From Exploitation in Mines to a Hope Filled Future

by Congo Children Trust
From Exploitation in Mines to a Hope Filled Future
Flinty Maguire and Ian Harvey
Flinty Maguire and Ian Harvey

Congo Children Trust is only where it is because of all those volunteers and supporters who take Kimbilio into their hearts. We thought we take the time to share with you one supporters story which changed Kimbilio from many miles away.

Back in 2017, children's author, Flinty Maguire saw a Sky News report about children exploited to work in the artisanal mines in DR Congo. The film moved her to action. Here is her story in her own words:

"On 17 February 2017, I saw Alex Crawford’s Sky News report of the plight of children mining cobalt in DR Congo. Child cobalt miners, Richard and Dorsen were interviewed. The film is devastating and impacted on its audience. To date, it’s been viewed over 67 million times. I searched Facebook, found Ian Harvey, who offered help through Congo Children Trust and I made contact with Alex Crawford, who was deluged with similar emails. The breakthrough came when I emailed the Sky News desk and described the help Congo Children Trust could offer. That worked. On 24th April, Nick Ludlam, Sky New Africa Editor phoned me and told me he’d made contact with Ian, and the Sky News team would return to DR Congo to relocate Richard and Dorsen, to offer support.

That was great news, but the fact remains that thousands of children remain trapped in cobalt mines, and the remedy to that is in the hands of governments and corporates. What frustrates me is that, while corporates issue carefully crafted statements, children struggle and go hungry. There were 1.58 billion new smartphones sold in 2018. Why don’t corporates impose a levy on such goods to free children from labour, and as reparation for harm done, as Amnesty International demands? Children don’t eat words – they need actual food. 

I am now committed to being a life-long member of the Congo Children Trust support team. I’ve spoken to Richard and Dorsen over the Internet and had a window to see some of the Kimbilio children. It was wonderful – a huge privilege. Children are amazing."

 Flinty has just released the third book in her Ellie Booton Journal series. It's called "The Abandoned Rule Book" and will be very kindly donating the royalties from this book to Kimbilio. 

So what's your journey? How did you become involved with Kimbilio and Congo Children Trust? Did you see the film on Sky News? Do you have a story to tell? We'd love to hear from you about your journey.

(One final update - At Maison Kimbilio, we're building a school where former street children can access education alongside their local friends. As the new school year gets into full swing, we are looking forward to taking part in again in GlobalGiving's #GivingTuesday event on the 3rd December and the Year End Campaign over the holiday season. We'll be focusing our fundraising for this period on the school building but we'll let you know more about it nearer the time.)

The Abandoned Rule Book - Out now!
The Abandoned Rule Book - Out now!
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Richard and Dorsen at Richard's Grandma's home
Richard and Dorsen at Richard's Grandma's home

Dorsen and Richard are flourishing in their term time home at Kimbilio. Under the care and attention of Patrick and Nana at the boys transit home and alongside the other children they continue to thrive and grow into happy, young boys. During Kimbilio's 10th Anniversary celebrations we received the good news that Dorsen came 3rd in his class and Richard came 5th. They love going to school and learning, and are looking forward to moving up to their new class this September.

As with every holidays, the children go home to visit their family. They are missed at Kimbilio during these breaks but the need to keep them connected with their families has always been our highest priority. 

Last week the children were taken by Patrick to Richard's grandmother and then on to Dorsen's paternal aunt's home. At Dorsen's aunt's home, they sadly found that the family were in mouning for Dorsen's dad. Kimbilio Director, Jean Bosco, worked closely with the family since the beginning and says that Dorsen's dad was the victim of an organised crime gang operating in the mining area. 

Dorsen is devasted by his father's passing, and now finds himself orphan of both parents. We are so glad that Patrick was with him for this news and that Jean Bosco will continue to work with the family and make sure that Dorsen gets the support he needs.

Richard and Dorsen painting
Richard and Dorsen painting
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Celebrating International Day of the Street Child
Celebrating International Day of the Street Child

April 12th every year marks the International Day of the Street Child… and the anniversary of the official opening of Centre Kimbilio. In 2009, after years of planning and preparation, Kimbilio opened its doors and began the important work of creating a place of safety for street children.

Children find themselves abandoned to the streets for many reasons – the consequence of parental death often due to HIV or malaria, their family may be too poor to feed them, they may have lost their parents while fleeing fighting or they may be stigmatised as child witches.

