2016 was an amazing year ❤
We kept the struggling Masika centre (orphanage and therapy centre for victims of sexual violence based in south kivu) from closing, by raising money with a charity boxing match.
I then visited DR Congo to go to the Masika centre, so I could meet the women and children who needed our support.
While I was in Kinshasa, I visited an orphanage based Ngaba to meet the women and children.
It was a truly life changing experience and I have been blessed to be able to share the beauty of the children.
The only problem was that their living conditions were terrible, many of the children were getting sick because of their poor diets and environment. The children currently live right by a rubbish dump, human waste runs into the river by their home, and when it floods during the rainy season sewage runs into the orphanage.
I was taken to the Meteba medical centre by my friend Theodore Menelik, as this is where the children were being treated.
I didn't think that I could see worse after seeing where the children live...
It indeed got worse, the medical centre was horrible. There was no front door, electricity, sanitation, the roof leaked and everything was covered in dirt. Babies were being born there and getting infected because of the poor hygiene. I told the sisters working there that I would use Instagram to raise money so that we could rebuild Meteba. So I did another charity boxing match.
The target was £30,000... from September until march we raised £80,000!
Nothing prepared me for the generosity of the people. We rebuilt Meteba using the money raised, babies are being born there everyday, they have everything you would expect in a western medical centre. Everyone in the whole community is so grateful for the work that was done. The rest of the money raised since September, has been funding the support to the Masika centre, we make sure they have food everyday, pay for their medical bills, and pay for school fees for all of the children. We also support the orphanage in Ngaba, we make sure they have fresh fruit and vegetables every day, they now have free medical care at Meteba (this was part of the agreement on this project) we also pay for school fees and anything the children need.
I wanted to sort out the living conditions of the children, but the area is just too run down.
So we are going to build them a new home in the beautiful Congolese countryside side. It makes me upset that there is so much beauty in DR Congo, but the children suffer everyday because of the structural violence they face, as a result of some greedy human beings.
We started a non profit in 2016, called I Heart Africa, I never thought this possible, but it just happened organically. I believe in sustainability, so the work that we will carry out is to build the children a better future free of needing financial support. I don't see why in such a rich country, the children face such abject poverty.
To sum it all up, I have used the rest of the money raised to buy 6 acres of land in Maluku, about 2 hours from Kinshasa. This is where we are going to move the children and create an eco village for them and people in the surrounding area. We named this project the 'Patrice Lumumba eco village'.
It takes a village to raise a child
When the orphaned children grow up they will inherit the land and the village.
This is what we are going to do:
1. Build an orphanage to support 150 children
2. Training in entrepreneurship and enterprise skills
Micro credit soft loans,
Small home, and big scale agricultural activities
Manufacturing products for export but also local/national consumption
3. To run a youth and adult learning center
4. To run a Nursery, primary school and secondary school
5. To run vocational skills trainings (metal fabrication, carpentry, tailoring, hair and beauty, ICT) 6. To promote community development
7. To create a library
8. To build a youth sport centre and to run sport activities
9. To run a cinema / a didactic cinema
10. To construct recreation and business centre
Information centre i.e. cultural heritage and tourist promotion services and marketing rural
agricultural products though internet
Film show centre
11. Provision of credit to those engaged in small scale business
Film show center
Small agricultural activities and vocational training activities
12. To improve the capacity of community and local associations
I will attached the project document to our website. We are going to do this in the right way. With transparency and honesty. I want to show you the true DR Congo, the people and land is so beautiful. I believe in the people and I really want you to meet the children, so this is why we are going to start a volunteering project and farm so you can help.
I am going to do another charity boxing match in July, but we have the land so I want to start the building. We do this for the love not for money. If you can donate anything please do. If you know people who want to make big donation then send them our way. We can name a building after them Money goes along way when you don't use it to pay people big wages and mismanage resources.
We are going to employ the whole area, the point of this project is to build the village, make it self sustainable. I hope to someday move there to make sure the children are always ok. Let's make 2017 as progressive as 2016.
Much respect if you have read this far lol.
I look forward to your support.
Love and light always Chaka.www.iheartAfrica.org