After a short time of living in the Republic of Congo in 2004, the Canadian husband-and-wife team Cheryl Walker and Lambert Laki-Laka returned to Canada. Yet their exposure to the dire plight of abandoned children sparked a desire for change. In 2010, they founded Mwana Villages, a nonprofit organization devoted to the transformational care of orphans and vulnerable mothers.


The main component of Mwana Villages is the Mwana Refuge, where orphans are encouraged to thrive by full-time local caregivers. The first goal is always family preservation and reunification. When that is not an option, Mwana seeks local and international adoptive families in order to provide every Mwana child with a family.


In order to garner wider geographic influence, Mwana Villages is currently raising funds to build the permanent Mwana Refuge. The Refuge would allow an increase in the number of orphans cared for and provide a facility for early childhood education. In 2017, land for the Refuge was purchased in the town of Pointe-Noire, the country’s second largest city. The permanent Refuge in Pointe-Noire will serve as the country-wide ministry hub.


Other future projects include the expansion of Mwana Villages to the city of Nkayi and the development of a self-sustaining farm in Bouansa.


What began as a desire to meet the needs of vulnerable populations has taken root in the Republic of Congo and promises to be force for good in the future.


To find out more about Mwana Villages, visit their website or email U.S. Director Wellon Bridgers.

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