The desire to help DRC children started in my heart when I visited this country back in 2000. The look on children’s faces selling little sweets at Njili Airport broke my heart and I decided to do something about it even though I did not know what to do or how to do it.
I saw children as young as ten trying to sell me sweets, and others asking to carry my luggage so I could give them money in return. I asked a couple of them why they were not in school. I got the answer I was expecting, "There is no one to pay the school fees and I'm trying to sell these so I can get something to eat". Of course, I knew the plight of Congo's children; I was born there and lived the first 10 years of my life there. I remember the thought that came to my mind, "It could have been me”. I was really moved by the condition of these children. I had many questions than I had answers. I asked myself what could I do to help, Where could I start. The whole experience was overwhelming and intensified throughout the time I was there because of the conditions of life. My heart is still broken to this very day, when I consider the suffering of DRC children which has become worse.
During the trip in 2000 I decided to help a young boy by the name of Papi Mbalumuna, who was living in a very difficult condition and was about to drop out of school due to lack of funds. I promised to pay his school fees and buy him clothing items until he finished school. I kept my promised, he finished secondary school and I helped him go to university to study nursing and now he is married and working with Children in Boma.
Papi would have never had finished his education had I not extended a helping hand in his life. As often as I think of Papi, I say to myself, there are many Papis' out there who can achieve something in life if someone gives them the opportunity. It doesn’t cost much to give a child an opportunity to finish their education and pursue their dreams.
I really wanted to help more children, but I knew that I could not do it alone because I didn’t have the resources to help them. I convinced myself that there are people who have the desire to help children in poverty. That’s why in 2014 I decided to start DRC Children First to reach to the forgotten and forsaken children of DRC and rescue them from poverty.
18 November 2016
Rising tensions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are being stoked by crackdowns on freedom of expression and peaceful protests, posing a deadly risk of further violence, Amnesty International said today, one month ahead of the day President Joseph Kabila’s constitutionally-mandated second term will end.
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