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May 12, 2016

Reuniting Children with their Families

I'm going to be like everybody else
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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Jan 8, 2016

A New Year And A New Home

Christmas Celebrations at new Maison Janet Bokwa
Christmas Celebrations at new Maison Janet Bokwa

Dear Friends,

Firstly, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year. 2016 promises to be an exciting time at Kimbilio, as we settle the girls into their new home and school life.

We are extremely grateful for the support we recieved during GlobalGiving's Gateway Challenge in the lead up to Christmas. Out of 37 charities worldwide, we finished in a very respectful 3rd place, which guaranteed us a £500 prize in addition to the fantastic £5,935 raised during the campaign, plus GiftAid. We received donations from 92 individuals, many of whom donated more than once and whose fundraising efforts were both exciting and innovative. This money will go directly to providing former street girls with a loving home, healthcare, activities, and an education at a local school. £5,935 will fund Maison Janet Bokwa for the majority of this year.

We were hoping the girls would have moved into their new home just before Christmas, but like all great building projects the finishing touches overran slightly. That said, we managed to squeeze all the children currently living at Kimbilio's two transit houses and Maison Josue Manda, into Maison Janet Bokwa for Christmas celebrations. The house itself is set within Kimbilio's 10 acre plot, boasting sports pitches, a sewing studio, and farmland. This rural setting will provide the girls a relaxed environment in which to overcome their experiences living on Lubumbashi's streets.

Once again, thank you for your generous support over the past months, and we hope this will be the beginning of an exciting year for the children at Kimbilio.

The Kimbilio Team.

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