Faces of Hope

How quickly unfamiliar faces became my source of happiness…

Forever in my heart. Always on my mind.

Long Live Cameroon.

Bruno 2

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Molo Julius and Edwin Ngong

Director Molo Julius (left) of Saint Michael’s Formation Center standing on an open plot of land that is ready to be built on! Great friend Edwin Ngong (right) who helps facilitate communication between myself and the village. While I was in Cameroon, I experienced power outages every single day, sometimes for a few minutes and sometimes for a few hours; it’s very unpredictable. It is great to have someone like Edwin who just so happens to live a few minutes from the center be able to make online connections as much as possible. Thank you!

A Letter from Meluf Village, Saint Michael’s Formation Center

Hello All, I received some updates directly from Saint Michael’s Formation Center. The director of the center, Molo Julius wrote me a letter and it reads as follows:

“Dear Lauren Ashley,
Greetings from me, my staff and the entire student body of Saint Michael’s Catholic Formation Center, Meluf. Edwin was here this morning to talk about your fundraising efforts. Far too few people will do what you are doing for these helpless children who need people like you out there. Immense thanks!

He equally spoke about one of our staff members – Derick whom you wanted to Skype with, Gwendoline whom you wanted to know how she was doing. Lauren, I must say, I am impressed about your resolute concern. He equally wanted to get updates about the centre’s supplies and more. Please, just to emphasize, Edwin is one of the best persons you can work with in the community. Feel free to share with him.

From pictures you can see that construction work of the centre has begun. This one is under the care of the diocese and has nothing to do with the day to day running of the centre, as well as the immediate needs of the children. Below are the most pressings needs of the centre by departments.

1. Computer Department: 4 computers, one laser printer
2. Barbing Department: 2 shaving clippers
3. Shoe Department: Special sewing machine for shoes
4. Hairdressing Department: Steaming machine and one hair dryer
5. Knitting Department: One knitting machine
6. Teacher’s Allowances”

Help me, help them! THANK YOU for those who are supporting.

Spread the word, spread the link, and most importantly, spread the love.


Donation Received, Thank You!

I just looked and someone ANONYMOUSLY donated $100 yesterday bringing the current amount to $585. I want to take the time right now to thank that person from the bottom of my heart. Whoever you are, wherever you live, THANK YOU. I give you my word that these donations will aid in the expansion of the center and also enable them to purchase necessary supplies!

Almost 100 students, one classroom.

Please help us expand!


My Mission

I started out this fundraiser for a particular family, and while that was great, I have decided to choose a different path. A few summers ago, I had the privilege of volunteering at Saint Michael’s Formation Center in Cameroon, West Africa. The center is located in the Northwest region in an area called Kumbo; the center located in Meluf village. My goal is to impact as many as lives as possible, hence my change of heart. Instead of raising money for one family, I have made the conscious, well-thought out decision to raise money for Saint Michael’s Formation Center. When I was there, there were approximately 96 students stuffed into a small school, no bigger than an American 1 bedroom apartment. These orphans are the future for Meluf and it is imperative for them to learn a trade in order for them to become self-sufficient. To give you a glimpse into their world, consider the following: They have approximately 50 sewing students, with only 6 old-fashioned Singer foot-pedal sewing machines. They are still using coal irons and they only have 3 computers that are running a version of Windows that is almost unrecognizable. These are just a few of the issues that this center is facing and I have made it my mission to help them in any way I can. These people treated me like a daughter and a sister while I was there; this is the least I can do for them. If I could, I would give them the world in a heartbeat because they deserve it. I went there to teach, but instead I was taught.

Please help me, help them.
If you would like to contact me directly, feel free to e-mail me at: KaplanL2@tcnj.edu or call me at 732-677-0913