We equip the
Church to care for
Orphans and Widows

Our Vision

A world where the Church is actively ministering to orphans, widows and the vulnerable.


Every child possesses remarkable, God-given potential. WOW is committed to bringing hope and love into the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable children. Through local leaders and caregivers, the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of thousands of children are being met, freeing young lives from the bonds of poverty.

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Empowering women in sub-Saharan Africa is the key to building healthy families and communities. Hunger, poverty, high rates of HIV and AIDS, and gender-based violence are just some of the challenges women in this region face. Through emergency relief and small-business projects, WOW is bringing hope and joy to thousands of widows, resulting in entire communities transformed.

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Pregnancy and birth should be a time of joy in anticipation of a precious life. Women and children in sub-Saharan Africa face some of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world. WOW builds maternal support networks in areas where many new mothers do not have access to pre and post natal care. By empowering mothers with healthcare, education and spiritual support, a new generation of healthy families is made possible.

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Leadership Development

Investing in local champions is the key to long-term sustainability & transformation within communities. WOW partners with African churches and Christian leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to serve those living in poverty. Working with pastors, traditional leaders and youth groups, WOW’s local partners equip gifted people to become contributors and givers to others.

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In 1999, Jim and Kathy Cantelon began WOW with a desire to awaken the Church’s responsibility to the devastation of HIV and AIDS. The vision of a true Christian community, helping one another, came to Jim over 15 years ago as he visited Africa and saw a continent ravaged by disease. He dreamed of African churches being at the forefront of the war against AIDS while the global Church empowered them in their fight.

Initially known as Visionledd, the ministry began with conferences and training opportunities that taught the biblical message of justice and righteousness to African pastors and church leaders. In 2015 Visionledd re-branded as Working for Orphans & Widows (WOW) to better reflect how the ministry has evolved. Today WOW continues to equip African churches and organizations to serve orphans and widows through our four main program areas- OrphanCare, WidowCare, MotherCare and Leadership Development.

WOW communicates a biblical message of righteousness and justice to African pastors and church leaders. Through training, local champions learn to use existing resources to care for the vulnerable in their communities. Once a commitment to serve orphans & widows has been demonstrated, we empower local leaders with programs and resources to build their capacity and expand the impact of their work.

“The Church must be a threat to injustice”

Theresa Malila WOW Partner, Malawi


Our promise to you: Your generous support is used with integrity, for the purpose you have cited.


Our Stewardship

In 2016, 88.6% of all expenditures went to program service worldwide

88.6% Programs6.8% Fundraising & Awareness4.6% Administration
Audited Financial Statements available upon request

Our Areas of Focus

Here's how support was allocated in 2016:

26% Community Infrastructure25% Feeding Programs17% Health Care10% Education10% Gender Based Violence Programs7% Sustainability & Agriculture Projects3% Indepth Biblical Training2% Skills & Small Business Training

Numbers as of Oct 2016
*Percentages do not include gifts in kind


Gundy Jackson

Chair of Board

 Executive Coach at National Association for the Self Employed, Member of the Board and the Board Development Committee for the Younge Street Mission, 2011-Present, and was a senior OD Consultant for the Bank of Montreal. Holds a MES from York University (1991), and a BA from Antioch University, Seattle.

Kent Lester


Kent has been married to his wife Joyce for 48 years. They has three children and seven grandchildren. He is a graduate of Eastern Pentecostal Bible College (1970) (now Master’s Seminary) and former Board Member and employee with Youth for Christ. Kent is one of the original Visionledd-WOW Board members, continuously serving since 2000, and the Owner, Supertrax Media Incorporated, producer of 39 television shows each year, aired in both the United States and Canada, publisher of four magazine titles circulated in both the United States and Canada and owner and executive with High Range Productions, a media agency developing sales and promotion programs for the off-road vehicle industry.

Dr. Robert Graham

 Chairman and founder of Ensyn Corporation, Bob is Canada’s pre-eminent authority in his field of applied engineering, has published over 60 works in technical and trade journals, and has been granted more than 30 patents relating to the conversion of wood and other biomass to chemicals and fuels as well as the upgrading of petroleum. He obtained a B.Sc. from Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario and an M. Eng and Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario, London.

Cheryl Martin

 Senior Marketing Consultant at Sun Life Financial, former Communications & Development Co-ordinator at WOW (2012-2016), and Marketing & Internal Development Manager for Gosco Values (2010-2012). Cheryl hold a MBET in Entrepreneurship and Technology from University of Waterloo (2010) and H. BA in Speech Communications and Business Co-op also from University of Waterloo.

Kathy Cantelon

 Daughter of missionaries to Argentina, Kathy spent most of her life growing up on the mission field. Wife to WOW’s founder, Jim Cantelon, Kathy was a supportive partner in pioneering her husband’s ministry in Israel and founding WOW (then Visionledd) to awaken the church to the biblical mandates of righteousness and justice, and to respond to the HIV&AIDS crises in Africa.