Sep 28, 2020

Young mum with baby on the street

Mum and baby supported by Kimbilio team
Mum and baby supported by Kimbilio team

Despite the challenges that coronavirus has brought us all, over the last few months the Kimbilio team have continued their dedicated commitment to the children surviving on the streets of Lubumbashi. 

Initially the day centre had to close down, however, we soon decided we needed to get out on the streets to maintain contact with the children. Many of them had lost their source of income with shops and businesses being forced to close down due to the lock down.  The team were regularly meeting up to 80 children on the streets per visit.  The mining sector which drives the economy of the region slowed down considerably during lock down.  Many families who were dependent on the mines for work found themselves without an income and means to feed their children.  Some of the children we met during that time were clearly very hungry

During these outreach sessions we met these two children.  Damien in the blue trousers was forced out of his family home as he was accused of being a witch.  He stayed at Kimbilio for a few months and has now been reunited with his grandmother.  We met Joli and her baby on the streets and they are now living in security in one of our girl’s homes while we try to locate their extended family. 

We hope she may benefit from a place on our young mum's hair dressing and beauty course in the longer term. 

UNICEF were recently tasked with clearing the street children from the streets of Lubumbashi and they asked us to take on 33 children last month. We have been pleased to offer safety to these children but are acutely aware of the extra costs that taking on more children incurs. We have successfully reintegrated 21 children with their families in the last 3 months. 

We are so sad to hear there was another Mai Mai attack on the city of Lubumbashi 2 nights ago. At least 19 were killed during the attack.  The rebels are known at the Bakata Katanga and are fighting for the independence of the mineral rich Katanga from the rest of D.R.Congo. Thankfully the situation is calm again and all at Kimbilio are safe and well.  

https://www.radiookapi.net/2020/09/26/actualite/securite/incursion-des-mai-mai-lubumbashi-19-morts-et-plusieurs-blesses

We are excited to share good news with you! The Kimbilio Primary School is making good progress! We raised half the cost for roofing iron in a recent GlobalGiving match funding appeal! We hope to get the roof on before the heavy rains start in November and welcome the first pupils in September 2021. 

We send you our sincere thanks for all your support which enables us to continue to provide support to children who have little other help in their lives. 

Damien
Damien
Kimbilio Primary School roof going on!
Kimbilio Primary School roof going on!
Aug 15, 2020

COVID-19 news from Congo

Mum and baby seek help at Kimbilio outreach centre
Mum and baby seek help at Kimbilio outreach centre

Whist the officials numbers of confirmed cases of coronavirus in D.R.C. appear low, the reality on the street tells a different story.  It is currently hard to find space in the city's morques due to the high numbers of deaths. Covid tests have run out in Lubumbashi, even if patients seek medical help they aren't able to confirm if they are positive.

At Kimbilio we are continuing to reach out to children on the streets, taking out food and medical care each week. Getting to know the children and hear their stories and where possible get them back to their families.

The Governor of Lubumbashi wants to get all the children off the streets as numbers have been increasing. UNICEF have been given this unenviable task. They have assigned 30 new children to the Kimbilio houses. This brings new challenges of ensuring children already in the Kimbilio houses are not put at risk of infection.  Hand washing and masks are an essential part of keeping everyone safe.

Thanks so much for your help so far. Your ongoing support will help to support more vulnerable children, giving them the home they deserve.  It will help us keep stocked up with soap, PPE as well as food and medical supplies where we make contact with chidren very much on the edge of society, who have no one else looking out for them.

We hope you're staying safe too, you can also keep you and your own families safe with our beautiful Kimbilio face masks which you can buy via the Kimbilio Etsy Shop!  Please do share the link with your friends... all funds raised go directly back into our work on the ground.

Chatting with street boys during Kimbilio outreach
Chatting with street boys during Kimbilio outreach
Art is always a winner!
Art is always a winner!
Stay safe, Kimbilio masks 4sale via our Etsy shop!
Stay safe, Kimbilio masks 4sale via our Etsy shop!

Links:

Jun 2, 2020

Update from Kimbilio

Keeping safe - hand washing at Kimbilio
Keeping safe - hand washing at Kimbilio

The last few months have been challenging for us all across the world.  Lubumbashi is no exception. 

The closure of the Zambian border to curtail the arrival of coronavirus in Lubumbashi led to the quadrupeling of food prices. This in turn this led to an increase in violent crime, armed robberies and unprovoked attacks. Many are struggling to make ends meet to feed their families and there has been an increase in numbers of children on the city's streets. We have just heard of an outbreak of cholera in the area of the city where many of the children we meet at our day centre sleep overnight. 

Public gatherings including our day centre were understandably prohibited due to coronavirus restrictions.  So the amazing Kimbilio team decided to take hot food and medical care out to children in desperate need of help on the streets. 

Despite these challenges, we have had two cohorts of girls and women graduating through our amazing young mum's hairdressing and beauty skills course and through our valuable sewing course.  Offering greater financial stability at this time of crisis. 

We have still been able to get some children back with their families, and others, too young to be on the streets have been offered a place in one of our four homes. 

Cases of coronavirus have slowly started to increase in the city and there is concern that the fragile health care system will not cope is the numbers of cases increases as it has in the UK and many other parts of the world. 

Some great news, the walls of the primary school building are up!  We are still searching for the finances to put on the roof.  A shipping container full of chairs and desks donated to Kimbilio by two schools in the north west is on it's way to Lubumbashi!

Back in the UK, Ian Harvey isn't able to go out to speak to our supporting Churches and our usual fairs and festivals have been cancelled.  So, Congo Children Trust Trustee, Ruth, took on the task of opening the Kimbilio online shop. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/KimbilioShop Essential face masks, lovely bags, aprons and peg bags in vibrant Congolese colours are now available at the click of a button! Please check it out and tell your friends and family! 

All income from the Kimbilio Shop goes directly to helping children on Congo's streets. 

Thanks so much for all your ongoing support, it enables us to offer a more positive future for children at Kimbilio.  We do hope you are safe and well at this hugely challenging time. 

Children on the streets supported by outreach team
Children on the streets supported by outreach team

Links:

 
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