The Heartwood Orphan Home's Move to Liberia
The relocation of our Refugee Orphan Home at Buduburam Refugee Camp, to ZuannahTown, Royesville, Liberia was launched on May 16, 2012. More than two years in development, this is a daunting but necessary undertaking. It brings together multiple government agencies, communities, donors, and individuals, all required to dedicate their best efforts for the sake of these precious children and youth, at least 19 of whom are part of the "Move to Liberia". This page outlines the rationale, the plan, key players, budgets, timetables, and other pertinent details to ensure a successful and timely relocation.
SLIDESHOW OF RECENT PHOTOS AT THE HEARTWOOD ORPHAN HOME IN ZUANNAHTOWN, LIBERIA
Logistics of Moving our People to Liberia
From June 3 to July 31, 2012 all of the children and young adults (19), full time staff (5), and their children (4) will move to the new Home in ZuannahTown as part of the UN's Voluntary Repatriation Package. Since our organization doesn't have legal permission to transport the children, they will be traveling with Liberian adult refugees they already know and with whom they are linked in the UN's refugee database. As they children return to Liberia the LRRRC will welcome them into Liberia and help us to settle them into the Heartwood Orphan Home in ZuannahTown. Rufus, the director at the Home, will repatriate with his family first, followed by the children, then finally Lennie and Esther, the patron and matron, will come last after all children have left Ghana, and once our physical assets (bunk beds, ovens, sewing machines, etc...) are safely being escorted in our mini-bus. Once we are moved in, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare will accept our application for accreditation as an approved "alternative child welfare institution", and will identify additional children who would be suitable for placement at the Heartwood Orphan Home.
Details of the Home's new location in ZuannahTown:
We were fortunate to secure a 5 year lease and pre-pay two years on a beautiful short-term location in ZuannahTown, on Royesville's SandBeach, on the border between Montserrado and Bomi counties, Liberia. ZuannahTown is small rural community about an hour drive north-west of Monrovia, bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Po River, and consisting of about 20 houses in a peaceful community of agriculturalists and fishers. ZuannahTown used to include a Sierra Leonean refugee camp, and still has a school and clinic built (but no longer funded) by the UN.
Our leased property includes 3 houses (4bd, 3bd, 2bd) on almost 2 acres of land, which is perfectly suited to the needs of the Orphan Home. There are 2 basic medical clinics within 10-20 minutes and a major hospital within 45 minutes, public and private educational institutions are nearby, and we are away from the noise, pollution, and insecurity of an urban center. Due to the productiveness of the land, we anticipate 90% food self-sufficiency within 3-6 months, thanks to the mature mango, coconut, plantain, papaya, and bread fruit trees, the abundant fish supply in the Po River and Atlantic Ocean, and over an acre of rich soil from which we will harvest corn, kassava, vegetables, yams, potato greens, and more. Children and staff will also use skills obtained at our Vocational Training Center over the past 2 years to make their own soap, bake their own bread, and sew their own clothing.
VIDEO INTRODUCTION TO OUR ZUANNAHTOWN PROPERTY
Before we can move in, and to become accredited as a Child Welfare Institution in Liberia, some renovations and upgrades to the property will be necessary, we will have to transport our current physical assets from Buduburam, and we'll invest in additional equipment to operate the Home. Renovations and upgrades will include: fence the compound; build a latrine/shower facility with septic system; install a hand dug well with a bore hole to provided a dedicated, treated water source; upgrade the kitchen and pantry; electrify the buildings and purchase a generator; renovate the buildings to meet security and safety standards; purchase a passenger van; relocate our equipment from Buduburam to ZuannahTown.
Update: On 6-21-12 an anonymous donor family has pledged funds to cover the renovation of the buildings, thereby securing the complete establishment of the new orphan home. Additional funds are still required to implement self-help programs for the orphans who graduate from the Home at age 18.
Property details of the permanent location of the Africa Heartwood Project Community in Liberia
After two years of looking for a parcel of land suitable for our permanent location in Liberia, through our able partners in Monrovia we have finally found it! We have a verbal agreement with the owners to purchase 10 consecutive acres of land on Royesville's SandBeach, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Po River, about 1 mile from our current location in ZuannahTown. The land is owned by a family who has produced a legitimate deed, free and clear, available for purchase in the name of the registered Liberian NGO, Africa Heartwood Project - Liberia. We are currently undertaking an independent survey and court investigation of the land, which must have favorable results guaranteeing our security in the transaction before any funds will be committed. The cost to purchase is $750 USD per 1/4 acre plot, or $30,000 USD total - a great value considering relative price-per-plot in the area, and considering the difficulty of finding that large of a parcel within 1 hour drive from Monrovia. An anonymous donors has pledged the balance of funds required to purchase the land in the name of Africa Heartwood Project. Additional funds are required to develop the land and build the campus.
PHOTOS OF THE 10 ACRES IN ROYESVILLE
The land is well suited to our long term objectives in Liberia as a non-profit social enterprise. The quality and location is excellent, providing ample opportunity for financial sustainability over time in terms of productivity of the land for food, and also for attracting mid- to long-term volunteers and generating income by way of prime beach-front property. As site plans are developed for the 3 campuses that will comprise our new community this web page will be updated. For now, please watch these 2 unedited videos that quickly introduce you the future location of Africa Heartwood Project - Liberia!
SOUTH BEACH BORDER (VIDEO)
NORTH RIVER BORDER (VIDEO)
RATIONALE, PLANNING, AND PARTNERS
Why the Move to Liberia was necessary (written before the Move began):
Make a Donation | Relocation Project Started - March 2010
Project Started -
October 2008Location -
Buduburam Refugee Camp, Ghana, AfricaBeneficiaries -
25-30 orphansAge Range -
8-22 years oldDonations Go Towards -
Rent for home, daily meals, clean water, medical needs, school tuition, mentorship and supervision, and onsite activitiesImmediate Need -
Ongoing sponsorship of individual orphans is now offered to adequately meet their basic needs. Please click here to sign up!
Africa Heartwood Project
We are also a registered NGO in Ghana effective October 17, 2008, and in Liberia as of June 2010.
All donations, contributions, and gifts are tax deductible under IRS code 170, up to 50% of adjusted gross income.
AHP is an all volunteer organization with no overhead; 100% of donated funds go to direct implementation of your pre-selected project.
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