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.
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.