Cinderellas of Bukavu

by COOPI Cooperazione Internazionale
Play Video
Cinderellas of Bukavu
Cinderellas of Bukavu
Cinderellas of Bukavu
Cinderellas of Bukavu
Cinderellas of Bukavu
Cinderellas of Bukavu
Cinderellas of Bukavu
Cinderellas of Bukavu
Cinderellas of Bukavu
Cinderellas of Bukavu
Cinderellas of Bukavu
Cinderellas of Bukavu
Cinderellas of Bukavu
Cinderellas of Bukavu
Cinderellas of Bukavu

Since 2002 the Ek’Abana Center, run by Sister Natalina, hosts children accused of witchcraft and children in need of care and protection in the area of Bukavu. COOPI supports the work and activities of the center which offers shelter, psychological support, school support and vocational training, family mediation and reconciliation to children.


One of the main objectives of the Ek’Abana Center is to raise awareness among children and young adults about a variety of themes such as the promotion of environmentally friendly practices and the management of recycling.

Children also participate in the so-called “school of peace” which is an activity that involves seminars on the topic as well as poetry workshops and it has the goal of promoting a culture of peace. Thanks to the school of peace, children have the opportunity of expressing and sharing their ideas of peace through their own written poetry.


Furthermore, another central pillar which guides the work of the Ek’Abana Center is to spread awareness about the lived experiences of vulnerable children and about the stigmatization that young girls accused of witchcraft have to endure. The doors of the center are always open to people who are interested in getting to know more about it.


All the work carried out in the center is only possible thanks to the great commitment of the team responsible for organizing and implementing the various activities. Therefore, it is important that the people working at the center are well-prepared and trained properly.


The training of the staff involves different lessons, workshops and group activities which have the goal of enhancing the competences and skills necessary to work with vulnerable children.


The lessons cover themes such as how to effectively protect children, the importance of creating moments for children to speak and be heard as well as moments of dialogue among peers. The staff also receives training in conflict management and good working practices.


Every three months the center organizes an assembly to share ideas and feedbacks about the development of the various activities and to brainstorm about possible future projects.


Please, donate to support the great job that the center is doing for children and young girls.


Thank you for your help!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

The Ek’Abana Centre in Bukavu welcomes children accused of witchcraft and children in need. Today, the centre run by Sister Natalina hosts almost 200 children.

One of these children is Ngaboyeka.

Ngaboyeka was born in 2004 in a war zone, where life was difficult because of the presence of rebels and armed men that fought over minerals and natural resources such as anthracite.

Fortunately, his parents are both alive. His father used to work as a watchman wherever he could find a job, while his mother was in a constant state of pain because of the burns caused by anthracite.

In 2012, Ngaboyeka’s family decided to leave their village and move to Bukavu to escape the war. Here Ngaboyeka was welcomed into the centre. At that time, he was attending the third year of primary school.

Thanks to the support of the Ek’Abana Centre, Ngaboyeka was able to complete primary school and started secondary school. In the meantime, his father started working at the centre, and thanks to his work he is now able to pay for the treatment for his wife.

The staff of the centre worked a lot in order to inform and make parents aware of the importance of granting education to their children despite their economic situation. Thanks to this work, today Ngaboyeka is attending the sixth year of secondary school at the Ciriri Institute. The staff of the centre is extremely happy because this means that the child has taken to heart their advice, and so did his parents.

Ngaboyeka’s story is one of the successful stories that are possible thanks to the work of the Ek’Abana Centre, that helps dozens of children every year.

Stay by their side and support their work. Help a child grow up and go to school.

Please, donate to support the great job that the centre is doing for these children.

Thank you!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

In Bukavu, the Ek’Abana Center run by Sister Natalina welcomes children who were abandoned by their family or chased out after being accused of witchcraft.

Lately, the center is carrying out a campaign concerning good waste management. They are raising awareness within the community about the importance of garbage disposal. In Congo, in fact, the management of waste by the municipal authorities is very limited. People have to pay a monthly fee of 4$ to ensure that the public service will collect the waste, but unfortunately the majority of them do not have enough money to pay for this service, so the garbage ends up piling up on the streets.
In the past, children had to go through a landfill to reach the Ek'Abana center. Recently, the operators of the center have created a litter-free path thanks to the help of the people of the neighborhood. In this way, children no longer have to walk on waste and families were made aware of the issue.

The Ek’Abana center also organizes training courses to teach women how to weave grocery bags using recycled materials, so that they can earn some money selling them and, at the same time, fight against the degradation and pollution of the environment.
In Bukavu there is a large use of plastic bags that are abandoned everywhere: along the roads, in the water drains, etc. Much of this waste ends up in Lake Kivu. Thanks to these courses, the center can raise awareness among the women and, at the same time, it can teach them to use less plastic bags giving them an item that will last longer.

It is extremely important that we allow children to live in a cleaner and less polluted environment.

Please, donate to support the great job that the center is doing for them.
Thank you for your help!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

REPORT – JULY 2021 – Cinderellas of Bukavu


In Bukavu, the Ek’Abana Center run by Sister Natalina welcomes children accused of witchcraft and children in need.

Goma, the city overwhelmed in recent days by the lava flows of the Nyiragongo volcano, is located 150km from Bukavu. During the night of 22nd May the volcano started a dangerous eruption on the slope towards the city.


People from the most at-risk neighbourhoods received evacuation orders to the nearby mountains. Nearly 40,000 people decided to go to Bukavu and there, most of the displaced people have received hospitality from friends or family. Ek’Abana also took care of them right from the start!

After the eruption and the subsequent evacuation of part of the city, about 200 minors are missing, they lost their family in the general chaos. In this situation, international organizations have been involved in the family reunification, which is complex, especially for small children who cannot explain anything.

These minors need food, shelter and clothes while the center looks for their families.

To continue giving support, further aid is needed.

Stay by our side and support Ek’Abana Center in welcoming children displaced from Goma. Thank you!

Attachments: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

In 2020 the Congolese authorities had closed schools for six months (March-September). Reopened in October, they were closed again on 18th December to stem the second wave of the pandemic, as it was accelerating sharply.

The closure of schools is a threat to the education, protection and well-being of children. The most marginalised children - who are most at risk of dropping out of education - pay the heaviest price for school closures.

Deprived of daily exchanges with their peers and opportunities to exercise, they see their physical and mental condition deteriorate. Deprived of the safety net often provided by school, they are more vulnerable to abuse, as well as to marriage and child labour.

Foyer Ek’Abana has never closed and has kept welcoming children in need, offering the opportunity to study together and to receive food and protection in a healthy environment.


Fortunately, schools reopened on 22nd February. Foyer Ek’Abana will never stop supporting children and being at their side. Also thanks for your help!

Continue to stay by their side! Thank you so much.

Attachments: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

COOPI Cooperazione Internazionale

Location: Milano - Italy
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @coopi
Project Leader:
Federica Piria
Milano, MI Italy
$4,479 raised of $10,000 goal
42 donations
$5,521 to go
Donate Now
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

COOPI Cooperazione Internazionale has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.