Canadian Expat Mom

When Gift Giving Becomes Life Changing

What to get the person on your list that has everything?

How about the gift of giving? During my time in Congo, I have seen first-hand what Mwana Village does for abandoned children and vulnerable woman. It is an orphanage that focuses on holistic orphan care; meaning, their first priority is helping to keep family units intact.

There are some orphanages in developing countries that actually encourage struggling parents to give up their babies because of the price tag that can come with adoption. Many orphanages also charge a large ‘humanitarian fee’ to parents wanting to adopt.

There is no price tag with Mwana. There are no fees attached to children. They take no money. Mwana Village functions 100% by donations.

Keeping families together is the goal at Mwana. On several occasions, woman have come to drop off their babies because they can’t afford to take care of them. Instead of simply taking the infant, Mwana works to avoid parental separation and first focuses of finding a way to help the mother get to a place of sustaining her child on her own. They have been know to employ these women within the refuge, and offer both the mother and child a place to stay until they get back on their feet.

Out of forty-eight children brought into Mwana Village so far, twenty-two have been reunited with their families. Four have been adopted locally in Congo, four have been adopted in France, four adopted in the US, and the rest of the children remain in the loving care of the Mwana Home.

Sometimes it doesn’t work out that parents can be convinced of receiving the help necessary to sustain their family, and other times babies are brought in by strangers because they are found abandoned, literally, in the garbage, a field, or on the street. For those babies, Mwana Village is there. It is a safe space for those children to regain their strength, grow, and be loved; until the family who has been dreaming of them arrives.

I have also seen the last scenario come together. To witness a family that has been hoping and praying for a child for years, arrive in Congo to meet their child for the first time, touches your heart in a way unlike any other.When you give to charity, you aren’t always sure exactly where your money is going. There might be overhead or administrative costs, and in the end, only a small portion of your donation actually gets where you intended it to go.

This is not the case with Mwana Village.

How do I know? Because I spend time there, and they’re wide-open with their finances. Mwana Village is run solely on the generosity of others, and the money donated goes directly to the Mwana Home and making it run. I have seen it first hand.It’s not a sad orphanage, or a place you wouldn’t want to go. It’s a home full of joy, love, dancing and music. My own children have played at Mwana, and anyone who enters becomes welcomed in as part of the Mwana family.Mwana Village brings hope to lives that would have otherwise been hopeless. It is the only place in this area of Congo where people can bring babies that they have found discarded in the most horrific ways imaginable. The babies are rescued, loved and go on to be loved by families who feel blessed to have them.

If you are looking to do something meaningful this Christmas, or you have someone on your list who doesn’t need a darn thing; put meaning in your money and help a place that truly makes a difference in the lives of many. I promise your money will be put to good use.

Through the link below you can find out more about Mwana Village, and find out how to sponsor, donate, help fund their new housing project and even dedicate your birthday to Mwana Village. No amount is too small.


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