A Brief History
Odette Mukole grew up in Tshikapa city in the Democratic Republic of Congo ( DRC). Her family was well known for their strong Mennonite faith. Odette first trained as a teacher and then trained and worked in public relations. She always had a heart for social justice. While living and working in the DRC's capital city, Kinchasa, Odette founded a women's movement that empowered women to understand and advocate for their often ignored rights. In 2000, after her security was threatened due to her activist work, Odette immigrated to Canada with her three young daughters. She graduated in 2007 with a degree in Social Sciences from the Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, and has been employed working with newcomers to Canada ever since.
After the death of her father, Odette's family home in Tshikapa lay empty. Odette had a vision of using the home to help some of the many orphans in the area. Planning for the orphanage began in 2010, the doors opened in 2012 and 35 children have been cared for there ever since. In November, 2015 Mukanzo Orphanage Foundation was accepted as a project of Accountable Works Development, a charitable organization committed to grassroots projects like this in Africa. In the Spring of 2016 Mukanzo Orphanage Foundation was granted charitable status by the Congolese government. The orphanage continues to provide basic necessities to these children which would otherwise have been unavailable to them.
Inclusivity: we care for the children without regard for race, religion, culture, nationality, origin, financial or social status
Faith: is the motivational force guiding our work
Sustainability: in finanical resources for the care of the children
Diversity: of children, staff and board members
Empowerment: of children and community members
Respect: for all people
Just telling children "God loves you", may not make sense to them until we provide a hot meal, change of clothes, a safe place to sleep, a listening ear, and a warm hand on a trembling shoulder then, a chance to a new future through educational training. It is for these reasons that we are inviting you to partner with us to help these children and bring them hope. We would be happy to share more about the orphanage with you and discuss ways you may be able to help.
The orphanage is a non-profit organization run by volunteers. We are not funded by state or federal money. We survive only by the generous support and donations from kind hearted people all over the world. We hope you will be able to join us in this great cause of keeping children happy in a place they can call "HOME" where they build solid foundations for their present and future.
We have just purchased land to build a new home for the children. We want to build a residence that has separate living quarters for boys and girls, indoor bathrooms and a gated property for the childrens's safety. We are beginning to develop plans for the property and will need to raise the capital to begin this new project.
The Congolese Board:
We are committed to ensuring that the needs of this project are directed by those that understand the local context that the children are living in. To that end we have established a board of directors in Tshikapa who meet regularly and communicate at least monthly with our Canadian board with updates, ideas and needs.
Back: Pastor Mashi Kambembo, Alain Menayensuka Ngoyi, Remy Kanku Mutombo,
Front: Eve Vunda Kithenga, Marie Lubembe (paid full time staff living with the children)
Missing: Janssen Mulenda Kambembo
The Canadian board:
Toronto Board Member
We are committed to working along side our Congolese counterparts to help assess needs and provide resources
to the orphanage.
Winnipeg Board Members:
Back: Michael Rochon, Anthony Morham, Auguy Cibuyi
Front: Heather Rochon, Lizzie Rochon, Odette Mukole,
Madeline Hiebert, Elizabeth Schellenberg
Toronto Board Member:
Winnipeg Board Members