Classroom Cropped

Another Successful Trip to Salisa Bana School

Deacon Jim recently returned from his semi-annual trip to the Salisa Bana School outside Kinshasa, DRC and what a productive trip it was! Many of Deacon Jim’s trips have been about helping with construction or bringing supplies but this was a much more strategic visit. One thing the school has struggled with in the past has been its overall efficiency and so this trip was more about helping the school to establish a better business plan and governance structure. These are things a lot of people do not think about when it comes to nonprofit work but a business plan is absolutely essential when helping developing communities to come into their own.

Due to this year’s increase in students we needed to hire a new teacher which brings our total now up to 10 teachers along with a newly established principal and vice principal as well as a new VP of Maintenance and Grounds. This new VP will also be helping to run operations for the new well on school grounds. During his trip they also held a blessing ceremony to officially open the well for operation to bring clean water to the students and families in the surrounding area.

Deacon Jim helped the school administrators to build in better record keeping processes and operations to comply with government regulations. Construction will also begin very soon on a new office for the teaching staff as both a space to work on lesson plans as well as a space to meet with parents to create better buy in from families in their children’s education.

One of the most amazing things about Salisa Bana School is that we are able to provide a year’s worth of education for a student for just $5! That is all a student and their family is required to pay for a year’s worth of investment in their future, many of whom come from families who make less than a dollar a day. This is due to the incredible generosity of our donors and Deacon Jim wanted me to pass on his extreme gratitude to all of you who have helped this group of 237 students.

However, there is still a great need as we look to the continued success of this bastion of education in a tumultuous region. The political situation in DRC is continuing to cause uncertainty and is bringing along with it a great deal of violence. This is causing the price of food to increase which is essential for the school as we provide lunch every day for the students who attend. The other serious need for our students at the moment is with school supplies. As anyone who has purchased school supplies for themselves or their children can tell you, this is no small expense.

Please consider helping OFA to bring greater certainty to our student’s futures by investing in them today. If you are interested in helping please visit our Donate Page HERE or contact us directly at or 360-609-8081 to find out more.


Congolese Minute

Each month OFA will bring you updates on what is going on in Congolese Society. Hopefully, many of these stories will be ones of hope and positivity. Unfortunately, with a deepening political divide in a country that has never had a peaceful transfer of power and is still ranked as the poorest nation in the world, our first Congolese Minute is a call to action.

This short video from Al Jazeera News about potential UN Peacekeeper reduction in DRC has a couple of potentially disturbing images so please be aware. There is a way that you can help. This pressure is coming from the US but the UN Peacekeepers are essential at protecting the Congolese people during these times of turmoil.

Please OFA to safeguard the futures of our kids by contacting your federal representatives and asking them to push for continued support of free and fair elections in DRC and around the world. Stay informed and stay active. Please do not let our children be forgotten.


With warm regards and thanks in our hearts,

Dylan Smith

Executive Director, Our Family in Africa