Mama Lufuma, a single mother and child shelter in Matadi

I recently went to Matadi to visit a non profit organisation helping young mothers and their children called Mama Lufuma (Website is in Flemish. A translation to English is in progress).

The Mama Lufuma kids playing on the rooftop of their building

There are 15 or so kids that are between 6 months old and 10 years old. Their mothers also live in the shelter. There is also a small group of permanent staff and some part-time teachers that work there. The place is on the outskirts of Matadi, close to the Angolan border and next to a big petroleum port with a beautiful view of the Congo River.

The teenage mothers who have been staying at the NPO with their kids

There is a very steep uphill road to it and a huge erosion at the back of the property that keeps growing after every rainy season.

The solar system that pumps water from a nearby well that also serves the neighbourhood was installed by Humasol, a solar energy NPO.

The kids are very cute and cheerful. They play in the afternoons after going to class in the morning. Their mothers are so young that they also go to class. There are kindergarten classes too for the youngest kids.

There are IT, sewing and French classes for the girls or any other person from the neighbourhood.

Some of the staff working in Matadi for the NPO. From the top left to the bottom right: Kristol the IT teacher, Julie Lemmens a senior volunteer from Belgium to help manage the NPO since 3 years, Ruffin the sewing teacher, Nathan the plumbing and solar maintenance technician, Niclette the local manager of the NPO, Yaya Marie the cleaner and matriarch, Mama Umba the cook and cleaner, And the founder’s sister, Fimaman, who supervises some of the kids and mothers.

The NPO exists since 2010 but had been in construction for the first few years. It is run out of Belgium by a Belgian and Congolese couple.

The founder, Hyppo Mayuba, originally Congolese but who now lives in Belgium, was raised briefly by his single mother after whom the non-profit was named after, Mama Lufuma.

The sewing class with girls from the NPO and the neighbourhood

With funding from Belgium and various local private and corporate donations, and the help of local permanent staff and volunteers from Belgium, the NPO is able to provide a safe space for mothers and their children to get on their feet for as long as they need. Their aim is to stay small-scale and keep the relationships between the team in Belgium and the Democratic Republic of Congo personal and strong.

Some of the kids living at the NPO

Recently, they received the help of another non-profit that installs solar water and lighting systems called Humasol. After 2 months of work, the energy NPO delivered a fully working solar powered water system and electricity for the whole building. A local permanent technician is trained to maintain the system when the team leaves.

See some pictures below of my visit to the non-profit.

Contact Mama Lufuma

The NPO is always in need of support.

Feel free to check out their website or reach out to their team in Belgium or Matadi directly to help them or learn more about the project.

Belgium: Houwaartstraat 325, 3270 Schoonderbuken, België

Matadi : Number 3, Avenue Mama Lufuma, Ango-Ango. Google Maps location

E-mail : mamalufuma@hotmail.com

Mama Lufuma location

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