Building Sustainability

Preview full version

After almost two years in the making, patiently working, researching, waiting, slowly hand carrying and building inventory, getting over a number of hurdles and now finding the perfect place...Congo Family Restoration is most happy and very thankful to announce the Wedding Dress Rental Business is now open and operational in Kinshasa!!

It is an enormous praise - and no small task. Our founder of C.F.R has spent several months in D.R.C. working through a number of questions and issues that have been faced in getting the shop opened.

Just finding a mannequin for display in the shop for instance - was an enormous and expensive task. However, as you can see in the photo - the shop has TWO! While they are not Congolese - they do the job for now and all are thankful and rejoicing!

After much research and interviews...a good looking shop space was secured in a bustling part of downtown Kinshasa. - the Capital of the D.R.C.

The C.F.R. team on the ground determined it was best to be located in the downtown region so that they would be accessible to all potential clients in the surrounding vicinity.

The best source of clients will be future brides from within the various church denominations. As the word spreads, more and more future brides will discover the brand new, gorgeous designer gowns now available at C.F.R.’s shop for rent.

Up to now, brides have often had to rely on relatives living outside of the Democratic Republic of Congo to ship them a gown...and hope that it fits! Most have come in from Europe - and this "competition" will be one of the larger hurdles C.F.R. needs to get over. Therefore, several meetings have already taken place with local church leaders who are on board and in support of the greater good this new rental concept provides.

There is great enthusiasm over the quality, variety and lower cost of renting a gorgeous gown- rather than having to make the enormous investment of having to buy and ship one. In addition, the impact our gown rental has on caring for and educating the C.F.R. orphans - makes rental even more appealing!

There is another shipment of brand new, gorgeous designer gowns that will soon be ready to go to the D.R.C. As the lovely inventory grows - it is a great prayer that word will continue to spread in Kinshasa - and the demand for these special gowns will be great.

The best news of all…the C.F.R. orphaned children continue to do well. We continue to be deeply grateful to our donors and ministry partners. We are especially thankful for the loving foster families of these children.

C.F.R. cannot do what it does to educate, nurture and find loving Christ centered Foster Families for the children without the ongoing support of our generous donors.

While we hope our wedding dress rental business will add to building the self sufficiency and sustainability of C.F.R. - we have a long ways to go before that can happen. Therefore we thank you for your continued donations and prayerful support.

Whatever it Takes...

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, having access to an education is the only real hope for escaping the path of extreme poverty and despair. Poverty is at an unprecedented level and it prevails in The D.R. Congo.

Therefore, if a child is fortunate enough to be able to GO to school - they will do whatever they can to ensure they are able to STAY in school. It is a huge expense for a family and also very competitive.

It is said, "A picture is worth a thousand words" and this photo is no exception. Here a young student is doing "whatever it takes" to finish her lessons and be well prepared for class the next day. Because electricity is rare and very expensive, this student uses the aid of a single candle (because candles are an expense as well) to light up her studies. Her Mother looks on in support of her efforts and provides the encouragement needed to persevere.


Born in GOMA: August/ 17/1999
Name of Foster parents: COSTANT BAZIKA and NYOTA Bazika

Eli has no father or mother. His father died after a traffic accident in the Virunga National Park in 2000. This was just one year after Eli was born so he has no recollection of his father.

Around the same time, his mother also died from an unidentified sickness. Bazika has accepted that this sequence of events was simply God’s will. As it turns out, there were some elderly men in his neighborhood who were moved by the spirit of God to collectively take care of Eli and help with his school fees. However, this was only able to last for a brief period.

Soon after, his aunt decided to take him in. S learned of his situation andfelt compelled to help. Unfortunately, she had very little means and could only provide minimal food and shelter. Although her intentions were always in the right place and she loved Eli just as the rest of her kids, it became very problematic for her to send him to school.

As it turns out, Eli’s aunt had recently recommitted her life to Jesus and decided to start going to the neighborhood church again where she became very active. Her prayers were answered shortly after when the pastor announced that Mr. Ruberwa - an attorney and co-founder of Congo Family Restoration, had contacted the church seeking to find families with orphaned children who needed some assistance.

The mere fact that Eli was qualified for the help and would now join the other children at school left his aunt in a state of jubilation! She couldn’t comprehend the enormity of God’s faithfulness. Over the course of the past few years, Eli’s grades continue to improve. More importantly, his aunt has seen his attitude towards life drastically excel!


