Archive for the ‘African School’ Category

I remember sitting in church as a kid in the early 90s, listening to a missionary discuss their life in Africa while flipping through a slide reel of pictures. I don’t remember anything they said, just the feeling of fear and dread that God wanted to punish me enough that one day I would have to go to Africa. That night and for years to follow, I begged God to never make me go to Africa. I’d do anything else.

Then in the spring of 2014, I felt the wind blow in a different direction. The Miles had sold all their stuff and moved to Nigeria six months prior. I felt my curiosity suddenly outweighing my fear. It now seemed as if maybe God had a gift waiting for me rather than a punishment. I wanted to visit friends. But I also felt a new and unfamiliar tug. An exciting invitation. A “just you wait and see…”

Since that first trip with Stephen in 2014, I’ve traveled back to Nigeria 3 more times, with another trip scheduled for later this year. I am now eager for each next chance to go to Africa.

When C.A.R.E. Africa first began, Patrice asked if I would attempt to sell some jewelry participants had made. Having no experience in sales, marketing, promotion, or distribution, I said, “Sure!” We bought a tent and tables. Stephen’s sister used sharpies to draw a poster board sign, and we began vending at farmer’s markets in Louisville, KY.

C.A.R.E. grew into a full-blown ministry in Nigeria with many facets, including a seamstress training program that creates numerous products including clothing, handbags, jewelry, and aprons. Our garage transformed into an “Amazon Fulfillment Center,” stocked with shelves of sorted boxes of products, market display items (many built by Patrice’s stepdad), and shipping supplies.

Miraculously those early days of stumbling through the unknowns have grown into a vibrant display, a band of faithful volunteers, return-shoppers at markets, a requested presence in missions conferences, an Etsy store, and $20k in sales for 2021.

I found my passion and purpose in that vendor booth. I could not sell just anything. But I have the incredible luck to showcase vibrant products which tell a beautiful story that I believe in with my whole heart. And I love the human element of a market: crowds of unique characters with personalities as varied as the fabric prints. It helps open my heart to the patchwork of people required to build a solid community.

As if my life managing product sales wasn’t charmed enough, in 2021 I was offered employment with C.A.R.E. as the Sponsorship Coordinator. I am having so much fun getting to know the kids and sponsors more. It is an honor to facilitate communication and relationship internationally! Sponsors are partnering with C.A.R.E. to educate, disciple, and nurture more than 70 kids in Nigeria. I update sponsors on life in Egbe including new pictures, report cards, home life, plans for college, and achievements. I also relay communication from sponsors back to Egbe staff and students.

Other facets of this role include advocating for sponsorship and monitoring financial transactions. After an end-of-year audit, we verified that 99% of child sponsorship donor dollars go directly to care and supplies for the children and their families!! Around every turn, I continue to find the efficacy and integrity of this organization are top tier.

What a thrill ride I’m on. I’d like to go back to tell little Diana she doesn’t need to be afraid; there’s so much to look forward to.

ADVOCATE * INVEST * EMPOWER * SERVE

Millions of Nigerian students are disappointed every year because they cannot attend university.  Not because they didn’t study hard enough for entrance exams, but because there isn’t enough room for all of them and it’s not affordable for most. 

74% of Nigerians that apply for higher education will be denied. Only 1 out of 4 will have the opportunity to go. WHY?

The US has over 5,000 higher education institutions to service a population of roughly 319 million.  Compare that to Nigeria who has around 150 universities to service a population of 180 million people, 62% of them 24 or younger.  There is simply not enough universities  in Nigeria to accommodate the growing student population. 

If a student is accepted, the school fees can range from $1,000 to $6,000 per year, for federal, state, or private university.  For a country with an approximate minimum wage of $57 a month (about $2 a day) it is clearly impossible for most families to to send their children to university.  

We are fortunate to have six students in higher institutions in Nigeria and one in the United States.  These children are blessed to have sponsors who invest in their lives. We work very hard to obtain admittance for our children. For those who are able to gain admission we rely on our sponsors for tuition fees. A higher education gives them the opportunity to break free from the cycle of poverty. God’s kingdom is growing, and generations will be transformed because when you educate a child, you educate a nation. 

Please consider giving to our scholarship fund to enable more children to continue their education at https://give.icareafrica.org/careafrica/scholarship

When I found myself back in Canada after our time in Egbe Nigeria had ended, I found myself feeling a bit lost. 

My husband and I had ministered overseas for over 20 years. Those had been years filled with great blessings, and a few challenges. One of the greatest blessings for me was my involvement at C.A.R.E. Africa and Foundations Academy in Egbe. Each week I would find myself wrapping arms around both the kids and the staff. I loved walking into each classroom and coming alongside the educators that were so dedicated to their profession. I counted it a privilege to be called ‘Mommy Cindy’ and many were adopted as ‘my kids’. 

During my time at Egbe, I was introduced to Patrice Miles and Emma Salako. Patrice and Emma had a God-given dream for C.A.R.E. Africa. I watched and prayed during the early years as the Centre progressed and the desire for a school was birthed. I was thrilled when asked if I could teach/mentor at the School.

Knowing the staff and children by name became very important to me. It was so much fun going to Market and hearing my name called and kids would come running to the White Mommy with no fear.  

Late 2019 we found ourselves flying back across the ocean to Canada to settle back with our family, kids and grandchildren, but a part of my heart was left In Egbe.  

