Espoir Congo

Project No: F37

Project Managers:
Gino Dominic Volpe
Clotilde Marie Volpe

Contact Info:

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Factoid: Close to 11% of the total child population of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is orphaned.

This is a sad result of its history of civil unrest, war in the east of the country, coupled with malnutrition, poverty, disease and poor health care.

Sixty percent of the population of the capital, Kinshasa, are children. Many of these children beg for a living, and many are orphans, wandering the streets daily scrounging for food, each day more vulnerable than the one before.

Espoir Congo


Project Managers: Gino Dominic Volpe, Clotilde Marie Volpe

With its history of civil unrest, it’s an understatement that the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have suffered enormously. Sixty percent of the population of the capital, Kinshasa, are children, and many daily wander the streets scrounging for a living, each day more vulnerable than the last.

Espoir Congo (Espoir being "Hope" in French) cares for orphaned and underprivileged children in the village of Kikimi, just outside Kinshasa, in collaboration with a Congolese association (SABEC) which assumes legal responsibility for the children.

Following is a brief description of the orphan related programs Espoir Congo conducts:

  • Village Development Pilot Project:  Started in 2008 as a simple feeding scheme for orphaned children, program aims to improve the living condition of this very poor population by bettering their environment, giving them access to clean water, renewable energy and telecom, plus medical care, offering their children education, and the villagers vocational training and opportunities to make a living. 
  • Bringing Education to a Rural Area: In 2010, Espoir Congo built a primary school in Kikimi, later adding a secondary school so as to offer free education in French for orphaned and underprivileged children, as well as affordable non-profit primary and secondary education to other village children.
  • Medical care: Medical center provides free medical assistance and medication to orphaned and underprivileged children and offers the same non-profit services to the village population, including a dispensary, lab tests, prenatal care and childbirth, and surgery.
  • Agricultural project: Congolese partner SABEC is involved in developing the agricultural project with French association SEL, to provide food and income to support the orphan work, in addition to providing agricultural training and animal husbandry for the older boys.
  • Youth Educational Project: Social services/humanitarian training program for youth trains young people to become mentors and encourages them to launch their own humanitarian initiatives.
  • Incubating Micro-Enterprise: Micro-enterprise endeavor to enable needy young people and women to start their own business venture and thereby pay for their studies and/or support their families. 
  • Women’s Empowerment: Offering struggling women and orphaned/underprivileged teenage girls opportunities for education, employment and micro-enterprise. 


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Kinshasa, DR Congo

The Latest From Espoir Congo

For more about Espoir Congo, check out these videos and newsletters (English and French-language).

Village Development Project

Espoir Congo has developed indigenous programs and permanent infrastructure to benefit the orphans and to assist the overall community of Kikimi. Before Espoir Congo built a primary school, the children had to study without desks and under a roof made of palm fronds in a country where the rainy seasons last 9 months out of the year. Prior to opening the medical center, villagers had to travel 5 km on foot to the nearest medical outpost to receive even the most basic treatment.

Bringing Education to a Rural Area

In 2010, Espoir Congo built the first primary school in Kikimi village, with two large classrooms, school office, dispensary and outside terrace. In 2012 a second building was constructed, enabling the school to operate as a complete 6 grade primary school, serving over 200 orphaned and underprivileged children.

Goods Distribution

By caring for orphaned and underprivileged children in a village outside the capital Kinshasa, Espoir Congo not only keeps these vulnerable children from ending up living on the streets, but aims to fight poverty and disease by providing what they need to have a good start in life, through education, medical care, access to clean water, and distribution of food and other basic necessities.

Medical Care

Espoir Congo’s medical center provides free medical diagnosis, treatment and medication to orphan and underprivileged children and offers highly subsidized medical care to the village population, the biggest demand being prenatal care and childbirth.

Food Gardens, Livestock and Fish-Breeding

An agricultural development project on the school grounds provides food gardening and animal husbandry training for older orphan boys. It also serves as a micro-enterprise to support the orphan programs and enables impoverished village parents to earn income to pay for their children’s subsidized school fees.

Recreational and Enrichment Activities

This program addresses the need for holistic education in local schools by providing opportunities for the children to participate in group sports, go on field trips, and engage in activities with art, drama, music and group discussion, in a positive learning environment. Espoir Congo utilizes a character building curriculum specifically created for a young African audience to address relevant social issues and instill positive character traits and morals.

Empowering Disadvantaged Women

Opportunities for education, employment and micro-enterprise are offered to struggling women and orphaned/underprivileged teenage girls. Training in tailoring, hairdressing and beautician, agricultural farming, start-up capital for small businesses, ante- and post-natal education, and job skills training are among some of the support options assisting and empowering women in rural Kinshasa.

A Sewing Machine for Olga

Raised by an impoverished single mother, against all odds Olga clings to her hope of graduating from high school and becoming a seamstress.

Incubating New Micro Enterprise

Espoir Congo’s micro-enterprise program enables disadvantaged youth and women to start up small businesses and generate income to support their families or studies. The program includes training in business management and ongoing mentoring.

Youth Motivational Program

Espoir Congo’s social services/humanitarian training program motivates young adults to engage in the community and become mentors and role models. In a country ravaged by decades of civil unrest and unrelenting poverty, students are encouraged to engage in their communities with mentoring and humanitarian initiatives such as hospital visitation and disaster relief. 

Sponsor a Congolese Orphan

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, close to 11% of the total child population is orphaned, due to war in the east of the country, and due to malnutrition, poverty, disease and poor health care in urban areas like Kinshasa.

More photos of Congolese Orphans

More photos of Congolese Orphans