’s village

What a blessing this arrangement is for our children and staff. They received a donation that quite literally grew bigger as they nurtured and cared for it. This is symbolic of the children themselves. Many of them come to us as small children. Yet, with nurturing love and care, they also grow and develop and mature into talented and energetic young people with the capacity to make a difference in the world.

Thanks ICC Netherlands for organizing this initiative.

Distressing News — Renewed Fighting And Insurrection In The DR Congo

Friday, May 31st, 2013

We received a distressing email from the DR Congo on Monday, May 27, 2013. Désiré Murhima, our director of ICC Congo, informed us that rebel militias were once again attacking the city of Goma where the office for ICC Congo is located and where some of our newest children were temporarily housed. Following is an excerpt of Désiré’s email:

“We are sorry to tell you once more, in less than five months, about war in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

“In fact, after our last phone call (which failed because of network connection) [that] same night we did not sleep owing to bombs launched and gun shots in the northern part of Goma and at less than 900 m (less than half-a-mile) [from] Goma International Airport. Until now there are only two days of some peace (Saturday, May 25th & Sunday, May 26th).

“On Thursday, May 23rd, around 9:10 AM, two bombs fell [on] Goma approximately 300 m (two-tenths of a mile) [from] our ICC Congo Office. Consequently [as a result of the blast] one [local] child died, [another] lost [both] legs and another child had his right arm [severed] and his eye was totally damaged.

ICC Congo children from Goma being transported by boat to the Patmos Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi in Lake Kivu

ICC Congo children from Goma being transported by boat to the Patmos Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi in Lake Kivu

“On the basis of this horrible situation, we immediately took the decision to take the new children [to the Patmos Children’s Village] on Idjwi Island where they can live peacefully. [On] Idjwi, we accommodated them in one part of the newly built home [number] eight.

ICC Congo children from Goma on Idjwi

The ICC Congo children from Goma are now residing at the Patmos Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi

“Nowadays, Goma town is not supplied in food because all the roads from Butembo, Rutchuru, Masisi and Bukavu are blocked/shut/closed by rebel militaries. There is only access to Goma town via the Kivu Lake. Civilian aircraft (excepting military aircraft) do not land or take off. Half of Goma’s population has moved to other peaceful areas/regions/places/zones.”

We highly need your prayers.

Désiré Murhima
Administrator ICC Congo

A Special Message From India

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

We are passing along to all of you, as requested by the sender, this note from the director of our children’s village in India, Lilly Kaligithi.

Dear Friends;

As you celebrate this Christmas may our Lord’s birth be experienced in your hearts and bring you joy and hope for eternal bliss. Soon we will enter into another New Year, 2013. May the Lord guide and bless every step that you take and every decision you make.

God has blessed Sweet Home in many ways. My heart is filled with gratitude as I look back on what our children have accomplished by the grace of God. One boy completed Masters in Biotechnology, and received a medal for his outstanding performance. Four [children] have graduated with a B.Sc. Degree in Nursing and nine have graduated from Academy.

They certainly made me proud. I wish to take this opportunity to thank each one of you for your great support and encouragement.

“And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.” Isaiah 58:11

With best wishes and Season’s Greetings from your Sweet Home Family;

Lilly F. Kaligithi

Water Emergency

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Water. It’s often taken for granted when you turn on the faucet anticipating a clear stream of liquid to refresh, to cleanse, to invigorate. Nothing satisfies thirst like water, and when a problem in the supply system interrupts the flow of water to our ICC children it becomes an urgent problem that requires immediate attention. This is what happened at ICC’s Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala. The children’s homes and facilities draw water from two wells, and recently the children and staff were totally without the use of either of them.

The well behind the bakery has a broken pipe inside, and the workers can’t get the pump out. The problem was immediate, and our administrator had to solve it quickly. The pump motor on the other well burned out, and the shaft is broken.

For a very short time, water was shared from an emergency well at ICAP, the secondary school whose property is next to Los Pinos. However, this was only a temporary solution.

The cost of purchasing a new pump for the second well is $1,543. Our administrator, Joel Carpio, had no choice but to purchase the pump and quickly put it into service. Once again, water flowed through the system and our children and staff had the supply they needed.

Problem solved? In one sense, yes, and in some years, it may not have mattered too much if Joel had to use operating funds for this out-of-budget purchase. But this year it matters very much because the summer months have seen donation income decrease significantly at ICC. This has put a huge strain on all our projects as we’re not always able to send operating funds at the time they are needed. ICC project administrators like Joel are trying their best to keep the essential operations moving along, despite the hardships. When something like the broken wells occurs, it causes added strain to the budget. In this situation, Joel had to use money from his already depleted operational funds which are desperately needed to provide for the care of our children.

