On Wednesday, May 25, an accidental fire damaged the Archbishop Karl Rodig Orphanage and School (AKROS) building, which provides food service and contains classrooms and housing for six primary grades of students. No staff and students were injured, but orphaned children are currently being housed with foster families given the extensive damage. According to a supervisor, the fire started during the process of preparing food for the children and quickly spread throughout the structure. The school building, benches, blackboards, and many other items were destroyed in the fire.
“It was really a terrible fire because nothing was recoverable,” explains Rev. Dn. Munembwe Mukamba Damas, AKROS coordinator. “Emergency assistance is needed, so the orphaned children can finish the 2021-2022 school year.”
Clean-up of debris and construction of a makeshift structure began immediately on Saturday, May 28. Despite the damage, classes resumed on Monday, May 30. Long-term plans are to rebuild the orphanage and school, but funds are desperately needed for the project since only about $750 U.S. dollars (USD) exist in savings at this time. To prevent a similar accident and extensive damage from reoccurring, orphanage officials plan to modify the previous structural layout by separating the kitchen service, reception housing, and school separate from each other in the new construction.
Below are the costs in USD of rebuilding based on estimates from a local contractor:
Tree Stucco $ 700
Nails $ 310
Transport $ 216
Labor $ 785
A campaign has been launched with the goal of raising $15,750 USD for the rebuilding of the orphanage and school. Please help by clicking on the secure link below and donating today.
Descriptions of more images of fire below: Left: All that remains of half of the structure is charred ground. Center: AKROS coordinator Rev. Dn. Munembwe Mukamba Damas (left back) and a supervisor (right back) stand with some of the orphaned children in front of the charred remains of the primary school. Right: Building of a makeshift structure began immediately with meager funds in hopes that orphaned students could finish the 2021-2022 school year.
Description of video below: This 2:07 minute video shows the damage from the May 25 fire.