Where We Began


Our founder, Tom Rutkoski, founded St. Joseph in 1999, after witnessing, during a visit to Ogoja, so many impoverished children with no one to care for them. Over 21 years, we housed over 1,000 children and educated more than 5,000 children, many of whom are now adults who are working, providing for their families, and active in their local communities. Some are now discerning vocations or in seminary, and some have returned to teach at St. Joseph School.

Our mission in Nigeria is now completed as the school and orphanage are doing well and is now under the care of the Diocese of Ogoja.

During the 21 years we have taken care of the poor and orphaned children in the Cross River State of Ogoja, Nigeria, we have seen a lot of improvement in the life of the children and the community surrounding it. The standard of living and the quality of life has been enhanced greatly by the presence of the school/orphanage and the medical center.

We thank God for providing us with generous and kindhearted sponsors who have helped us over the years in providing for the needs of the children at St. Joseph School/ Orphanage and in fulfilling the vision and dream of our founder, Tom Rutkoski. In 2021 we turned over complete operation to the Diocese of Ogoja.

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