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Oct 19, 2016

Sew Far, So Good!

We start this update with some very good news, Maison Janet Bokwa was officially opened this summer! It was a truly joyous occasion and a real sign of the busyness to come.

Since the opening of the girls’ long term home, they have been thriving. The photo shows some of them on their first day of the new school year, looking forward to lots of learning!

We have also partnered with the US based organisation First Step Initiative (FSI) in Maison Janet Bokwa to bring local women and Kimbilio carers an exciting new venture. FSI are providing training to learn how to sew using a machine. On completion of the course, each person will receive a sewing machine. We hope this enables them to set up a business in their own communities and to filter the knowledge to their own networks of friends. The project relies heavily on using these resourceful women’s ingenuity to help enhance and support the local community. We hope to be able to share more of its success with you over the coming year.

We’re sorry that we haven't kept you up to date as much as we wanted to, but as you can see we have been keeping busy. Your financial support is what enables these success stories to happen and we thank you so much for it. The cost of continuing to run the girls’ long term house, for education, food, clothing and other necessities, is a continual need. Please continue to remember Kimbilio in your charitable giving. Thank you again!

May 12, 2016

Reuniting Children with their Families

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I'm going to be like everybody else

Kimbilio has been reuniting children with their families across Lubumbashi and the surrounding area since 2009, and our efforts to bring parents and street children back together remains at the heart of our work.

Our reintegration initiative is led by our Congolese Social Worker, Daniel, who spends his days rebuilding bridges with families who, for one reason or another, have abandoned their child. Kimbilio comes across challenging and emotive situations almost every day, and through years of experience we are able to support children and families.

It has been fantastic to see such a positive and ongoing response from our supporters around the world for this project. We have raised £9,241.15 ($13,241.18) since launching this appeal earlier in the year, including a generous bonus for raising the most money during Global Giving's WE BELIEVE IN GIRLS campaign. Thank you to everyone who has shared an interest in our work.

Funds raised from this appeal have enabled us to send children to their local schools upon returning home, so that they can quickly make new friends and settle back into their community. After a period on the streets, even a fresh set of clothes can boost a child's self-esteem before taking them back home.

Reintegration can take many months, visits, and mediation sessions, however in just three months we reunited 6 children with their families, and supported over 150 street children across the city. As we continue to grow, and invest in each individual child, we strive to help even more children to build a future with hope.

‘Kanye’ has perhaps one of the most encouraging stories, having been living on the streets for 2 years, before Kimbilio found him. He had been accused of child witchcraft, and during his time living in the city’s markets his health had deteriorated. We gave him a safe place to sleep, the medication he needed, and the love he deserved. Many months on, he is now living with his brothers and sisters back in his family home, and regularly returns for Kimbilio events to keep us updated of his progress at school.

For recent insights for Kimbilio, I highly recommend one of our volunteer's honest and thought-provoking blogs: Ian in the Congo

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Apr 5, 2016

Strength to Strength

Bringing Smiles to the Streets
Bringing Smiles to the Streets

Firstly, we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us via GlobalGiving. We were thrilled to raise a fantastic £8,172 in just one week during the 50% match funding initiative, split across our two project pages. We are proud to have won two bonuses, totalling £1,500, which will make a tremendous contribution to our work in the months ahead. To put this into perspective, the bonuses alone could run our Girls Home well into the summer.

As you have proved, Kimbilio is a real community. Our children are at the heart of Kimbilio; with our carers, village elders, church leaders, congregations, volunteers, local businesses, and you, all pulling together to provide each child with a future with hope. So far in 2016, one girl's story has epitomised our work at Kimbilio:

14 year old ‘Amélie’ gave birth to a healthy baby boy, and is showing maturity far beyond her years as they both grow up in our care. This experience has brought her closer to her family, who have visited her several times since, and we hope this is a foundation for reuniting them permanently. The realities of giving birth on the streets could have been fatal, but fortunately Kimbilio is well known in the local community, with children coming to the Centre in their times of need. The support of individuals like you are making this life-changing work a reality on the streets of Lubumbashi.

In our opinion, becoming a member of GlobalGiving has been one of our most rewarding achievements of the past few months. We hope the additional exposure Congo Children Children Trust has received will spur us on to help even more vulnerable and forgotten girls like Amelie in Lubumbashi. We hope to fully-fund this project in the weeks to come, so keep an eye out for our similar projects in the near future.

Once again, thank you for your generosity and support.

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