Name of Foster Parents : MUBIGALO and MAMAN ESPERANCE
DATE of Birth:11/01/2003

The young Kandolo Kabwami is fatherless. His father died of HIV-AIDS, which resulted in the Kabwami family having to deal with a lot of tenuous circumstances. Sadly enough, only a few months after the death of their father, Kandolo’s mother also died of the same disease as her husband. His mother died just when Kandolo had just started first grade. This left the family in great mourning and ultimately led to a high level of poverty.

The news of the death of his parents and especially the cause of death spread quickly throughout the neighborhood as many parents refused to let their children play with Kandolo fearing that others in the community could interpret it in a negative way. Times became very tenuous. His Immediate family who were supposed to protect and feed them eventually deserted him leaving young Kandolo to spending endless nights in the streets. The saddest part about all of this was knowing that these adults made these decisions only because they feared that HIV was contagious and they could get it from him.

Finally, one of his uncles reluctantly agreed to protect the child, despite the allegations concerning his disease being contagious. Although he was able to get Kandolo to sleep in the same room with his other children, provide old hand-me down clothes from his kids and feed him meals, it became evident that his uncle would have a hard time finding a way to send Kandolo to school.

Nonetheless, there’s a verse in the Bible that says that God is the father of orphans. Kandolo referenced this verse when he talked about how he had been in a “state of defeat” up until they told him that CFR had agreed to pay for his studies. “I had never come across more compassionate individuals than when I heard that the people at CFR would pay for my education. The new payment of my studies seemed like it was too good to be true!" Exudes Kandolo. When Mr. Ruberwa came to Goma for a visit, Kandolo was able to express the joy he felt in his heart.

To this day, Kandolo continues to thank God and also to thank CFR and Donors for all they have done for him.


Foster Parents name: MANGO and ZAINA BYAMUNGU
Date of Birth: 01/11/1997 in GOMA

Florence was born to parents who separated when she was just five years old. She never knew her biological father who she now speculates is deceased after disappearing awhile back.

As the dynamics of their family shifted, her mother began living a very tough and disorganized lifestyle that included going out late at night and leaving Florence home by herself. Finally, her mother chose to move out to the Skatindo military camp with a soldier she had only just met. Florence never saw her again after that - and with good reason - concludes her mom is dead as well.

Ever since then, Florence stated “One of our neighbors took me in but was only able to provide little food and shelter for me. It seemed highly unlikely that I would ever get the chance to go to school. They were more concerned about just giving me the necessities to survive; in return, I would help them with the chores. Not going to school left me in a very distraught state of mind. I envied the other kids who could speak French.”

Luckily for her, she continues, “My guardians did allow me to go to church where I enjoyed singing and had joined the choir. There was a member of the church who offered to start paying for my school but unfortunately, the tuition became too much of a burden for them.“

It was after this period of time that Florence received news from the church.The pastor informed her that she had been selected to be a part of CFR and their initiative to help orphaned children. She was so relieved that she wouldn’t have to worry about not going to school anymore. Florence was so full of joy and announced that this had been the first “good news of her entire life.” She says that she now has hope thanks to CFR and the act of kindness showed by kind Donors who support CFR.


Foster Parent's Name: MULUME and BERTE MUNYAGA
Date and place of birth: September 27th 1999 in Goma

My father died in 2002 after suffering from many heart problems. He had spent many years in and out of the hospital before dying. I could not comprehend everything that was going on because I was so little at the time and didn’t realize how much my life would be affected by my dad’s death.

My mom is getting very old and is now unable to sufficiently work in order to feed my siblings and I. She’s also currently battling diabetes. Luckily the church has graciously been paying for her medicine and I continue to pray to God for my mom to live long enough until I reach adulthood. This is because I love her and I have yet to find anyone else in the world that loves me as much as she does.

We are only able to survive and go to school because of donations lovingly given from family and friends. Life is very difficult for me and for my Mother. As hard as it may be to understand for many in the world, I can attest to the fact that I have yet to eat three meals in a day for the past 3 years.

While trying his best to live this hard lifestyle, Jean-Claude was very thankful to the Lord one day while receiving good news after choir practice. The choir director gave him a letter to hand to his mom, which carried an invitation from Congo Family Restoration. CFR sought to have Jean-Claude. CFR wanted to help pay for his school fees. “I was brought to tears after hearing this news” he said. He continues on ”To be Honest, I have never heard of CFR NGO or the Ruberwas. But since I was taken by them, my studies have immensely evolved. I infinitely thank God for all the help I’m receiving and hope God continues to bless CFR.”