My child’s community
Ivory Coast is home to many people groups who began populating the area in the 15th century. Subsistence farming in cocoa, coffee, and palm oil fuel the economy in this often politically unstable country. Most Ivorians claim to be Muslim; however, while they listen to the local Muslim priest at the mosque on Friday, they turn to the witch doctors for charms and cures when they are in trouble. Ivory Coast is a country that desperately needs the Good News of Jesus Christ.
CMF’s missionaries settled in the city of Abengourou to begin outreach to the Muslim Djoula people group. CMF operates a pediatric clinic in Abengourou that meets the health needs of local children and expectant mothers and HIV/AIDS patients. A training center has been established to provide intensive courses for ministers and lay leaders so that churches will be led by Ivorians. Community Health Evangelism (CHE) projects have been started in several villages as another means of outreach for the church.
Child sponsorship was added to the CMF ministry in Abengourou in March 2014 and is now expanding out into surrounding villages where the need is most critical. Most of the children in the program live in one or two-room cement houses with tin roofs and share an outhouse with four or five other families. The majority of the people in towns and villages are farmers, skilled workers such as tailors or carpenters, or vendors of food, used clothing and cloth.
The sponsorship program in Ivory Coast is called Coeur Ouvert (Open Heart), and is run by local believers. The children in the program attend government primary or public high schools. Sponsorship pays for uniforms, backpacks, books, school supplies, a health screening every three months, a monthly visit from a social worker and a library membership.
Children in the program are required to come to a “kids’ club” meeting once a month where they play games and learn CHE health lessons and Bible lessons. The parents are required to come to a separate meeting each month to learn parenting and life skills, CHE training and a Bible lesson. Future plans include more nutritional and medical support, tutoring and a Christian school.