Why we are here.
The Tchukudu Kids’ Home opened in Goma in 2008 to provide a safe and caring home for children orphaned by the violent conflicts in eastern DRC. In 2012, Kizungu Hubert, the Director of the orphanage, registered a non-profit charitable organization, Volunteers in Mission for Children Care (VMC) with an expanded mission to include other vulnerable people.
Offer care to orphans and unprotected children, providing them with harmonious growth and education.
Provide economic, health, and social support to vulnerable populations.
Empowerment of women. Improve gender equality.
Fight against ignorance, illiteracy, and malnutrition.
Prepare young people for a profession through apprenticeships.
Support victims in the event of an epidemic, an accident, or some other disaster.
Beginnings: War and Need
In 1993 violent armed conflicts tore apart the region of Masisi in eastern DRC, conflicts so intense and brutal that the region became known as ‘the wound of Kivu’.
For years scores of different militias roamed the area, killing, burning, looting, displacing thousands, and leaving countless children orphaned.
A centre set up for orphaned children was burned down by armed groups in 1997. The situation grew worse over the following years, and in 2008 12 orphaned children were brought to the relative safety of Goma. A plot of land was provided and a small wooden hut was rented. The children were traumatized: many had seen their mothers raped, their parents killed; they lacked affection, security, hope.
Kizungu Hubert, a graduate in Economics from the University of Lubumbashi, whose association with the orphans in Masisi began in 2004, took the decision to devote the rest of his life to the care of these vulnerable children, and he became the director of the orphanage in Goma in 2008.
Helen Pope first visited the orphanage in 2009 and was so impressed by this remarkable man that she resolved to do whatever she could to help him in his endeavours to provide a home, education, love, security and a future for these children. Kizungu is a man with a huge heart, a tremendous vision, and an enormous capacity for hard work.
Heather Haynes, a Canadian artist and humanitarian, joined the group after a chance meeting with Kizungu in 2012, and one year later, fellow Canadian, Cathy Cleary, also became vitally involved. Their support, together with that of their friends, has been invaluable.
Tchukudu Kids Today
The Tchukudu Kids’ Home has been truly transformed over the past decade, and the Tchukudu Family has grown enormously. Now it includes more than 230 children (30 in the TKH and the others in nearby ‘Welcome/Foster’ families), a wonderful group of women who receive training in sewing, basket weaving and other useful skills, and many vulnerable families on the island of Idjwi, Kizungu’s birthplace, where there are now several projects designed to alleviate the desperate poverty and malnutrition there.