IRFF UK has been supporting the Hope for Children shelter in Goma, Congo since 2018 by initially granting £300 per month in order to provide the 60+ children and staff with a nutritious evening meal.

In July 2019, IRFF UK responded to an essential need by helping the shelter with a one-off grant of £260. As its building was too small to keep all the children indoors during the Ebola crisis, a request was made to help protect the children by renting another house that would accommodate half the children for a period of 3 months, and also purchase two large water tanks to help promote cleanliness.

Around September 2019, the children of the shelter asked IRFF UK if they could provide funds to help them purchase school uniforms and backpacks after the Congo Government had decided that these children were entitled to free Primary School education. IRFF UK responded quickly with a £740 grant!!

With the aim of helping the shelter become self-sufficient in feeding the children, IRFF UK offered another grant of £1,060 to start an agricultural project – to grow and harvest corn. Within a year of running this project, it was anticipated that IRFF UK would no longer need to fund the feeding the children!

In February 2020, ploughing began on the land, using a tractor. Once fully ploughed, the second phase of sowing the corn seeds started! After the growing period of around five months, the harvesting began.

From the 6 hectares cultivated with corn, after harvesting, 420 Kgs were able to be offered to the shelter to feed the children. The staff reported that the children were healthy and were being educated well at school. However, they told us that they were still in need of additional funds due to the demands of rent for the shelter, the purchasing of school supplies and medicines when the children fall ill.

During the first three months of 2021, the shelter was able to feed the children without an external support.

But as a final push towards their goal of self-sufficiency, Hope for Children, with the support of friends as well as another grant of £850 from IRFF UK, embarked upon purchasing grinding equipment for use by both the shelter and also by farmers (for a small fee) in order to grind their corn and so generate further income. This new initiative was implemented in March 2021, and bears enormous hope to fulfil the shelter’s goal!

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