On the streets they are prey to violence, exploitation and addiction. The rate of HIV is high and if a child is not already a carrier of the virus the risk of soon becoming one is also high. They are isolated and stigmatised.

Kimbilio offers these vulnerable children food, education, healthcare, shelter & emotional support. They also provide a place for the children to be themselves again, whether that be kicking a ball around, playing a game or being creative through art. And whenever its safe to do so, the Kimbilio staff will make every effort to reunite children to their families.

This year, we began the celebrations at Centre Kimbilio with the children and staff. And it doesn’t stop there. We are planning to have a thanksgiving celebration in July for the work of Kimbilio which will include the laying of the foundation stone of Kimbilio’s new primary school. Then in September, Congo Children Trust will be celebrating the year with a garden party in Manchester, UK, which we hope many of our supporters will attend. Watch this space!

Waiting for the rest of the celebrations
Waiting for the rest of the celebrations
The fantastic Patrick, Jean Bosco & Jean
The fantastic Patrick, Jean Bosco & Jean
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Did you know that 2019 is a huge year for us?

#Kimbilio Is 10!

Congo Children Trust opened the doors for the first time 10 years ago to the outreach centre Centre Kimbilio. We are so
proud of our journey and the trust that has been built along the way with the local community in Lubumbashi and the
surrounding province. Along the way, as well as Centre Kimbilio, we opened 2 short-term homes and 2 long-term children's homes for street-connected children and those children formerly exploited for child labour.

We've put together some photo collages of our favourite moments and memories that we've included in this email. When did
you join the journey? Do you remember any of the photos? Any of the children or staff? What's your favourite memory?
Congo Children Trust would love to hear your #KimbilioMemory big or
small. Tweet us here, Facebook here or Instagram here using the hashtag #KimbilioIs10 and we'll retweet our favourites
over the coming months.

We're also looking forward. 2019 will see the first stage of our brand new primary school completed. Thanks to some
awesome support during GlobalGiving's Giving Tuesday and the Year End Campaign, Congo Children's Trust will be able to
build the first classroom. This school will be a place where our former street children, so often stigmatized, will
attend school alongside their peers from the local community. Imagine that - the possibilities are endless for all these

Whether you have been supporting Kimbilio for 10 minutes or 10 years - Thank you! You are doing wonderful things.

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A picture is worth a thousand words, and perhaps a film is even better. Let Dorsen and Richard show you around their home at Kimbilio and tell you all about how their lives are being transformed into a future filled with hope. Click on the link to YouTube below and find out more.

In the film, we also meet Jean Bosco Tshiswaka, Director of Kimbilio. We are so thankful for Jean Bosco and his wonderful team at Kimbilio. They work tirelessly for the wellbeing of so many children in Lubumbashi. Next year, for our 10th Anniversary, we hope to continue to grow in meeting the needs of street-connected children. Our hope is to complete the first stage of our primary school in the grounds of Maison Kimbilio. We aim to make it a flagship school, well known for the care and attention in helping each child achieve their potential where stigmatized street-connected children will be educated alongside local children. For more info about this please visit our GlobalGiving page here

So for this #GivingTuesday and #YearEndCampaign with GlobalGiving, we are asking our supporters to commit to sharing our stories of Kimbilio with a friend or a colleague that is interested in supporting a small grassroots charity. Your continued support and enthusiasm are so important to us.

For these campaigns we will be focusing on our school project so if you are able to give at this time of year, please consider Congo Children Trust especially on #GivingTuesday which is the 27th November. On this day all donations will be matched with an Incentive Fund. The Incentive Fund will be distributed to participants proportionally based on final fundraising totals.  

And if you regularly give one off to Congo Children Trust, why not explore recurring giving each month? During the Year End Campaign, new recurring donations up to $200 per donor per project started during the campaign will get an additional 100% match from GlobalGiving on the initial donation as long as it remains active for at least four consecutive payments.

Full terms and conditions for all of these ways to give can be found on the GlobalGiving website. Giving Tuesday begins on 27th November and the Year End Campaign continues from 28th November to the 31st December 2018. 

Thank you again for your continued support and may we take this opportunity to be one of the first to wish you Happy Holidays and a Peaceful New Year. 


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Organization Information

Congo Children Trust

Location: Manchester - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @kimbiliodrcongo
Project Leader:
Eva Walters
Manchester, United Kingdom
$44,748 raised of $90,000 goal
559 donations
$45,252 to go
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