Cinderellas of Bukavu

by COOPI Cooperazione Internazionale
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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

The Foyer Ek'Abana centre was founded in 2001, by Sister Natalina, in the city of Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. It aims to rehabilitate, educate and socially and professionally integrate girls and adolescents who, for various reasons, find themselves on the margins of society. The Foyer Ek'abana centre also has met the story of Marie!

Anne-Marie is a young girl who was abandoned by her father and whose mother, who is unemployed, was unable to take care of, especially after she suffered of a serious illness. Moreover, the two were evicted because the cost of the rent was unaffordable for the mother.

The centre has taken care of Anne-Marie's situation, by welcoming her and providing for her school education. Anne-Marie in the centre in Foyer Ek'Abana has the possibility to study, she is in good condition and does very well in school.

Thanks to the activities of the centre Anna-Marie has found a place where she can grow up happly and where she has the possibility to return to play and have fun, in a safe and secure environment.

Supporting the centre means helping to make the future possible for many other children who have similar backgrounds of Anna-Marie. It means giving these children the chance not to feel abandoned, to study, to be protected and to be able to find a new 'home' where they feel welcome and protected.

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The Ek’Abana Center provides long-lasting support and protection to children in need that live in the area of Bukavu.


Many children that are welcomed at the center often decide to remain as volunteers when they grow up and after the end of their school years.


One of these is Samuel.


Samuel has a lot of brothers and sisters and his parents have been working all their lives to guarantee decent living conditions for their children; nevertheless, Samuel’s parents have often struggled to find stable employments and this has led to economic vulnerability. Therefore, the Ek’Abana Center has played a key role in Samuel’s life as it has been the place where he has had the opportunity to study and receive support during the times in which his family was struggling.


During his school years, Samuel was a very hard-working student and he always received good grades. Recently, he finally obtained his diploma and he received a specialized training to eventually work as plumber and electrician.


While looking for a stable job, Samuel is currently providing support to the Ek’Abana Center as a volunteer. He is really enjoying the activities he carries out as volunteer and he is happy that he can continue to be part of the center even now that he has finished school.


Samuel’s story shows how important the work of the Ek’Abana Center is for children living in the area of Bukavu.


Stay by the side of the Ek’Abana Center. Help a child grow up and go to school.


Thank you!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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Organization Information

COOPI Cooperazione Internazionale

Location: Milano - Italy
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @coopi
Project Leader:
Federica Piria
Milano, MI Italy
$4,491 raised of $10,000 goal
43 donations
$5,509 to go
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