Once known as Taffi Dollar Children’s Welfare Center the orphanage located in Disco Hill, Margibi County, was forced to change its name to Abundant Life Chapel’s Orphanage after its main backer the Taffi Dollar family, allegedly asked to have their name removed from the center.
The director of the self-run orphanage and school, Mr. Wilmot Ben Yalarjai told the Daily Observer Women and Family that he had to make a lot of changes to his children’s center in the past six months, including releasing most of the orphans and changing its name.
“I fell out and had a minor stroke because of the kids’ condition last year and I almost lost my life because of the tension. There was no one helping us, the kids were going to suffer, so I had to release most of the 100 children because it was really hard. Now we only have 35,” he said.
Now known as Abundant Life Chapel Children’s Welfare Center, Father Yalarjai said after his minor stroke last year, he sought medical attention in the United States and appealed to Taffi Dollar regarding his children’s condition and to anyone who would listen.
Unfortunately he said, no one came to his aid but instead, a letter was given to him requesting that the name of Taffi Dollar be removed from his children’s center.
“Taffi Dollar didn’t send any support, so I went to the States to look for help. I reached out to the Dollar family and they told us they were trying to help and said we should remove their name and just use the church’s name. We were requested to remove their name so we did,” he said.
Yalarjai said he was devastated after receiving the request and has since then been staying up endless nights trying to find ways to keep the children together. Some of children came to the orphanage with only a picture of their past, while others came with their only living relative or a sibling.
“Having to watch some of the children go is the hardest thing for us here at the center, but my health, the children’s wellbeing had to be considered first. Though some siblings had to be separated, they are able to see each other during church on Sundays. We didn’t want to do it, but we had no choice,” he stated.
Despite the challenges beginning mid 2014, Father Yalarjai has been able to feed his children three meals a day, provide schooling and medical care whenever one of them falls sick. He said giving the children common things to help them survive is his focus and having too many children will not help the situation.
Father Yalarjai and his staff have tried to do everything to keep the children at ease while they await their fate.
Meanwhile, Abundant Life gives thanks to God for giving them the resources needed to take care of the center, believing that God provided for the children who needed help.
“We are in search of sustainable development, looking for what we can do to sustain us. We are grateful believing that as long as God is with us we will be blessed. I’m here, they’re going to school and my staff is on payroll. It is not easy but we are grateful for that,” Father Yalarjai added.
Also, with the Christmas season just around the corner, efforts are being made to have a surprise Christmas party for the children who have been confined to the campus since 2014. With Christmas comes the joy of knowing that there is a new year ahead.
“We look forward to having something for the children with the help of anyone who can pitch in. we learned that some journalists are trying to gather funds to make this happen and we are appreciative if it can come through. We appeal to anyone who remembers how far these children have come to get where they are today will help them,” added Father Yalarjai.