Passion For Motherland (PFM) is a non-profit organisation that is working to help homeless street children in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by inspiring, accommodating and offering them a better life.
Moved by the urge to put people together, Lisette Mibo founded Passion for Motherland (PFM) Showcase in 2013, a platform with the objective to raise funds and awareness intended to support existing charities running empowering projects at grassroots level in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For three consecutive years, through PFM, the model turned humanitarian organised community showcases, bringing together more than three hundred people to showcase emerging talents in the areas of Fashion, Music and Poetry, while raising money for charity.
In December 2015, Lisette travelled back to Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to pay her last respects to her grandmother, a woman who had played a key role in her life. Seeing the dreadful the situation of the Kinshasan street children, Lisette felt a moral duty to intervene. She made a conscious decision to be part of the solution. This decision has given birth to a new mission for Passion for Motherland as a non-profit organisation, committed to empowering boys and girls living on the streets of Kinshasa through a co-ordinated programme of education, skills acquisition, micro-economic loans and medical assistance. When Lisette needed to run, she had her grandmother to help and protect her. Her experience has given a firm belief in helping the next generation by ‘sending the elevator back down to bring more people up’.
Our mission at Passion for Motherland (PFM) is to empower street children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, specifically in its capital Kinshasa. This empowerment will occur through the provision of shelter, education, healthcare, rehabilitation and family mediation programmes, as well as economic tools such as micro-economic loans.
WHAT WE DO: CONGO
Kinshasa is the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and here we plan to give every child who is living on the street the opportunity to reach their true potential. In Kinshasa, homeless street children face huge barriers – including access to a lack of access to shelter, education, healthcare and food. There is little support to help them exercise their creative talents, for example music, art of sport. That is why we are planning to build and run shelter centres across the DRC, starting by building our first shelter centre in Kinshasa, which is the city the most affected by this, and in the future build and run shelters all around DRC to accommodate homeless street children, and work in partnership with local schools, hospitals and others partners or local charities in delivering our projects.
This is a most challenging project which requires motivation, passion and love – and this is what PFM (Passion For Motherland) is all about: Changing lives to create a safe environment for young people in the DRC.
SHELTER FOR STREET CHILDREN PROJECT
If thousands of children have turned to the streets of Kinshasa, it is mainly because they are orphans; they have been abandoned by their families and/or close relatives due to poverty, or for allegedly being witches or sorcerers; or because of abuses suffered at the hands of their parents or relatives. These children turn to the streets in the hope of finding a surrogate family, but the reality is normally very different. Without a secure home, these children are exposed to all kind of abuse, violence and criminal activity in the streets. This is why we’re starting with shelter, our goal is to build our first shelter centre in Kinshasa by 2018.
EDUCATION SPONSORSHIP PROGRAMME
Part of PFM’s outreach programme includes supporting local agencies that are already ‘doing good’ on the ground. Our first partner is Charite et Secours (CHARISECOURS) that has, for more than 20 years, provided shelter and education for generations of street children in local communities. After visiting their Centre and listening to the people that work there, Passion for Motherland returned to the UK with a clear new directive.
Overall, Charite et Secours supports a range of street children aged 3 to 17 years old. That help includes everything from shelter to sending them to school and providing basic healthcare needs. Though well intended, CHARISECOURS lacks the funds necessary to adequately provide for the needs of all the children. That’s why we decided to intervene.
“What they have is expertise in the most effective way to provide support on the ground”, explained Lisette. “What we provide is a way to raise the profile of their work to a western audience, and to help build the kind of children’s shelters that will give the youngest in society the chance for a better future”.
“When you visit these children with bright coloured T-shirts, some sweets and a bottle of soda – they come alive. You can see in their eyes just how important it is for them to have contact with people who care – for them to feel that there is hope”, she explained.
WHAT WE DO: UK
We encourage young people to exercise their creativity and talent through fashion workshops, music and art. At PFM, we believe that every child’s life matters, not only in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), but all around the world. That is why, as British Citizens and parents ourselves, we are planning to inspire and empower young people in disadvantaged areas. They need proper care, support and role models if they are to succeed. While helping them in practical ways, we will also educate them about the plight of street children in places like Kinshasa. By helping them to understand how privileged life can be in the UK, we hope to build a strong desire in them to help others. We will encourage them in our quest to help street children in Kinshasa and across the globe. We want to connect them with opportunities to study – as well as access to health care. We want them to know that, in times of danger and neglect, they can be protected by a support network and social services. We hope that our workshop, support, awareness and development activities will inspire young people here in the UK to make better choices for themselves, to take advantage of the amazing opportunities they have here and to then ‘look outward’, to ask “How can I help others?”