Reunite Children with their Families in Congo

by Congo Children Trust Vetted since 2015 Top Ranked
Reunite Children with their Families in Congo
Reunite Children with their Families in Congo
Reunite Children with their Families in Congo
Reunite Children with their Families in Congo
Reunite Children with their Families in Congo
Reunite Children with their Families in Congo
Reunite Children with their Families in Congo
Reunite Children with their Families in Congo
Reunite Children with their Families in Congo
Reunite Children with their Families in Congo
Reunite Children with their Families in Congo
Reunite Children with their Families in Congo
Reunite Children with their Families in Congo
Reunite Children with their Families in Congo
Reunite Children with their Families in Congo
Reunite Children with their Families in Congo
Reunite Children with their Families in Congo
Reunite Children with their Families in Congo
Walking to school
Walking to school

This month, our young girls and boys in the care of Kimbilio went back to school to continue their studies. Throughout the summer holidays they have continued to read and study as well as enjoy lots of playtime. Now was the time to return to their classes. We are incredible proud of how hard working each child is and their enthusiasm for learning is wonderful. 

Education in D.R. Congo is held in high regard. It is seen as a way out of poverty and a way to change lives. Unfortunately, many families cannot afford the state funded education which still requires school fees to be paid, as well as exam fees. Many parents of street children often say that the additional cost of education is one of the reasons that their child has ended up on the streets.

Kimbilio helps children living on the streets of Lubumbashi work towards achieving their dreams of becoming a teacher, a pilot, a hairdresser or a doctor in many different ways. 

We have a robust and safe reintegration procedure, where when a child is welcomed back to their family, Kimbilio can offer to help with school fees. We have seen the benefits of this, as last year two children that had been reunited with their families returned to ask for help with college fees.

We have apprenticeship programs and projects for those children and young people who are less suited traditional education. Most recently we have set up a Young Mums' Hair Salon where young women can learn how to provide for their small families. All of the young mums on the first cohort of training had been street children.

If we are waiting and trying to find a child's family, they will often stay at Kimbilo's Transit Homes, where tutors come to visit and teach them the basics of how to read, mathematics and art.

And when a child cannot be reunited with their parents, Kimbilio supports and nurtures them at Maison Kimbilio and they are able to attend a local school. We had much excitement and celebration this year when one of our older boys from Maison Kimbilio was awarded the Diplôme D'état (the nationally recognised diploma of education). This was a first for Kimbilio!

As you can see, providing a loving home for street children goes way beyond a roof over their heads. It means nurturing them and providing the opportunities which will allow them to flourish. That's what your donation does - Thank You

Next year is Kimbilio's Tenth Anniversary and our plan is to complete the first stage of construction of our own school, supported by the local Anglican Diocese. This school will see children from all backgrounds learning together which we hope will help to some of the prejudices that street-connected children face. You can find out more about the project on our GlobalGiving page here.

Thank you again. We wish you a happy Autumn!

Ready for the new term
Ready for the new term
Looking very smart
Looking very smart
Celebrating Kimbilio
Celebrating Kimbilio's first diploma!

Children can find them on the street for many reasons. Sometimes a parent has died suddenly or they might have been separated from their parents when fleeing violence in another area. Some children are falsely accused of witchcraft or abused at home and for some their parents cannot afford to continue to look after them. The pressures on families are immense that often they make challenging choices and the impact on these young lives is immeasureable.

In May this year a little girl came into Centre Kimbilio, our outreach centre, to ask for help. Her two year old brother was carried carefully on her back. The girl told staff that their parents had had an argument and had abandoned them on the streets.

Kimbilio was able to give these children a loving home. Due to his age and the strong bond he has with his sister, this little family is being cared for together at Transit Filles (the girls' transitional home). With local social workers, Kimbilio staff are making enquiries in the area to endeavour to find the parents and, if possible and safe, to work towards reuniting them with their precious children.

Until then the children are settling in to their new home with new friends and carers. They are enjoying being part of a family and being cared for.

