Bringing two Congolese children to Canada
Please help us support Grace and Christ-Juste as they begin their new life in Canada. Every donation helps – and we promise to keep you informed of how they are doing.Latest Update (August 7, 2019):
We are raising money to support a family, new to Canada from the Congo during their first year here. The children, Grace and Christ-Juste grew up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Their parents passed away. Their uncle, Jean, who recently emigrated to Canada was able to adopt them – but he was not able to bring them to Canada.
We began the fundraising effort a few weeks ago and, in addition to raising more than $10,000 so far, one of our donors worked with an NGO (Non-Government Organization) to provide free air-transportation with Air Canada and other airlines. Big News:
On August 1 and August 2, the children flew from Kinshasa to Johannesburg to Zürich to Toronto. Tired, but excited – they arrived Saturday afternoon, August 2, 2019, at Toronto’s Pearson International. They went through immigration and customs and were welcomed into the country with Permanent Resident status! Go Team Canada! We and Jean are so grateful to you and to God for making this possible.
We have secured temporary housing for the family. Jean, the uncle (and now father) is looking for affordable housing in neighborhoods with French-language schools (we will begin offering this page in French in the coming weeks).Here is more background on the children and the family situation Grace and Christ-Juste
Grace is a beautiful, precocious, outgoing eight-year-old girl who loves playing football (soccer), studying, watching TV, and sleeping. Her dream is to become a doctor. Her brother Christ-Juste (14), is smart as a whip. His favorite things to do are reading and researching, and though he’s a bit more introverted he is also a little comedian and makes his family laugh.
The two children recently lost both their father (2014) and mother (2018).
The death of their parents has understandably taken a toll, and they were living in Kinshasa, constantly being bounced around from relative to relative in a city where safety is a major concern.
Christ and Grace are educated and healthy and they have Visas to come to Canada to live with their uncle, Jean Marie, who has formally adopted them. Jean Marie did not have the means to get them here or care for them – but you and others have answered the call for help.
The children appreciate all you are doing for them:Jean Marie
Jean Marie (Jean) is a kind man who desperately wants to make sure these children are safe by giving them a home in Canada and a bright future. Jean Marie left the DRC in 2014 after caring for his late brother who suffered a stroke and who was paralyzed for many years. Jean Marie, now a permanent resident in Canada, is a full-time student studying Economics at York University, and also works as an Uber Driver. He hopes to gain full-time employment in the coming months.Why we are fundraising
The children will require good support as they begin to adapt to life in a new country. All this is so new –we must try to do all we can to get them started on the right path to a happy, productive future. Having lost their parents and having lived in a challenging environment, what we do now will likely matter for the rest of their lives.Now that you have saved these two children from being orphans in the Congo -let’s redouble our efforts to be sure they have the necessities of life here in Canada.
Please also know that in addition to the fundraising, we are actively engaging other services from local municipal, provincial and federal agencies along with agencies of the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto, the United Church of Canada, COSTI, and others. Moreover, the children attended Church services on Sunday morning, and we have received many offers to help with furniture and clothing and other donations.About me and our fundraising effort
My colleague David Saffer, myself (Sophie Lewick), and our team are aiming to raise $15 000 as the first stage in a fundraising and first-year support effort for Grace, Christ-Juste, and Jean.
I work with David Saffer at David Saffer Consultancy in Toronto, Ontario. David befriended Jean at the Lawrence Park Community Church, and when he learned of his story, felt he could help. As such, he has asked me to set up this page on JM's behalf. I speak French and have been a point of contact between our team in Toronto (including Jean Marie) and the children in Kinshasa.
Jean himself came to this country as a refugee and has gained a higher education and is now accepting the responsibility of caring for these children. He has asked that we help budget the funds we collect for him. So, we are preparing together a budget and will ensure that the money collected goes to rent and the necessities of life. All funds will be withdrawn in my name (Sophie Lewick) and will remain there to be used only for Jean and his children. We will publish here in future updates how the money has been used and will have Jean Marie communicate directly with the GoFundMe team.
Thank you for reading Grace, Christ-Juste, and Jean Marie’s story. We thank you also for your thoughts, prayers, and generosity.
We are infinitely grateful for your support.