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Ouidah Homeless Children's Project


Original Appeal...
A wonderful group of homeless kids have found shelter and support for the last 5 years, but they will face the streets again very soon unless we raise $13,000 by January 31, 2017. The property owner must sell quickly (medical/financial problems) and he's lowered the purchase price significantly, but we only have a short time left. We made our first critical goal of 50% by September 30th. That means we raised $14,000! We actually exceeded the 50% and stopped the threat of sale on the open market. That leaves about $13,000 to raise before January 31st. If we fail to make the deadline, the property will be sold and the kids will have to leave. Please help us make the Homeless Children's Residential Center of Ouidah a reality. Can you or your company help? If you have questions, contact me immediately at craig@craigsherodphoto.com.

The project to help these children was started by Martine de Souza and will be owned by APEF, a registered NGO she founded, which has been helping women and children in remote villages of Benin since 2001. For the last 5 years, helping local homeless children has been a personal project for Martine, as she fed, clothed, and counseled 8-14 children at her own expense.

During this fundraising campaign, we are not seeking money for operations or finishing touches on the new construction (such as toilets, beds, electrical hookup). However, any money that we raise beyond the purchase price could be put to great use on the facility, food, and school expenses (my donation in January was enough to send nine children to school for the first time).

While working on a photo project, I spent a month with Martine and these special children in 2013. This project stands between the horror of children living in alleys perpetrating petty crimes and the joy of a new life in a supportive environment, going to school, and becoming productive members of their society. Martine told me when she first noticed children living in these conditions in Ouidah that she viewed this as a "cancer" on her community.

The 1750 sq ft home sits within a walled and gated compound (offering safety). The lot is large enough for the children to grow vegetables and raise animals for their use and for sale in the market. The home has 4 large bedrooms, two baths, and a large open kitchen/dining/living area. There is large stairway to the roof, which is prepped for second-story expansion in the future, if needed. The structure is complete (doors and windows too), but the toilets and showers need to be purchased and installed. The kitchen and dining area need to be equipped modestly and bunk beds set up for 20 children. The children have lacked all these things so far, which is why Martine does not ask for them now. The priority is to secure this unique property now. I have costs for all of these items if a generous donor wants to sponsor specific items too.

Craig Sherod craig@craigsherodphoto.com

Click Here for an update relating to Craig's success in securing the property.

The children are a delight. They are not orphans and their reasons for being homeless all stem from parental failure or (occasionally) child trafficking. (Martine's NGO has done great work in remote villages educating parents on the tricks used by traffickers to effectively steal their children, move them far away, and sell them as domestic slaves.) Today, these children are happy, and after less than a year of school are at the top of their classes.

For daily updates and a lot more, please "like" our Facebook page and share it with your friends. For more detailed information on the project, click here to read our FAQ.

Donate Now. The owner could sell the property at any time.

Donate to the Ouidah Homeless Children Project.
Make checks payable to "Philanthropic Ventures Foundation "
and note on the "memo" line on the check - OUIDAH PROJECT.
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