How I would miss this very special place! 

A few months after landing in the Great White North, I found myself asking ‘What Would You Have Me to Do?’ during my times with Jesus. C.A.R.E. Africa was still tugging at my heart. I kept praying…

    God does know the desire of our heart. 

Soon after praying, I received word from Patrice asking if I would consider doing Bi-Monthly calls with staff members with Foundations Academy Staff. I jumped right on this…Yes! 

It has been close to 2 years now, every other Thursday morning (providing we have good network) I have the PRIVILEGE of talking to a different staff member over WhatsApp.

We laugh, sing, cry, share struggles of being an educator in Nigeria and pray! Lately we have begun doing video chats, the calls always end with joyful tears as I get to see my fellow colleagues in Egbe. What joy. 

God does know the desire of our heart. 

When we returned to Canada, I had no idea how I could still be involved on a consistent basis with C.A.R.E. and Foundations Academy Egbe. 

God knew my desire and He answered.

Thank you so much to everyone that donated and shared our school building project to your friends and family on #GivingTuesday. We were able to raise $6,360 plus the $2,000 match from Jeff Maine at Proudly for a grand total of $8,360 of the $25,000 needed for our Phase 1 of the project. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!

We cannot be the hands and feet of Jesus without amazing donors ready to support us! Thank you!

Today is the day! Educate a child, Educate a Nation! Help us educate a child by donating to Phase 1 of our school building project in Egbe, Nigeria on this day of generosity.

Click below to donate any amount so we can build our school for our kids at C.A.R.E. Africa.

10.5 million children in Nigeria are not in school per Unicef statistics. This is the highest population of out of school children in the world. Help us build a school in Egbe, Nigeria so our 78 vulnerable children can go to school in a safe and secure environment.

We currently rent a space and have outgrown it. 152 children attend our school and 78 of these children are on scholarships. We want each child to receive a quality education and in order to do that, we feel the child to teacher ratio needs to be low. We pride ourselves in the fact that our teacher to child ratio is 15 pupils per class. This means we cannot take as many children as we would like and so we have a waiting list of children begging to get an education. With the new school we will have more classrooms and can take more children.

We have the land we just need the buildings. The total building project cost is $250,000 of which Phase 1 is $25,000. This will allow us to start clearing the land, building the wall and digging the footers. Donate any amount to help us educate more children in Egbe, Nigeria! Click DONATE

Unleash your generosity in 1 week on #GivingTuesday.

Consider donating to the C.A.R.E. Africa school project. Pay Proudly has committed to match the first $2,000 given to the project so please pass this email along to everyone you know!

Help us build a school in Nigeria for our kids!

#GivingTuesday is only 2 weeks away!

There is Black Friday , Cyber Monday and #GivingTuesday!

Unleash generosity and build a school in Egbe, Nigeria for vulnerable children this year for #GivingTuesday

10.5 million children in Nigeria are not in school per Unicef statistics. This is the highest population of out of school children in the world.

Help us build a school in Egbe, Nigeria so our 78 vulnerable children can go to school in a safe and secure environment. We currently rent a space and have outgrown it. 152 children attend our school and 78 of these children are on scholarships. We want each child to receive a quality education and in order to do that, we feel the child to teacher ratio needs to be low. We pride ourselves in the fact that our teacher to child ratio is 15 pupils per class. This means we cannot take as many children as we would like and so we have a waiting list of children begging to get an education. With the new school we will have more classrooms and can take more children. Educate a child, Educate a Nation!

Help us educate a child by donating to Phase 1 of our building project. We have the land we just need the buildings. The total building project cost is $250,000 of which Phase 1 is $25,000. This will allow us to start clearing the land, building the wall and digging the footers. Donate any amount to help us educate more children in Egbe, Nigeria! Click EDUCATE to donate!

Check our my latest trip to Nigeria. I was so blessed to be able to spend time with my staff encouraging them through leadership training. We re-visited our vision, mission and core values while evaluating our programs and processes. We analyzed our office culture and came up with ways to show Christ’s love better in the lives of those he has entrusted us with. We celebrated our children and continued to work towards progress on our building project for the school. God continues to give us all the strength to be his hands and feet in Egbe, Nigeria.

P.S. My birthday fundraiser for Pastor Alabi was fully funded!! Thank you everyone for helping make my birthday wish come true!

From Canada to the U.S. to Egbe…..here a some beautiful pictures to illustrate what has been going on at C.A.R.E. Africa! Enjoy!

At C.A.R.E. Africa we try to reach out to the community monthly to support other ministries to encourage them. We recently visited a ministry in Jos, Nigeria and fell in love with the work they are doing. Meet Bibi, a teacher that was tired of seeing the children in Jebu sitting around with nothing to do. They had no money for school fees so she brought the school to them. The children come everyday now to learn to read and write but have to sit outside in the hot sun. Recently there has been attacks on their village and the need for a shelter is even more important.

Bibi needs a building for these children and has been raising funds all by herself. Help her buy the block, wood and roofing materials needed to finish her building for the children of Jebu Miango in Nigeria. Any amount will help towards the $500 needed. You can donate at https://donorsee.com/project/10366

Check out the progress of their library an educational center along with information on the recent attacks on their village at https://www.facebook.com/kangyangg1.