Out in the bush... Located about 45 minutes east of Monrovia, Kingsville Orphanage is situated in "the bush," off the main road by a village of mud and stick huts with thatched roofs. When we first visited this orphanage in 2005, the children lived in a mud and stick hut with dirt floors and beds made of split bamboo slats. A couple of children still suffered shrapnel wounds from the civil war.
Living... Now children and staff live in one building. This building contains seven bedrooms and one larger multi-purpose room which functions as an eating hall, school room, and chapel. The front of the building has a concrete porch which also serves as a classroom until the new school building is completed. There is a well with pump on their property that provides drinking water, and a separate shallow well in which the children draw their bath water and wash clothes each day. A small cooking hut is located to the side of the orphanage, where the children's food is prepared. The children also have plenty of space to play.
Learning... The school held on their property provides education and care to the orphans at Kingsville and to children from the community. Victoria Thomas owns this orphanage and the accompanying school, but it is managed by her son, Willie Suah, a local pastor.
Serving... During recent visits to Kingsville, short-term teams have completed construction projects and provided medical care. In 2007, a team gave seeds to the orphanage to start a sustainable garden. They also crafted bookshelves for the school, built and hung a basketball backboard and net, and installed a clothes line. The school building constructed out of bamboo sticks, palm branches, and mud was blown away during the rainy season in 2007. A new school with four classrooms now meets on a concrete foundation that was laid during the 2008 trip. The orphanage also hopes to build a pen for future pigs and chickens, which they will raise and breed for food and income.
Not finished yet... Additional funding is needed in the following areas:
- Finishing the school - both additional supplies and labor are needed, as grades are added to establish the only high school in the region
- Constructing animal pens and purchasing pigs, chickens, and rabbits
- School uniforms (mandatory) for the children so that they can attend the local school
- Vocational and spiritual training for the older orphans so that they become self-supporting contributors in their community