Congo Initiative

Rating: 4.91 stars   32 reviews

Issues: Education

Location: P.O. Box 246 Germantown WI 53022 USA

Mission: Congo Initiative’s mission is facilitate transformation—transformation of communities, the society, and the nation of the Democratic Republic of Congo. An audacious goal? Absolutely! But Congo Initiative is meeting its mission. Congo Initiative is realizing its vision to “train and develop indigenous, Christian leaders” who have the skills and moral courage necessary to lead the changes necessary for DR Congo to flourish and become a beacon of light in the continent and the world.
Results: * UCBC will graduate its first class of students, July 2011. * Forty-eight graduates will receive their diplomas, having completed their undergraduate studies at UCBC. * Major grant from Eastern Congo Initiative awarded in April 2011 for civic education, gender equity initiatives, radio/media infrastructure and technological development for academic programming. * In April 2010 UCBC received its official charter and full accreditation from the Congolese government. * Construction on the University Chapel and Community Center, the centerpiece of the UCBC campus, nearly half-completed, is currently used for classrooms, meetings, and chapel.
Target demographics: * The majority of students at UCBC are between the ages of 18 and 24. * Community members served through the Centers for Community and Family Renewal and Creative Arts are members across the local community--from children through adults. * The Center for Church Renewal and Global Missions and the Center for Professional Development target adults in the immediate community as well as the region of eastern DRC.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 1000
Geographic areas served: Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (North Kivu province)
Programs: Service Learning at UCBC: http://ucbcservice-learning.blogspot.com/
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EIN 20-3467419
919-641-8198
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Congo is one of those places that both captures our imaginations and breaks our hearts. It feels like a place where the Light sometimes stands little chance against the dark. So rich in natural resources but so damaged for so long by colonialism and warring factions, Congo’s needs sometimes seem overwhelming.

Then along comes Congo Initiative—offering real hope in the shape of a new generation of leaders and offering people like us an opportunity to make a small but meaningful difference. Founder and Director David Kilgali was once a guest in our home, and he impressed us with his vision and integrity. In addition, a friend of ours believes so much in the work of Congo Initiative that she has given up her career here and moved from the U.S. to Congo to invest her life there. We get regular updates from her about the good, if challenging, work of Congo Initiative. Even without these personal connections, giving to Congo Initiative would have been an easy decision for us because we believe that one of the best ways to achieve lasting change in Congo is through accomplishing CI's mission of raising up new leaders.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

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Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

Since Congo Initiative was in its early stages, I've been compelled by the authentic partnership and deep compassion at its core. Congo Initiative relies on existing visionary leaders to call forth and empower a new generation of creative, passionate leaders who will work for renewal in Congo and all of East and Central Africa. My own university experience formed my mind and spirit to do the work I love today, and I am honored to be able to make that possible for young leaders like myself in Congo. The Kipepeo Partners program makes that connection possible.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

As a monthly donor, I have found that Congo Initiative is a professional and transparent organization. CI clearly communicates with me as a donor and have shown me the direct impact of my donations. Without a doubt, I will continue to support this organization and the great work they are doing on the ground in Eastern Congo.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

For my husband and I, it is so exciting to be a small part of rebuilding a nation—almost unbelievable. I remember first hearing about the vision for UCBC in the beginning. It was thrilling and overwhelming. I couldn’t help but shake my head—it seemed impossible, undoubtedly a “God-sized” task. But then, as a friend put it, “God eats impossible for breakfast.” That the Lord is in the business of redemption and restoration everywhere is true. I have heard of and wept for the sorrow and ruin in the DRC, but here is a new thing filled with hope, filled with joy, filled with life!

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

As soon as I found out about the work of Congo Initiative, I started giving to their programs monthly, and praying for them. While I have never been to the D.R. Congo, it means so much to me that Congo Initiative is working to build up strong and courageous women and men who will lead the D.R. Congo's future generations. I am inspired that Congo Initiative is promoting justice and nation-building on their campus...a campus where women are being respected, valued, and equipped for leadership! And, I am grateful that Congo Initiative is caring for disadvantaged women, and teaching them important skills. I wish I had even more to give. Being a Kipepeo Partner is the least I can do to help.

Davita Maharaj
Masters candidate in International Human Rights Law
Oxford University

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I support Congo Initiative as a Kipepeo partner, giving a small amount monthly to help students with their tuition. Having gone to a Christian Liberal Arts college in the US, I know how formative the college years are, and how important it is to have professors who integrate Christian character with good scholarship and social concern. As an American, I have been overwhelmingly blessed with educational opportunities, and one of the small ways I can "give back" is by helping those who, because they live in another country, have not been given the advantages I have. I want these Congolese young people to grow to a holistic understanding of God's goodness and grace for them and for their whole country. This is why I give to the Congo Initiative.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What would you tell others about this organization?

This is an excellent organization!

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Rating: 5 stars  

The Congo Initiative's UCBC Service Learning Coordinator, Chelsie Noel Frank, is my personal friend. I have known her both state side in the US as well had the privilege to connect with her on a mission trip to the Eastern DRC. In both capacities she has shared the vision of the local Congolese people and the ground swell of their passions to transform their society and their country. The CI and the UCBC are manifestations of such visions. I also had the privilege to get to know UCBC's Academic Dean Honore Bunduki Kwany. His calling and life commitment to the CI and UCBC is filled with hope and compassion for his people and it is contagious. While the CI and UCBC desperately need our help, we in turn need theirs. It is in the true exchange of finances and relationships, that both of us can become something better and beautiful. I encourage anyone called to check it out and give of yourselves, you and they will never be the same.
-Chris Nielsen

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

personal contact and travel to Eastern DRC

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give more of myself to it and encourage others to consider

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Rating: 5 stars  

I had the honor of visiting Beni, Congo with a few pastors and several businessmen prior to the establishment of the school. In addition to spending extensive time with David we visited with numerous pastors, area businessmen and local politicians. I have continued to follow the progress of the school from afar and have both donated to the Congo Initiative and provided some financial assistance to visitors over the past several years. What has been accomplished to date is truly amazing!

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Likely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Rating: 5 stars  

I supported a friend to go on a mission trip through this organization and heard about the impact their group was able to make in the Congo for students and others in this country.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

financially supporting a friend who did mission work through this organization in the Congo.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

have to think about this question more.

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Thank you for your support. The various international staff that have come to Beni--either for short-term or long-term--have played an enormous and important role. They have helped to build buildings, install computer and network systems. They have taught classes, helped UCBC students with their English, served in the community. They have established friendships and demonstrated true partnership and shared learning. Your contribution has been of great value. Thank you!

Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I have worked with several non-profits/organizations in sub-Saharan Africa, and CI-UCBC is truly special. This is an organization that is all about equipping and empowering young Congolese men and women to transform their country. "Being transformed to transform" is the motto that is posted in every hallway and classroom. I was struck by the fact that students are not pursuing degrees in order to be able to take care of themselves but are pursuing an education that will allow them to invest in their communities.

I am a part of the UCBC scholarship program - making a regular monthly contribution that provides scholarship help for students that cannot pay the full tuition. Each scholarship recipient is expected to work each week for UCBC to improve the school and community. It's a fantastic program.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I spent several days at UCBC, and have worked with some of the UCBC graduates who are starting small businesses in the community.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Invest in lodging/accomodations for visitors/guests. This would make it easier for people who want to teach or spend time at UCBC.

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