Our First Year in Review

June 2012 marked JabuAfrica’s first birthday!  OK, so this is a little belated but the work we are doing is making a lasting impact on caregivers and children in DRC and South Africa.  It is our mission to encourage and empower local caregivers to continue to give the best care possible to vulnerable children in their communities.

Here’s what we (you and JabuAfrica) have been up to this year:

Emergency support was given to our friends at TLC in South Africa–as you know, the amazing woman that runs this home will not turn a child away.  Although some children in her care are orphans and may be adopted, many will return to their birth families once their circumstances stabilize.  TLC is currently home to 78 babies and children.   Our emergency support allowed TLC to buy diapers, food, medicine and formula.  We were also able to assist in the mandatory purchase of a fire escape for the TLC property.  In July, we partnered with The Ball Project  to bring sports equipment to the older children at TLC–with 12 teenage boys living in the house, the gift of sports equipment was a big hit! 

I had the opportunity to travel back to DRC in July.  This trip was a much needed visit to check on various projects and confirm the direction we are going in as an organization.  I sent out a letter to our supporters and friends in August explaining our change in direction in the building project in Kinshasa.  If you did not receive that letter and would like to know more please email me sarahcastor@jabuafrica.org.

In June, JabuAfrica participated with Forgo to raise funds for the Kinshasa baby house.  We matched all contributions up to $5, 000.  This was a huge boost to their efforts and allowed our support to go even further.  Those funds provided 13.75 months of rent.

The July trip began in Indianapolis on a wave of generosity generated by our friends at Crimson Tate:: Modern Quilter (maker of our favorite Harriet headbands for JabuAfrica–available on Etsy).  Friends of Crimson Tate handmade the most beautiful baby coverlets for the babies and toddlers in the Kinshasa baby home.  It was truly amazing to see our community come together and then be able to hand deliver these precious blankets to the children.  While I was in Kinshasa, we spent one day buying furniture for the new baby house–dining tables for the children, chairs, and tables for the mamas’ to use for set up in the kitchen.  We also helped with the purchase of beds/mattresses.  In our luggage we packed nearly 100 lbs. of formula for the babies in care as well as the coverlets.  So much of what we will be doing depends on my going there…seeing what is going on firsthand, interacting with our leaders there, and delivering things that cannot be purchased easily or at all in Kinshasa.

“A good storyteller doesn’t just tell a better story.  He invites other people into the story with him, giving them a better story too. ”  –Donald Miller.  This is my dream for JabuAfrica.

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