The SpaceArriving at Bumi, we are welcomed by a old tree that children use for protection from the strong Congalese sun and where clothes are set to dry daily. Constant laughter permeates the air, a sound that will lead you to discover playful children chasing bugs and butterflies through gardens filled with fish ponds and vegetables gardens. Guest AccessWe want to welcome you to read the stories below and interact with the children that make Bumi a family you will want to become a part of. Interaction with GuestsMAMAN THERESE: Guardian of the orphans of Bumi. She has protected, sheltered and given hope to 3 generations of orphans in over 30 years of service. A heroine for the Democratic Republic of Congo. A strong and persistent woman who will never give up the fight to protect the children of Congo.
LYDIANE: Born in 2010. Father deceased. In 2014, her mother abandons her children to their grandmother. Their grandmother, with very poor health and with little resources, asked BUMI to help support the children. Initially, BUMI accepts that children attend the school and continue to live with their grandmother. But the long distances between school and home tired little Lydiane and finally, Bumi agreed to fully support the children. Lydiane is now in 1st grade. She's shy but always smiling.
KAHIBA: Born in 2010. She arrived at Bumi in March 2015 with her brother, Jacob and her sister, Lucienne. Kahiba’s mom died in 2014 and their father has dementia. Kahiba is a shy and introverted child, in great need of attention and affection of the older girls and educators, always seeking physical contact with them. She is very considerate with her sister, Lucienne, but is often involved in small fights with the other girls, and often ends up crying after the little altercations. She is a drama queen, and she knows it. But when the children need help, Kahiba is the first to give a lending hand.
LUCIENNE: Born in 2012. Arrived in Bumi in March 2015 with her brother Jacob and older sister Kahiba. Lucienne 's mother died in 2014 and her father has dementia. Lucienne. She is loved and cuddled by all the children at Bumi. All take great care and are protective of her. She always wants to play and she never tires so when it comes time to sleep, it can get problematic to put her to bed.
LEILA & CHADRACK: The story of these children is closely related to their mother’s own story, who was rescued by Maman Therese after she was driven out of her home because she became pregnant at a young age. Bumi offered her shelter, where she gave birth in October 2013 to her daughter, Leila.
Leila's mother continued to live at BUMI with her baby but kept her rebellious behaviors: theft, fights, and regular escapes. Less than a year after giving birth, she became pregnant again and gave birth to a little boy, Chadrack. Although she loved her two children dearly, she continued to struggle with obeying authority and continued with her escapades from the orphanage regularly to go and visit the bars where would prostitute herself. Despite the work done by Bumi’s educators to guide her towards a more stable life, she chose to leave her kids. As for Leila and her little brother Chadrack, they continue to grow among Bumi’s children, raised by Maman Therese and the educators as well as under the watchful eyes of the older girls.
HERITIER: Born in 2010. Heritier's mom was a teenage prostitute, BUMI worked to try and help her from 2008-2009, but she subsequently ran away to return to prostitution and alcohol.
She returned to the orphanage to change her life, and the, unfortunately, she ran away with Heritier.
Several months later, an educator of BUMI found her with Heritier and a second child, Lina. Heritier, who was 3 years old then, was trying to take care of Lina, but they were both in an advanced state of malnutrition, the mother having virtually abandoned them to their fate. Thus, the two children were brought to BUMI where they were supported and cared for. During the first months, they were turbulent and aggressive. But it has gradually evolved into happiness and hopefulness. Now Heritier smiles all the time, is alert and resourceful, and only sometimes a little feisty.
DANIEL: Born around 2008, we don't really know his actual age. Daniel suffers from several diseases, including mental retardation, epilepsy that has caused cranial deformities from untreated crisis. Daniel was brought to Bumi in a bag. So nothing is known of him. Malnourished on his arrival, Daniel nevertheless recovers slowly. We know that Daniel needs to be placed in a specialized institution, but it does not exist in RDC, except perhaps for those with wealthy families who are able to provide for the expenses. Meanwhile, Daniel continues to grow within the BUMI family. Over the months, he has Despite his physical difficulties, the other children of BUMI have adopted him and care for him and protect him as their own have adopted him. His physical healing will need professional help, but his spiritual healing is provided for with the help of the other children.
