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

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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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!

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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.

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REPORT – NOVEMBER 2020 – Cinderellas of Bukavu
The coronavirus has not disappeared in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but numbers seem to have reduced and in August lockdown measures were eased.
Schools opened on 12th October.
Children have been welcomed at Foyer Ek’Abana throughout the whole year despite the pandemic. The centre never closed and remained a safe place for them. In all these months they kept studying and listening to the lessons together over the radio and they never stopped developing their talents.
They learn crafts that might be useful for their future. In addition, the Foyer Ek’Abana teaches them how to raise chickens and guinea pigs. Becoming a breeder is another chance that children have for their future. Hence, if they success in completing primary school, they receive a reward: little animals to look after and raise! Farming animals will allow them to earn money and cover the expenses of secondary school.
The number of children in need never decreases. Please, donate to support the great job that the centre is doing for them!
Thank you for your help!

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This year, the Foyer Ek’Abana welcomed 24 new children who were abandoned by their family or chased out after being accused of witchcraft.

In the same period, 22 children were reintegrated: most of them were welcomed into their family of origin and 4 were welcomed into foster families.

The Center sensitizes families and provides also concrete help. In fact, children going back home received some items they need: a bed, a blanket and clothes, as well as the payment of their school fees.

At the Foyer Ek’Abana, the mission has always been to allow children to develop their talents. They receive three meals a day and perform various activities.

Unfortunately, COVID19 spread also in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The official numbers in the country are close to 8,000 cases (data updated to 07.07.2020) and measures have been immediately taken to limit as much as possible the spread of the virus.

Schools have been closed since March 19th but the Foyer Ek'Abana has never totally closed: some children continue to be welcomed inside. During the day boys learn crafts to become tailors or bricklayers in the future. Girls learn to make beautiful colored bags that they will sell in the future.

In order not to completely stop studying, social workers bring to the neighborhoods radios with which children can follow the lessons that the school broadcasts and go on with their homework!

Thank you for your past support in favor of the girls of Bukavu! Please keep donating to help abandoned children, stay by their side during this new emergency!

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Organization Information

COOPI Cooperazione Internazionale

Location: Milano - Italy
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @coopi
Project Leader:
Stefano Oltolini
Milano, MI Italy
$4,191 raised of $5,000 goal
38 donations
$809 to go
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