The Village of Maryhaven
Kupiec Academy School
Clean drinking water is scarce in Africa. The same is true in the central Nigerian town of Idah. Although it is ideally located near the great River Niger, prolonged periods of drought and run-off contamination often makes the water undrinkable.
Informed by the local Bishop that many young mothers and children were getting sick and dying from drinking polluted water, Friends of the Poor decided something needed to be done.
Please click on the accompanying video to see and hear the full story.
Unfortunately, due to the ravages of AIDS and other deadly diseases, the average life expectancy in Nigeria is only forty-seven years of age. In a country of 170 million people, that leaves a great many children without parents to care for them.
Normally, an aunt or uncle will take in an orphaned child to help raise. If there is no extended family available or willing to care for them, an orphaned child will often be left to fend for themselves on the streets. Or worse, will be abducted and sold to work in the sex trade.
See what we're doing to care for these vulnerable young children and give them a chance in life.
In Nigeria, as in much of sub-Saharan Africa, public education is not free. Due to government corruption, money earmarked for schools is often siphoned into the pockets of a few dishonest politicians. Teachers, who already are underpaid and often go months without receiving a paycheck, are forced to require the students to pay them directly to attend class.
Because of this unfortunate dynamic, poor families are often forced to choose which of their children will be educated. And in Nigeria's male dominated society, families invariably choose to educate their young boys leaving their daughters uneducated and bound to a lifetime of servitude or menial work.
Opened in September of 2009, we work closely with the Kupiec Academy to provide for their continued success and have have recently completed the science lab at the school.
Watch the video to see what Friends of the Poor has done to educate and empower a new generation of African girls.
Hearing of a community in northwestern Nigeria that had a disproportionate number of orphaned and homeless children, Friends of the Poor president Jean Colarusso, decided to embark on an ambitious project to educate, house, feed and protect these highly vulnerable children.
Built in 2010, the Stella Maris Academy, located within the Village of Maryhaven has become a refuge for homeless children from toddler age to teens.
We are currently working to construct the high school so that these children can continue their education.
Maryhaven is a village for orphaned children, who without this place of sanctuary, might otherwise face the great possibility of being sold into sexual slavery.
We have completed the first of several dorm buildings. Each dorm accommodates 80 children and includes living quarters for the house mother & father, a large common area room where the children can relax, play games, read or watch TV. The dorms have indoor plumbing and we are planning the installation of solar panels to provide uninterrupted electricity.
The first of these dorms is named “Baby Blake’s Place”, named for the granddaughter of a generous donor.
We are working to finish construction of a technical training center in order to provide job training for our orphaned students.
Holy Family Orphanage
From helping construct churches to providing basic medical treatment, Friends of the Poor has undertaken many projects in rural Nigeria.
Countless people and communities have been helped immeasurably by these life sustaining projects.
With your assistance and donations, we will continue to reach out to those most in need.
Stella Maris Academy