I’m writing today to make you aware of this situation. We need your prayers. We need our Heavenly Father’s blessing from the “windows of heaven” so that Joel is able to have sufficient operating funds to provide for the daily care of the children. If you feel the nudge to assist Joel please let us know. You can also send your donation marked “Guatemala Need.”

Thank-you for your continued interest and support of ICC’s children and projects around the world. It’s the ongoing, consistent support of our faithful supporters that makes this ministry for orphaned and abandoned children possible. Without you, we’d not be able to care for them. So, in a sense, it’s our supporters who put the “care” into International Children’s Care. May God richly bless you for your care and support of the children.

In His service,

Kent Greve
International Development Director

ICC Congo Erosion Control Project Successfully Completed

Friday, January 27th, 2012

In 2010 and 2011 Desire Murhima and his team worked hard to fight a severe erosion problem at the ICC Patmos Children’s Village. With the financial support of our ICC Europe Chapters and Offices they were able to successfully combat the problem. Canals to control water flow during heavy rain along with small bridges were constructed and new trees and grass was planted. Desire wishes to thank all the donors for their support.

Photo of one of the erosion control canals at the ICC Patmos Children's Village

One of the erosion control canals at the ICC Patmos Children's Village

This year, 2012, Desire wants to expand the project into other parts of the village. The need for erosion control in those areas is not as imperative as it was where erosion control was installed, but still this needs to be done.

Photo of one of the erosion control canals with a bridge across the canal at ICC's Patmos Children's Village

Another view of one of the erosion control canals

ICC Guatemala Experiences ‘Family Week.’

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

ICC is on a mission to create homes and families for children who have neither. Since 1978, ICC has been creating happy families for orphaned and abandoned children around the world. We often speak of our “ICC family” which includes children, caregivers, donors, administrators and staff in various support offices. At ICC we celebrate family. And what a unique family it is!

One of the special events on some of our campuses each year is “Family Week” which is designed to enhance and strengthen relationships among family members. Joel Carpio, administrator of ICC’s Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala, recently sent a report about the Family Week they celebrated earlier this year. Here is what he said;

The goal [of Family Week] was family integration and unity. The families of the teachers and the administrative team were distributed among the families of the eight children’s homes to support and participate with them.

The activities were both religious and secular (sports). They did dramas, songs, dramatized songs, etc. And in each activity both the children and adults had to participate together.

During the recent 'Family Week' at ICC's Los Pinos Children's Village, one of the families put on a skit involving chickens.

During the recent 'Family Week' at ICC's Los Pinos Children's Village, one of the families put on a skit involving chickens. And a wedding. And a very large pot.

It was impressive to see the acting talent, the participation and the ingenious ideas that the children and young people had and their desire to help their home win the prize. It was a week that we greatly enjoyed, not only the children but also the adults. And even though it was tiring for the adults (the children never seem to get tired!), we enjoyed it so much that it turned out to be good therapy to relieve stress.

One thing that was especially interesting was to see how the relationship between the parents and the children improved, leaving to one side the differences or problems that happen in the home. And that was the goal—that the staff members be integrated to take advantage of the opportunity to promote family unity.

You really needed to have been there to understand the happiness that this week produces. I don’t think there is any comedian who could make us laugh like we did seeing the acting and talent of the children and young people and the creative ideas that they came up with to do things.

One of the activities that was enjoyed the most is the rally. This is an athletic event with skills, coordination and a lot of enthusiasm. This took one whole afternoon. There were ten stations with a judge at each one which oversaw an activity in which the whole family participated. All members of the family had to participate and do the activity correctly in order for the judge to sign off their sheet so they could run and find another station that was empty in order to do another activity. The family that got all ten signatures first won the event. It took about three hours to complete this event.

Families crawl through the mud during Family Week at ICC's Los Pinos Children's Village in Guatemala.

Rally participants crawl through the mud during Family Week at ICC's Los Pinos Children's Village in Guatemala.

This year we had a breakfast competition. One Sunday morning all the homes were given a spot on the campus where they organized and decorated an area where they made a stove, a work table and a dining table. Each home made its menu and they weren’t allowed to take anything that was prepared ahead of time. Again the ingenuity of each person came out and we really enjoyed this event. We had to have a big appetite to enjoy everything that was prepared, and it wasn’t easy to be a judge of this event!

One of the tables and meals from the breakfast competition during Family Week at ICC's Los Pinos Childrens' Village.

One of the tables and meals from the breakfast competition during the recent Family Week at ICC's Los Pinos Children's' Village.

Besides these activities, we had brought special speakers to give motivational and educational talks which were of much interest to everyone during the week.

We have other special activities during the year, including Courtesy Week, Young People’s Week, Week of the Child and also two Weeks of Prayer. But some would say their favorite week is Family Week!

You can see in this report and in the pictures of happy children that family week was a special time to nurture and celebrate families. It also shows that your support of ICC is not about charity—it’s about family!

Kent Greve
International Development Director ICC