Happy New Year! Apologies for the lateness of our wishes. We thought we would start the year off with a little review of the last year, so here's a message from Ian Harvey, Founding Director of Congo Children Trust and Kimbilio:
We have had much fun celebrating 10 years of Kimbilio this year! Some of the highlights have been: • returning to Congo in the summer with a UK team of 13; some with long term experience of DRC, others visiting for the first time. It was lovely to see the team and children playing games and having fun together. • laying the foundation stone for the Kimbilio Primary School. The foundations and first 2 classrooms have since gone up! We are now awaiting the the end of the seasonal rains and have just fired another kiln of bricks ready for the dry weather. • taking 7-year-old Chance for a birthday ice cream with the lovely lady who became her mum after she was abandoned as a baby outside the Kimbilio gates. Wonderful to see her thriving! • the publication of ‘The Abandoned Rule Book’ by children’s author Flinty Maguire who is generously donating the royalties to Kimbilio. It makes a great present for children 8+ as well as adults. You can get your copy here for a very reasonable £5.99 www.flintymaguire.com • the completion of a self-contained flat to provide international Kimbilio volunteers accommodation during their time in Lubumbashi. • the CCT team visiting a number of our supporters and catching up with many of you. If you’d like us to visit your school, local or faith community in 2020, please do get in touch.
We have also acknowledged the ongoing challenges and our fragility as an organization this year. • One of the challenges for the children was the tragic death of Dorsen’s father (Dorsen was one the boys that was working in the mines whose story featured in the Sky News report.) Dorsen returned to his family in the school holidays and arrived to find his father’s funeral taking place. It was devastating for him but he and Richard are now back at Kimbilio and doing well at school. • The refusal of the UKBA to give Jean Bosco (Kimbilio Director) a visa to visit the UK despite the wonderful response of many of you who wrote letters of appeal including our local MP who also advocated on his behalf. • The £ to $ exchange rate has had a significant negative impact on our finances. The £ now does not go as far in providing the necessities needed to sustain the project. Despite this the project continues to thrive which is a testament to our faithful and generous supporters.
We want to send a sincere thank you to each one of you who have enabled us to make all these things happen and who have supported us over these last 10 years. Kimbilio is a work of collaboration and partnership. We are grateful for the vision for this project and all who are a part of the wider Kimbilio family helping us to grow the vision and the work on the ground.
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