What is Mamalata Village?
Mamalata Village is a new model to care for the needs of orphaned children in the Congo. Children are raised by Christian parents as opposed to institutions. The village is self-sustaining, rather than dependent on continual support. Completely all-inclusive, it encompasses training, education, family and health care.
Why Mamalata Village?
Deadly conflict has raged in the Congo since 1998. As a result, over 750,000 children have been orphaned in the worst conflict since WWII. Extreme poverty means that over 70% of the population lives on less than $1.00 per day.
Why Not Dormitories?
- Dormitories are often overcrowded and dependent on outside aid to meet the basic needs of children (i.e., government aid, aid organizations)
- Dormitories exclude children from the rest of Congolese society
- Dormitories do not meet the emotional needs of orphaned children
- Homes provide stability – 1 set of parents for the entire life of the child
- Homes provide comfort and and security which allows a child to focus on education and enjoy childhood
- African society is traditionally organized according to wide networks of relatives (grandparents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins)
- in most villages, everyone is related through common ancestors
- most poor Congolese live in cheap, overcrowded houses
- poverty prohibits relatives from caring for orphaned children