Christmas came a few days early for the kids in Mumosho, DRC, thanks to you, our family of supporters in the U.S. and around the world. Santa arrived in the form of our founder and leader, Papa Amani, as he is known to the kids, bearing bags of shoes and clothes for over 250 children, many for whom this is the only clothing they will receive for the new year.
Older students, kids who have grown up in school because of Amani’s Education Assistance program, volunteered to help. They were eager to play their part, to pay it forward by giving their time to the organization that has helped them stay in school, to find the inspiration and practical help to follow their dreams, and to encourage the dreams of the younger students, like Orelie.
Currently halfway through the first year at secondary school, Orelie has a vision for Congo, and created the slogan that Amani embraced for ABFEK, our partner organization: “New People, New Actions, New Congo.” Orelie’s favorite part of school is community, “when we come together as brothers and sisters during breaks, playing and singing.”
Your resolution to partner with the people of Congo is already turning Orelie’s vision into reality. Through your support, over 400 children are attending school through our Education Assistance Program for vulnerable children; 15 teen mothers and their babies have housing and vocational training after being abandoned by their families because of rape; over 90 families are part of our growing animal husbandry program; 245 women are learning to read and write through our Literacy Program; 180 women are learning sustainable farming, growing food to sell and to feed their families on our two shared farms; 236 women have learned the skill and trade of sewing, starting their own businesses, earning income to feed and send their kids to school, helping to break the cycle of extreme poverty.
Celebrating Christmas and the New Year, some of the kids swarmed the playground, legs kicking to swing high, hands gripping tightly as they spun in circles on the merry-go-round, watching to see who could roll an old tire the furthest and fastest. They stopped to eat a warm meal of rice, beans, and peas, served by the older students, including Brigitte, who joined the Teen Mothers Program three years ago after she was raped, pregnant before her 14th birthday.
Shunned by her relatives and others in the village, Brigitte found compassion and love at the Mumosho Women’s Center. A strong young girl, Amani tells us, she finished the Teen Mothers Program empowerment sessions and decided to join the Education Assistance Program. Through our partner grant from Jewish World Watch, she was re-enrolled in school. Today Brigitte is in the fifth grade of secondary school, with one year to go before she graduates. Her goal is to attend university and law school, to defend and protect the oppressed, girls like herself only three years ago.
Your support is creating real transformation in individual lives of the children and women of Congo, and creating a stronger community of generosity and trust. When Brigitte volunteered to serve food to the kids, she called them her brothers and sisters, because they accepted her and loved her.
Celebrating Christmas and ringing in 2016 with new hope, the children in Mumosho, Congo send you their thanks.
They took turns drawing, sketching, creating. ”I am dreaming of becoming a pilot and that’s why I am drawing a plane,” says Borauzima Daniel. “On board this plane I am sending my best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to the Action Kivu supporters who are making a huge difference in my everyday life.”
Read more about the kids, women, and community we partner with in Congo:
Meet Mamy in a video from our Sewing Graduation Day, 2015
Meet Cikwanine, Nadine, & Chanceline – three teen moms who are back in school!
Meet Claudine, and read her story of coming “back to life”
Meet Grandma Mwayuma and see some of the children at play
Meet Amani through the Enough Project’s “I Am Congo” video series
Meet the goats in our animal husbandry program, Your Goat is My Goat