Provide a Loving Home for Street Girls in DR Congo

by Congo Children Trust
Happy Christmas from Kimbilio
Happy Christmas from Kimbilio

Christmas message from the Congo Children Trust

2017 has been a full year at CCT. In Congo, we have seen a large increase in the number of street children seeking our support; a number of UK visitors were welcomed at Kimbilio; we were able to build and renovate some of the buildings on our property; we recently held very useful staff training on working with children accused of witchcraft; wide reaching publicity about Kimbilio’s work went out on Sky News, to name but a few of this years activities.

The year also started with unrest in Lubumbashi, focusing on demonstrations against President Kabila, who should have stood down by November 2016. 2017 has ended without elections, however, they are now being promised in December 2018. It appears that the President is trying to hang on to power by whatever means. Any uprisings against him are being quickly and violently extinguished.

We’re looking forward to a new year with all the unknowns and surprises it will hold. We are so thankful to be in a position to help children facing hugely challenging circumstances. We hope that we will be able to continue to make a real difference in the lives of children who come to us for support. We are grateful for the transformation we have been able to see over this past year.

Without your generous donations, all of this wouldn't be possible so thank you!

From all of our DR Congo and UK based staff and children we wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas. 

Joyeux Noël!

PS. There's still a few days remaining to donate to GlobalGiving's Year End Campaign (finishes midnight 31st December). We are eligible for extra bonus amounts if we get enough donors which would be an amazing way to begin 2018. Please consider supporting us during this season or sharing our projects with friends and family. Thank you!

Ready for School
Ready for School

The school year started with much excitement from the Maison Janet Bokwa girls. Smart uniforms and bags packed - just time for photographs by the proud Kimbilio staff waving them off for their first day of learning. Congo Children Trust and the staff at Kimbilio continue to be extremely proud to support these brilliant young girls. In this Kimbilio is not only offering them long-term shelter, food and safety but also hope, encouragement and a real chance of growing up to make a difference in their community.

Thank you for your continued support - it helps Kimbilio make these memories and more. 

Reading in their new classroom at Maison Kimbilio
Reading in their new classroom at Maison Kimbilio

Although we are regularly updated each week by the manager of Kimbilio, M. Jean Bosco Tshiswaka, we do always relish the opportunity to visit DR Congo. This month our Founding Director, Ian Harvey, returned to Lubumbashi for Kimbilio's 8th Anniversary celebrations with two other volunteers, Marguerite Koefman and Gill Venton.

Mama Marguerite has taken over many children’s French books and set up a reading programme for the children. This has been especially exciting for the children as they have been using the newly refurbished classroom at the Kimbilio boys' transit house. Mama Gill continues to support and is very much an integral part of the sewing workshop team. Both she and Kimbilio’s Sewing Project Manager, Mireille, are making plans for a second sewing workshop. There's no stopping them!

Ian has also had chance to catch up with the some of the children rescued from exploitation in the artisanal mines nearby to Lubumbashi. You may remember that earlier this year Sky News feature a report by Alex Crawford about the living conditions of children and their families working in the colbalt mines. With the help of Alex and her team, Jean Bosco and the Kimbilio team located and offer two children a place at Kimbilio. Here they are given the chance to be children again: to learn, play, eat and sleep in safety. We hope to expand our projects to offer the same support to many more families, but we need your help and support.

An easy way of helping your money go just that bit further is the GlobalGiving Rewards Bonus Day. You donate and the money is boosted by GlobalGiving meaning even more resources available to Kimbilio. The next bonus day is from 2pm on Wednesday 12th July till 4.59am on 13th July GMT. On this day Congo Children Trust (the UK based charity which supports Kimbilio) will be matched at 50%. That means in you donate £10 we actually get £15 (click here for terms and conditions). All day long there will be a 100% match on new recurring donations and, at the end of Bonus Day, the projects with the most funds raised and the most donors secured will each receive a $1,000 bonus prize. For this reason we will be focusing on the “From Exploitation in Mines to a Hope Filled Future” project for this bonus day, and would appreciate donations to be directed there if possible but all donations are gratefully received. Please make a note of the time depending on where you live as match funds do run out quickly. We’ll be reminding you again nearer the time.

As always, thank you for your continued support – it brings a lot of hope and happiness to many children in Lubumbashi, DR Congo.

Mireille & Gill planning more sewing workshops
Mireille & Gill planning more sewing workshops
Marguerite teaching dominoes to the children
Marguerite teaching dominoes to the children

Keen followers of our project will notice that we have recently increased our goal here on GlobalGiving, and we just wanted to explain why to you.

Thanks to your faithful support, Maison Janet Bokwa has now been open for nearly a year, providing a loving home to 10 girls. For these girls the home has been a stable environment for them to develop and grow into brilliant, young women. They are safe from exploitation, nurtured within a family and encouraged to achieve the best of their potential at school.

Maison Janet Bokwa has also become the hub of our flourishing sewing workshops, designed to give a skill and trade to local women. It is hoped that this will directly impact on how many children are sent out to live on the streets due to poverty.

We started with a real end goal to build this fantastic home for those girls who could not be reintegrated with their families and needed long-term housing. Our initial target reflected this, but it wasn't the end of the story. We made a commitment to support this family brought together by your generosity, and we will continue to honour that commitment. We have increased the target goal to reflect the ongoing running costs, global inflation and local economic instability due to the changing political landscape in D.R. Congo. 

Every street child deserves a loving home. If you would like any further information, please don't hesitate to contact me .

Thanks again for supporting Kimbilio.


"Jenny" ready for school
"Jenny" ready for school

"Jenny" was found on the streets by the local Social Affairs Team. Her mother had abandoned her on a train when she was 2 years old, so her father had cared for her until she was 12 years old. Her mother then took her back, only to abandoned her again on the market. She was transferred to the girls' transit house, where the Kimbilio staff helped find her father and reintegrate her with her family within 6 months. "Jenny" has since been living with her father and school. This wonderful story highlights the strong relationship that Kimbilio hold with the local Department of Social Affairs, and also of how sustainable Kimbilio's reintegration programme is. This was emphasized even more this past week, when "Jenny" returned to Kimbilio to request further assistance. Her father is seriously ill in hospital but she doesn't want to stop going to school or be forced out on the streets again, so is asking for Kimbilio's help to support her and her studies. Can we help?

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Organization Information

Congo Children Trust

Location: Manchester - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Eva Walters
Manchester, United Kingdom
$32,756 raised of $50,000 goal
290 donations
$17,244 to go
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