Dem. Rep. of Congo, Africa

DRC04 - Centre Amani

Partnership Ref.:




Funding Status:

Completed - No Funding Required

Partnership Type:

Orphans & Vulnerable Children, Training / Education

Funding Size:

$0 - $2,999

Annual Budget:

US$ 0

Dem. Rep. of Congo

Population: 67.8 million

Life Expectancy: 47.6 years

GDP: US$185 per capita

Unemployed: unknown%

79.6% earn less than US$2/day

Partnership Overview

dreadful place to live

The dream for our partners in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is that Centre Amani ("Peace Centre") would be a safe space; a community centre where children and young people in Bweremana have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

The DRC has been devastated by war for many years and it is hardly possible to imagine a more vulnerable group of children and families than those living in Bweremana. 

Bweremana is near the city of Goma in the east of the DRC. The political situation means that there are ongoing disturbances and unrest in the area. It is hard to know what the future holds here so there will be annual discussions about the best way forward for this partnership.

There are currently three aspects to this partnership:

vulnerable children1) Vulnerable children care 
Where possible, foster families will be identified for orphans and these families will receive assistance in terms of school requirements and food. This will be an ongoing component and to begin with will involve the 33 children who have been at Centre Amani (although 7 children are not yet of school-going age). Some costs may reduce once agricultural activities have commenced on a larger scale.

2) Creating the space for Centre Amani
Centre Amani is on a piece of land that is about 55m by 30m, stretching from the main road down to the lake. The building on the land badly needs repairing. These repairs would include new sheeting for the roof, new walls and supporting beams, cementing of the floor, replacing rotten wood in the fence by the main road and rebuilding the structure around the three toilets. The intention is to develop a safe place for the children and the community to come together to assist in the children's development. 

enjoying dance3) Activities at Centre Amani 
With a renovated building, a wide-range of new activities will be possible. In addition to teaching new skills to the children, some of these activities would also generate income to help financially support the centre. Activities would include cultural dance instruction, chicken, rabbit and fish farms, flour grinding, onion, cabbage, maize and bean gardens, football and volleyball teams, a library, language instruction, vocational training (sewing, carpentry, electrical and plumbing), and a computer room/internet cafe.  

As this is a particularly vulnerable area, the annual review process we undertake with them will be very important. The situation can change rapidly in this part of the world with different militia groups fighting in this area and sweeping through to wreak havoc all too often. People frequently have to move to find employment and opportunities. There are not many good reasons to remain in a place like this, but most cannot leave.  

History of Partnership

In 2011 the BHW Field Director first heard about Centre Amani. A firend of Bright Hope World - Stephen Windsor - knew of this opportunity and briefed us on it. We were interested because of the people being assisted: in the DRC women and children are especially at risk from disease and internal turbulence.

Soon after this Stephen returned to Africa and in 2012 went to visit Bweremana. It was obvious that this was a dangerous place to be. Lawlessness prevailed and there were constant disturbances. Soon after leaving, a full scale situation developed and one of the major militia groups moved into the area. Many people were displaced and there were reports from this village of rape and displacement.

In late 2012, the BHW team met with Stephen and Chrispin (one of the key partnership leaders) in Entebbe, Uganda. Soon after that it was agreed to start this partnership.      

Lots to care for


Initially the 33 children currently living at Centre Amani are the beneficiaries but this partnership will expand over time to significantly impact other families and more of the community as additional activities are started. The children will slowly be integrated into the families of the community rather than kept in an institution.  

What We Like About The Partnership

There are many aspects of this partnership that we feel are positive:

- The calibre of the key people. They leaders are locals who have chosen to stay when they could have left. Some of their family members have already been expatriated to other countries as refugees.

- The nature of the structure. This partnership addresses the full range of needs of the local people and involves the whole community.

- The fact that this partnership is focused on very vulnerable people in an extreme location where there are a lot of challenges

There is another major issue to be contended with. This area of the world is as just about as dangerous and unstable as it gets, so there is significant risk around this partnership. The beneficiaries and the leaders are in constant danger just being there. We feel it is important to be present where it is hard to be, so we like that, but realise the significant risks our partners face every day.  


Key People 

Leadership Profile  

Partnership leader Chrispin M and his family do not have an easy life. Crispin lives with his wife Justine and their seven children in a 20m2 house. Crispin and Justine have five children of their own and have taken in two others. The children are young but are not able to go to kindergarten or school because of a lack of money. There is no healthcare and little education in the area they live, nor is there any electricity or running water.

Chrispin is a journalist crossing the country reporting to various international organizations and the North Kivu Provincial Society. He is a strong believer in peace and he understands the local power dynamics. Because he is a journalist, he tries to keep a low profile, hence there are no pictures of him on this website. 

Other People Involved

Stephen Windsor is a young New Zealander. He is a lawyer with a strong sense of justice who went to live in Kampala, Uganda to help refugee children from the DRC. He has been there since 2009, coming and going from Bweremana as he is able. He is the BHW contact person on the ground and will provide information and reports from time to time when he can.  

Lema Shamamba is Chrispin's sister and she lives in New Zealand. In 2010 she told Stephen about Centre Amani and suggested that he go to the DRC to work with her brother.


Vision And Annual Strategy 

The vision of this partnership is to create a safe place where children and young people traumatised by the war torn environment in the DRC can have opportunities to fulfil their potential. 

The orphan care component has commenced and a maize grinding mill will shortly follow. As this partnership develops and the community understands the reasons for it, other aspects of the programme will be developed. Repairing the buildings and commencing the various other activities will be spread over a four year period.  



Unfortunately in late 2014 the key person here moved away and as there is no one else there that we know and can trust a decision has been made not to send any further funds.