Carmel woman fundraises for basketball court in Democratic Republic of Congo


When Carmel resident Laura North Long became a founding member of Global Orphan Foundation in 2010, she had no idea the organization would ultimately lead her to fundraising for a basketball court to be built in Bolingo Village, an orphanage in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Yet more than a decade later, she’s raised more than $18,000 of her $35,000 goal to build the court at the Global Orphan Foundation’s orphanage in the DRC.

Global Orphan Foundation was originally established to raise money for people trying to adopt children from the DRC, but after adoptions were closed in the African nation, the foundation began fundraising to build an orphanage in DRC instead.

“We have been doing lots of fundraising and have since built an orphanage in the Congo,” said Long, who adopted her son from the DRC in 2012 prior to adoptions closing. “Because I have a child from there, I wanted to help support the country and make a legacy. I have a 13-year-old biological child who is into basketball, and it just seemed like a good tie-in for our family to build a basketball court at this orphanage.”

Long started fundraising in January. In late June, she conducted a 3-on-3 basketball tournament as a fundraiser with 25 teams participating across four age divisions. She doesn’t have additional fundraisers planned, but she wants to start building the basketball court by the end of the year.

“Things are slow over there,” she said. “Right now, our goal is for it to be complete by next summer. I want to go there next summer with my two boys and do a grand opening.”

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