Note: Please remember to specify who the intended recipient is in the 'remarks to recipient' field! Thanks!
There have been questions concerning the accounts for financial support for Joshua and Tjostolv. In the beginning, we set up separate accounts for each of the boys. We had been asked by friends, family and even strangers, how they could provide financial assistance. So, we set these accounts up to allow them to help. It would, in hindsight, have been better to have set up a joint account, but it just happened this way. Those of you who wish to help get the boys home can choose which of the accounts you wish to contribute to, or put in different or equal amounts in each account. That is completely up to you.
If you wish to help Tjostolv Moland in Congo, you can help him financially by putting money into the account set up by his mother, Mathilde. If you wish to help Joshua French in Congo, you can help him financially by putting money into the account set up by his sister, Hannah.
Note: Non-Norwegian-based contributors can contribute using PayPal and the email address:
We'd like to thank all those who contribute and help us, both in advance and retrospectively! Thanks!!
Hannah French, 2nd November 2009
WHAT IS THE MONEY USED FOR?
The money that is donated to Tjostolv's and Joshua's support accounts is only used on the two boys. Some people wonder what kind of food they get in prison. In the beginning, Bregård, a Norwegian missionary in Congo, purchased food for the boys. He normally bought food at the market, that wasn't always sufficiently cooked. That meant that they had to cook it further at home before taking it to the boys. The usually got bread and sandwich fillings in the morning, to last throughout the day and a dinner in the afternoon / evening.
After Bregård left, 4 Congolese colleagues took over the work of obtaining food. Initially, they were very worried that the boys would be poisoned, and therefore bought dinners for them from different restaurants. That rapidly became very expensive and subsequently kitchen equipment was arranged for the boys in the cells. They now have a table, two stools, kitchen equipment, saucepans, cutlery etc.
Some of the food they get in the cells is: cheese, butter, sausage, tinned tomatoes, milk, water, onion, bananas, coffee, peas, peanut butter, avocado, coke, french bread, spaghetti and sometimes pizza. Other things that are arranged for them: cigarettes, candles, midicine, vitamins, doctor's visits, batteries for the radio, forks, lighters and personal hygiene articles, such as soap and toilet paper.
Before the appeal case, they got a haircut and razors for the occasion. We also sent some underwear with Furuholmen, their lawyer.
When our friends deliver food and drink, they unfortunately have to bribe the guards. The way it is in Congo is that the guards get little or no salary, so their only source of income is what they can extort from visitors. That's just the way it is down there - the way of life.
Additionally, the four colleagues work a full day, every day for the boys. They use a lot of time to drive back and forth from the hospital and the prison, to buy supplies and to visit the boys. They therefore get a hourly rate from us for the hours they work. This is an ex-gratia payment for the work they do, which we could not have done without.
How much does it cost to have Joshua and Tjostolv in prison in Congo?
Whilst the boys were imprisoned up to 17th July, Rune Edvardsen paid for food costs for us: that cost US$5000.
From 17th July to 26th October 2009, we have had to send a total of US$8000 for the boys.
This is used for food, kitchen equipment, wages for the people who deliver food, medicines, etc. (There is a more detailed list of what the money is used for below.) On average, the following amounts are used:
We of course hope that the boys will come home to Norway in good health, and when they do, we will ensure that any money left over will go to a good cause in Congo, or the surrounding countries. The money will not be used on any corrupt activities.
Hannah French, 28th October 2009
In many parts of the world, people just don't get food and other vital things when they are imprisoned or hospitalised. It is up to the families to ensure that they get the necessary foods and medicines. If you don't have family in the neighbourhood, you're dependent on friends. This is how it is in Congo.
The Norwegian Foreign Ministry does not take responsibility for this:
And so we, the families here in Norway, have to ensure that they get food, drink, medicines, mosquito nets and other vital things. In the beginning of this case, we were lucky to have Jon A Bregård, a Norwegian missionary, in the vicinity. He ensured that the boys got the food and medicine they needed. Unfortunately, he had to return to Norway, because he was finished with his allotted time as a missionary worker in Congo. He got four of his friends from the congregation to take over the 'food kitty.' These four people take their share of the workload. When we need to send money, we do so through Western Union. This is a secure method for making sure the money ends in the right hands.
There are several people who have offered to help with money. We really appreciate this, and have therefore set up separate accounts for financial contributions to support each of the boys. Tjostolv's mother has responsibility for one, whilst Joshua's sister takes care of the other. When we send money to Congo, we share costs and send money in one transfer.
It's up to you to decide who to support, or whether it should be 50/50. If we send US$2000, we sent US$1000 each. We will return to the subject of what the money is used for, and how much and how often we send. We have now got a statement of account from Congo, and have to go through it. But I guarantee that the money gets there and is used on Joshua and Tjostolv. We will update the amounts sent to the accounts in the near future.
We really appreciate the economic support, but also the moral and support, in the form of words and prayer. It means a lot to us.
All money that comes in will be used directly on food, water, medicines, doctors, legal help and other necessities to get the boys safely home. It will not be used for corrupt purposes.
(If there is any money left after the boys have come safely home to Norway, the money will be used for a charitable purpose.)
Thanks for all contributions!
Hannah French, 23rd October 2009.