26 young orphans have a 'chic' new home!

January 2008: We had just moved from a nearby church building into a few rooms in this compound, our third move in as many years. Putting a few tons of fill in the yard and raising concrete floors in this row of shacks (on a swamp) was just the beginning. This past week we added another 7 tons of rock to fill a few more low spots in the compound. We knew we had a lot of work to do, particularly before the rains came!

April 2009: We now occupy the whole compound on a multi year lease and we’ve spruced it up! Our hostel is now ‘home’ to 26 of our kids. A huge improvement and they love it!

Five rooms have been opened to create a dorm for the girls and a dorm for the boys separated by a common room they share for reading, studying, computing and socializing.

Cleaned, scrubbed and painted with new bunk beds and bedding – pink for the girls and blue for the boys! A closet built over the outside sidewalk on each side for day clothes and a small metal trunk for each child gives them space for other personal belongings. The new concrete sidewalk along the length of the compound keeps the water and mud out.

What began as a canvas tarp over poles next to the kitchen to keep the kids out of the weather is now a simple tin and pole structure (pictured below) with a concrete floor. This shelter doubles as the dining room and as a meeting place and activity centre. Getting meals organized and served and running daily activities has become much easier for all of us in this new space.

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