So thank you. Your support not only pays for the transport back to their families or a social worker to assess the family situation, but also for food and transitional accommodation for the children and so many other ways in which Kimbilio continues to support children like these. Please don't forget us on July 18th when GlobalGiving will be running their Rewards Bonus Day. There will be $120,000 in matching funds and bonus prizes available for charities taking part. It runs from 9:00am to 11:59pm EDT (that's 2pm to 4:49am GMT) on Wednesday July 18th. See www.globalgiving.org for full terms and conditions. If you are able please consider supporting one of Congo Children Trust's projects:

https://www.globalgiving.org/donate/27733/congo-children-trust/

Merci Beaucoup!

Making the journey by motorbike
Making the journey by motorbike

We wanted to let you know about one of Kimbilio's latest success stories of reuniting Ann* with her family.

Four months ago a little six year old girl was found living on the streets of Lubumbashi by local social workers. They brought her to Centre Kimbilio and the staff found her a place at the Girls Transit House. Due to her age it was difficult to find out what had happened to her. After months of amazing detective work, the Kimbilio team located her family 45km from Lubumbashi. She had been missing for over a year. The team carried out their assessment and she was able to be reunited with them just a few short weeks ago. The roads are overgrown tracks in that area so they made the long journey via motorbike!
Her mother said, "A woman took her. We looked for her everywhere. We didn't know whether we find her dead or alive but we thank God. Now she is alive. I have nothing to give. A girl is riches. All I can give is my thanks. Thank you."

So thank you - with your support Kimbilio can help so many street-connected children be reunited with their families. 

(*We've changed her name for this update)

Next month, from April 9th through to April 13th, we will be taking part in GlobalGiving's Little by Little Campaign. During this week, GlobalGiving will match donations up to $50 at 50% with $50,000 in matching funds. If you are able, please consider donating or sharing this story with a friend or colleague who also may be able to help. We are focusing on our From Exploitation in Mines to a Hope Filled Future project for this campaign but every little helps with any of our projects. 

Merci Beaucoup!

Family Hugs
Family Hugs
A family reunited
A family reunited
Christmas Day Fun!
Christmas Day Fun!

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.

Two boys, former residents at Kimbilio recently returned to visit. They are now back living with their families and Kimbilio is continuing to pay their school fees. They are doing very well at school. They came to say thank you and ask if there is any chance Kimbilio can help them to attend University in the future. It was so encouraging to see them doing so well. We need your support more than ever to support others like them.

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!

Street children in Lubumbashi
Street children in Lubumbashi

Over the summer, it has become more and more evident that the number of street connected children is continuing to grow. As well as current difficulties making life harder for many families to make ends meet, there has also been violence reported in the Kasai region leading to many children travelling to the larger towns such as Lubumbashi to seek refuge and a place of safety. This isn't what they find on the streets. Life is hard, they are beaten, exploited, abused, hungry and ignored. The Kimbilio staff have reported a significant increase in the numbers of street connected children recently. 

So with the help of you donations, Kimbilio continues to be a beacon of hope - a place of safety and refuge for street connected children. Kimbilio has built on many years of experience to become a trusted member of the Lubumbashi community. Our long-term relationship with local social workers enables us to help the most children we can. And it isn't just food and a shelter from everything that Kimbilio provides. The Kimbilio staff make sure that each child is nurtured and given a chance to be a child in Centre Kimbilio.

And when the Kimbilio staff have earned the trust of the children, then they start to put in place the long process of reuniting the children with their families using a reintegration package, paid for with your generous donations. 

Our update is that the need continues to grow and as always our dedicated staff continue to work to meet that need. Thank you for helping Kimbilio to continue to repond.   

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Organization Information

Congo Children Trust

Location: Manchester - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​www.congochildrentrust.org
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @kimbiliodrcongo
Project Leader:
Ian Harvey
Manchester, Greater Manchester United Kingdom
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