About the Orphanage
* Courtesy of Wix
The Archbishop Karl Rodig Orphanage and School (AKROS) is a charitable-social justice organization of the Ecumenical Catholic Church of Christ (ECCC) and was founded in September 2018 in Bukavu in the South Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC Kinshasa) in Central Africa to care for orphaned* (vulnerable**) children.
Incorporation/Recognition as a Tax-Exempt Public Charity: In October 2022, AKROS was authorized as a non-stock, non-profit corporation by the State Corporation Commission to transact business in the Commonwealth of Virginia, using its present name. A board of directors has been established to oversee the corporation and its operations in the DRC (see board listing here). Effective October 6, 2022, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service recognized ARKOS as a (501c3) tax-exempt, non-profit organization and a (509a2) public charity (EIN: 88-4220382). Documentation for both designations is available upon request. Practically, this classification means U.S. residents can make tax deductible contributions.
Provincial Registration and Authorization: The provincial governor and the division of the Ministry of Justice and Keeper of the Seals in the DRC province of South Kivu has granted AKROS-DRC authorization (no. 23/081/GP/SK/2023) on April 22, 2023, signified by a registration certificate (no. 032/2023/GP/SK/CAB/MIN PLAN/2023), dated June 2, 2023.
AKROS coordinator, Rev. Dn. Munembwe Mukamba Damas, with three children / youth from the orphanage.
Mission/Purpose: AKROS is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, which includes any legitimate activity to establish and maintain an institution to provide (a) care, including medical services, food rations, and accommodations; and (b) educational services, including primary, secondary, and technical/ professional education, for orphaned (vulnerable) children in the DRC.
Overall, the country (DRC) has experienced many disruptions related to the effects of wars, armed conflicts, and poor governance since 1994 to the present day. Here is an overview of the DRC, its history, and economy.
This situation has created an urgent need for an orphanage and school since the developmental indicators in the DRC reflect exaggerated vulnerability*** and poverty, which call for appropriate interventions for these children because the situation is already precarious, untenable, and the per capita income is too low.
* An orphan is a category of children who have lost one or both of the parents at the same time under varying circumstances, such as death, illness, natural disaster, traffic accident, or war.
** Vulnerable is defined as an intensification of tensions with escalation of atrocities committed against civilian populations during war, including robbery, rape, genital mutilation, physical abuse, looting, burning of villages, torture, massacres, assassinations, and extortion of property, and these populations have been marred by social, economic, and psychosomatic consequences; high infant mortality rate; accentuated widowhood; chronic malnutrition; food and livelihood crises; illiteracy; sterility; etc. The populations that are victims of the resurgence of violence live in a permanent state of insecurity, in misery and poverty, in deprivation of their shelter and property. So, they live in a state of vulnerability, unable to bear the shock for lack of means. Women and children suffer the most. One of the objectives of AKROS is to contribute to the promotion, integration, education, reintegration, training, and defense of vulnerable orphans, the victims of socio-economic marginalization in the context of the code 1612 of the United Nations committee on the protection of children and the universal convention on the rights of the child ratified in November 1990, the African charter on the rights and welfare of child (1979), and conventions no. 138 ratified in 1974 and no. 182 in 2000 on child labor of the International Labor Organization.
*** Exaggerated vulnerability is a situation of shock, resulting from the loss of shelter, property, and socio-economic structures as a result of the effects of war during mass displacements, creating instability in civilian communities already destitute, without means of existence.