Who We Are
In December 1999, a military rebellion in Cote D’ivoire (West Africa) upended the lives of millions of people and changed the history of this beautiful and stable French-speaking nation till this day. The rebellion paved the way for a full blown civil war (on and off for 10 years) which started in 2002. As a result, over 3,000 people lost their lives and hundreds of thousands more have been displaced according to multiple sources.
As it is with almost all third-world countries where extreme poverty, crumbling infrastructure, lack of clean water, electricity and medical care is a daily staple, a horrible and completely unexpected tragedy creates an acute humanitarian crisis that usually lingers forever. Needless to say that those who where most vulnerable before the civil war became dramatically worst off afterwards… In addition, thousands more particularly, children and wives of military soldiers who died in the conflict have added to the ever growing number of those who have come to be known today as the “Faceless or Invisible” (the Orphans and Widows).
In 2003, As a natural human response to the tragedy in the Cote D’ivoire, some members of ORPHANS FIRST who were living and still do in Cote D’ivoire, began informally providing shelter, food and various types of assistance in the community. In 2006, Global Reach International (now ORPHANS FIRST) was officially launched to better harness the power of structure to help restore broken lives in the poorest neighborhoods of Abidjan (The Capital City). As we embarked in this journey, we discovered the existence of an unimaginable number of Orphans and Widows who have become completely invisible to the rest of the population. Unfortunately from December 2010, another terrible military conflict which lasted several months (until the Summer of 2011) completely shut down every activity in the country…
Today, ORPHANS FIRST (a non-denominational Christian charity) is revived…with a clear divine mandate, a renewed focus and determination to make sure that one-by-one, all the Orphans and Widows in war-torn Cote D’ivoire are self-sufficient and live productive lives. As Christians, we are instructed to care for one another but most importantly for Orphans and Widows as written in James 1:27, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world”.
We invite you to look deep within yourself and around this website as you learn more about what we do… Make the decision today to be part of this life-changing experience for you and for those who benefit from what people like you make possible. We urge you to join us in whatever way you can ( prayer, donations, advice, volunteering etc…) in this worthy endeavor.
Together, with God’s help and guidance, we are making a difference…So can you too!
Thank you and May God bless you!!!