Buy a brick for back to school

Coquitlam woman raising funds for a school in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

A Coquitlam mom is hoping Tri-City families will add a brick to their list of school supply purchases this fall.

Chantal Kasongo, founder of Shiloh Place Orphanage, is raising funds to build classrooms for a school in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in Africa on land she has purchased.

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“We will need some 5,200 bricks to build two classrooms, each about 150 feet square. Supporters in the DRC will supervise and assist with the building project for the orphanage and classes will be open to children from poor families in the nearby community,” explained Kasongo in a press release.

Once open next fall, the classrooms will provide free education for families unable to afford tuition fees in the school system.

“I want to see the children at least getting some education,” Kasongo further added in an interview with the Tri-City News.

Kasongo, who immigrated from Lubumbashi with her husband 20 years ago and raised her son here bought a parcel of land in her former community about seven years ago.

She has been fundraising ever since to build a school, a medical clinic, farm and church, plus a well for clean water.

Shelagh Armour-Godbolt, a local volunteer who has done fundraising for other African projects, decided to come on board when she saw Kasongo’s dedication to the cause.

She has already purchased the first 10 bricks.

Here’s how Tri-City families can help support this school project.

For a tax deductible receipt of $25 or more, cheques can be made to the Umoja Operation Compassion Society, with Shiloh Place Orphanage in the memo line, and mailed to Shiloh Place,  #211 – 615 North Rd. Coquitlam BC  V3J 1P1.

To donate online, visit, go to Get Involved, then Donate and check – under Fund Desired – Shiloh Place Orphanage.

For donations under $25, a cheque can be made out to Shiloh Place Orphanage with classroom in the memo line, and sent to the same address.

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