GEORGE & DEBORAH: One and 3 years old. Arrived at BUMI in 2010. The two children were suffering from extreme malnutrition when found. Social affairs said they were both left in the marketplace, where Deborah was singing religious songs, as a means of raising money. She protected and cared for George, but when baby George would cry, all Deborah could do was continue singing in an attempt to calm her little brother. This is all we know of them.
Maman Thérèse decided to bring the children to her own home in order to guarantee an appropriate diet. They would stay with her for more than a year before joining the children's village of BUMI.
Today the two children are perfectly healthy. Having received support early, they are both very awake and speak good French. Both children are calm, speak little and remain closed off. George is serious about everything he does. Deborah loves to play, especially with the dolls. She loves playing so much "she even forgets to eat" say the educators. Deborah does not sing anymore.
NAOMIE: Born in 2012. Her father abandoned the family one morning leaving the four children to a sick mother. When the mother died, the children were left to fend for themselves. A neighbor tried to support them, but being very poor herself she decided to send them to Bumi. Upon arrival, Naomie was relatively turbulent, but now she is calmer, well, as calm as a 4-year-old can be. She does not like school but loves to play.
MYRIAM & EMERANCE: 10 and 8 years old. Arrived at Bumi early 2014. Their story is exceptional. Their family lived over 500 km from Lubumbashi when their father died in 2011. The mother decided to take his children for a very long walk due to a lack of resources and to flee the violence they had to endure. The trip to save and protect her children ended up driving her mad. She was raped multiple times during that trip. But she managed to protect her children. Arriving in Lubumbashi, the only family she found was Bumi. She is no longer is with her daughters, but her daughters are finally safe in the shelter of Bumi.
ISAIAH: Isaiah’s is summed up in these words: "Octob(PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN):30am, found at the front door of BUMI, a child of about 3 years."
This is the story of several children at Bumi: Abandoned children without any information, history or a clear identity. No hope of finding their family. Yet taken care of from a very young age by Bumi’s staff, these children manage to recover and grow up under better conditions than those who are still with their families yet have had to endure years on the streets living through poverty and malnutrition. Isaiah is a nice little boy who still suffers from the shortcomings he experienced as a baby. Unfortunately, we do not know what they are because there is no clear information about his past.
MOÏSE: We believe he is around 3 years old. Arrived at Bumi January 2014 malnourished and with severe anemia. Moise does not speak, he just smiles.
Over the months, he continues to recover and regain his strength even though his health remains fragile. One day, without anyone expecting it, Moise pronounced his first words. It may sound simple, but the power of success can be valued in many ways. One word from this little boy is the ultimate success story.
JENOVIC: 9 years old. Arrived at BUMI in 2014. Jénovic was abandoned to his grandfather, who lacked the means to take care for him. Following our meeting with the Grandfather, and understanding his precarious situation, we decided to keep Jénovic at Bumi. He is a very smart child, good at school, also very lonely and introverted. Bumi’s attempts to meet with his parents have been a failure so far. But we want to give Jénovic the chance to build his future and to have his victory. Jenovic means Jesus Our Victory.
PRISCILLE: Bumi works closely with the services of the Congolese state. The state is often helpless and unable to bear the responsibility of the children entrusted to them. That is why these services often send us the children they find in the streets or that people take home. They know that Bumi children will be properly cared for.
This is how one morning of February 2016, the Court of agents for Children lead Nathalie and her sister Priscille, then aged 5 years old, to our doorstep. The children say their mother had gone mad and that they had no father. And that is the only explanations we got. These two girls are very intelligent girls, speak French and are good at school. Tragedy strikes all social classes but fortunately, Bumi is a garden for all children.
PAULINE: 5 years old. Arrived March 2016. Brought by the city’s Juvenile Court. She claims to have gotten lost in the market. We began the search to find her parents, but have had no success. Upon arrival, Pauline did not speak at all and remained in her corner. We were worried. Therese and Lucien would bring her home a few days a week so that she might regain her strength and confidence. And she found it! Pauline’s reversal is a true miracle. She is now a mischievous little girl, talkative, cheerful, and impossible to keep up with. These are the stories that bring Bumi the Joy it needs to continue with the day-to-day work at the Children's Village. Other Things to NoteBy donating to Bumi, you are making miracles happen everyday! As our children get their essential needs for love, nourishment and security met, you are supporting them in developing the confidence, strength and sense of self that enables them to reveal more of who they truly are day to day.