We select our target orphanage carefully
In 2013, we identified a small orphanage that was doing good work in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It started with an email from a friend telling the story of 35 orphans being taken into the woods to hide from rebel soldiers.
Initially, we paid for the school fees and uniforms for the orphans. Over time, we built a trusting relationship: we are confident that our funds are being wisely spent and we have an agreement with the Grace team that we will help them to self-sufficiency in 10 years. We connect with the orphanage director on a weekly basis, and get monthly updates on the children via Skype calls. We intend to visit and inspect at least once every two years (as the safety situation dictates) to ensure compliance. Visitors always pay their own travel costs.
Now we are stepping up our support to build a permanent facility to house 60 orphans and a farm to grow vegetables, pigs and chickens. The next phase to self-sustainability.
We support local solutions
It is through partnership that we learn from the local leaders the best way to support these vulnerable children, in the context of the local culture. We trust our local partners with their expertise to care for the children. IWOF maintains direction and control over the funds sent to Congo and we require regular reporting and accountability to all partners.
We forward 97% of funds we raise
We are a totally volunteer-run, Canadian registered charity, allowing us to forward 97% of the funds donated. We have selected an orphanage in eastern Congo that is very efficiently run, where only a small portion of the funds are allocated for staff living expenses. The majority of the funds they receive go to help the orphans. Additional support for the staff (mostly unpaid volunteers) are self-raised.