Covid-19 continues to impact life in the Congo, as vaccines are not as widely available as in more developed countries. The staff at the Congo Children's Trust and at the new Kimbilio Primary School continue to encourage street children to get vaccinated and to wear masks in indoor places.
The new Kimbilio School, which opened in October 2021, has helped to spread this message. The school is providing good quality education to the street children living in the short and longer-term houses run by the Trust. Education is so important in the Congo to ensure that children gain the skills that will enable them to provide for their own families when they are older.
Thank you for your support for the work of the Congo Children's Trust with street children.
There is very little supply of vaccines in Lubumbashi. Covid numbers are very high, not reflected in the statistics,and there is no space in the city morturaries. The Kimbilio team provide masks for the children staying in their short and long term homes and for those who come to the Day Centre and encourage the children to wear the masks when in close contact with others.
However much care one takes to protect oneself against Covid, unfortunately it still spreads and Jean Bosco,the director of Kimbilio in Lubumbashi, passed away from Covid in July. He set an amazing example in the way he worked diligently and led Kimbilio for seven years with compassion, gentleness and humility, improving the lives of many vulnerable children.Jean has been a father figure to the team and to the children, wise and kind to all, and we will mis him greatly. Two senior members of the team have stepped forward to undertake Jean's duties and we will review the position in three months.
The new Kimbilio School is completed and will open on 4 October 2021. The Head Teacher has been appointed and staff are being interviewed. Exciting times!
There has been a very slow take up of vaccination against Covid-19 in DRC, due to scare stories about blood clots or sterility. The Government hasn’t introduced a mass vaccination program, even thought the Indian variant has now been found in several recent cases. The Kimbilio team continue to work with children on the streets, particularly trying to reach those in greatest need.
One of our team, Joel Kidindwe, encourages the children to express themselves creatively through art and fabrics. It is so encouraging to see the children enjoying themselves and developing their artistic talents.
The building of the new Kimbilio Primary School is on schedule to open to the first pupils in September 2021. The grounds have now been prepared and work is going on with the doors, ceilings and interior decorations. Exciting times!
The situation in relation to covid is changing on a daily basis across the world. For a while the number of new cases in Congo seemed to slow down, however like in many other countries a 2nd wave is impacting on Congo at the present. The numbers in the capital Kinshasa have increased in recent days as well as in surrounding countries like Zambia, where the new South African variant has been found. The UK has today banned all arrivals from DRC in an attempt to prevent the spread of this new variant.
The number of children on the streets remains high in Lubumbashi and we are regularly seeing over 60 children at our drop in welcome centre at Kimbilio.
The children and staff team at Kimbilio have thankfully kept safe and well. They are enjoying their art classes and have been adding face masks to their portraits! We are all looking forward to the opening of the Kimbilio Primary School in September 2021 when the children at Maison Kimbilio will be able to attend school much closer to home!
We thank you so much for your ongoing support which is providing a life line to vulnerable children in Lubumbashi.
Mum and baby seek help at Kimbilio outreach centre
Whist the officials numbers of confirmed cases of coronavirus in D.R.C. appear low, the reality on the street tells a different story. It is currently hard to find space in the city's morques due to the high numbers of deaths. Covid tests have run out in Lubumbashi, even if patients seek medical help they aren't able to confirm if they are positive.
At Kimbilio we are continuing to reach out to children on the streets, taking out food and medical care each week. Getting to know the children and hear their stories and where possible get them back to their families.
The Governor of Lubumbashi wants to get all the children off the streets as numbers have been increasing. UNICEF have been given this unenviable task. They have assigned 30 new children to the Kimbilio houses. This brings new challenges of ensuring children already in the Kimbilio houses are not put at risk of infection. Hand washing and masks are an essential part of keeping everyone safe.
Thanks so much for your help so far. Your ongoing support will help to support more vulnerable children, giving them the home they deserve. It will help us keep stocked up with soap, PPE as well as food and medical supplies where we make contact with chidren very much on the edge of society, who have no one else looking out for them.
We hope you're staying safe too, you can also keep you and your own families safe with our beautiful Kimbilio face masks which you can buy via the Kimbilio Etsy Shop! Please do share the link with your friends... all funds raised go directly back into our work on the ground.
Chatting with street boys during Kimbilio outreach
Art is always a winner!
Stay safe, Kimbilio masks 4sale via our Etsy shop!
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