Our goal is to preserve families whenever possible, equipping communities to care for their own children through the local church. Poverty and abandonment pose a threat to the family unit and can create orphan situations, even when a mother’s deepest wish is to care for her children. The Lulu Tree Sierra Leone is dedicated to seeking out children who are at risk and assessing the best way to help them on a case-by-case basis.
Mothers who are struggling to care for their children are offered microloans, trained through the church in how to build a small business and be a good steward of their assets. Their children are assisted with the care they need until their mothers are able to afford necessities on their own, thus keeping the family intact and allowing mothers the dignity of being able to care for the needs of their family.
When a child is abandoned or orphaned, The Lulu Tree first seeks to place that child with extended family—equipping the family with sustainable support in the form of business microloans so that they have the means to care for the additional needs presented by adding a child to the family. If family cannot help, close friends and neighbors will be sought out in order to keep the child with people he or she is comfortable with, in the village where they’ve always lived.
Sometimes, suitable placement for an orphaned child can’t be found. In these cases, The Lulu Tree equips pastors to take in children in need. This is not an orphanage setting but rather a supported family, and pastors are equipped with assistance to create a sustainable means of financially providing for the children—as well as housing assistance when there is need for extra space.
Our heart is that every child should live in a loving family, and that every family should be able to care for their children. Sierra Leone is a nation wracked by war, disease and flooding and the children are most vulnerable when a nation struggles. Through compassionate care, the love of the Father is being shown to those most in need.
Pastor Sonnel and Mommy Christians’s family at Bethel Home
Pastor Sonnel Kamara (Regional Director of Western Africa) and his wife, Christiana, have always had a heart for orphans. The Lord has provided a home for them one floor at a time, and The Lulu Tree helped complete it so that the couple could follow God’s call and welcome in orphaned or abandoned children. This large family is now thriving in Bethel Home, fulfilling the command in Psalm 82:3 to “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the weak and the oppressed.”
Pastor Ezekiel and Musu Kabbesesay’s family in Massassarile Village
In the village of Massassarile, Pastor Ezekiel and his wife Musu have just settled into a home with three bedrooms, where they now have space to care for orphaned and abandoned children from the village. This young couple has also just added baby Jeremiah to their family. The children are happy to be going to school, having help with their studies, and living near relatives and friends in the village while being protected and loved in this new family.
Pastor Bai and his wife with some of the 44 orphans under their care.
Pastor Bai and his wife have been caring for orphans in a compound built by missionaries years ago. The missionaries have long since abandoned the project, but this couple has continued to take in and raise children using their own resources. The Lulu Tree discovered that Pastor Bai’s tractor (with which he had been producing food that sustained the children) is now broken, and the family is struggling to feed and care for the children. The Lulu Tree has committed to helping get the family back on their feet, so they can continue doing the work the Lord has led them to do.