By Gino et Clotilde Volpe, Espoir Congo Project Managers


HOW IT ALL STARTED: My husband and I came to Congo in 2008 with our youngest daughter as volunteers to help orphaned and underprivileged children on the outskirts of Kinshasa in a village named Kikimi, with no roads, no electricity or running water, no medical care and only a grass hut for a school. Children were malnourished and the majority did not attend school for lack of finances and sufficient schooling facilities. Health care was practically nonexistent and mortality was high.

Setting up a feeding scheme was our priority, followed by providing health care and education for these children. Little by little and a series of miracles, we managed to build a school and a first aid outpost. Espoir Congo (which we founded in 2010) now offers a primary and a secondary school for 350 children, a medical center that serves 3,000 people, and a tailoring training classroom for women in need.

Our high school students taking a geography exam.

Our high school students taking a geography exam.

Our maternity

Our maternity

Our Tailoring School

Our Tailoring School



In 2015, we set up solar panels to provide electricity and water cisterns to collect rain water during the rainy season. However, our students as well as the patients who come to our medical center continue to suffer from waterborne diseases, such as dysentery, typhoid fever, and cholera, which kill 1 out of 6 children in the DRC every year. According to the World Health Organization, in 2015 alone, there were over 19,000 cases of cholera in the DRC, and over 70% of victims were children. During the annual dry season, which lasts 3-4 months, the only water source for our center is a small spring at the bottom of the hill.

In the nearby village, with an estimated 5,000 inhabitants, women walk several kilometers over difficult bush terrain downhill to reach a spring of clean water where they fill their containers, which they then must carry back uphill to bring back to their homes. That water, which will be used for cooking and drinking, has already been polluted right at the spring where women also wash clothes and children bathe. Please watch here.

Kikimi children collecting unclean water at the spring

Kikimi children collecting unclean water at the spring

THE SOLUTION: The good news is that we have found a solution! And this is where you come in! Contrary to what we had been told years ago, engineers have told us that it IS possible to build a bore well with a solar pump both in the village and at our school with several outlets for people to collect CLEAN DRINKING WATER. Here are the 4 steps:

1.    Drill for a well deep enough to reach the layer of clean underground water.

2.    Install the solar pump with solar panels.

3.    Build a water tower with containers to collect the water pumped from the well.

4.    Build a couple of water fountains and connect them to the water tower.

solar pump fact sheet

THE EFFECT: Access to clean water will result in a healthier population: kids will study better and parents will work more effectively, mortality will decrease and the standard of life will increase–a win-win solution!

Happy and healthy children

Happy and healthy children



Our vision is to set up a clean water distribution system with a well and a solar pump at the Espoir Congo school/medical center, where the Kikimi village population will be able to get clean water.  The geo-electric field survey has already been performed by hydro-geologist engineers and a local drilling company has established a detailed proforma. We have priced the materials locally and negotiated to get the best possible deal, without compromising on the quality of the work. We will also be importing the solar pump directly from France, which will be a huge saving.

Each step of the work will cost as follows:

–Drilling of the bore well (105m): $29,000

–Solar pump and 9 photovoltaic panels: $23,500

–Water Tower: $12,000

–Water distribution (including 2 water fountains): $14,400

TOTAL = $78,900



Thank you so much for being the miracle that will change the life of these people! Please share this campaign with as many as you can. Together we will make a difference! 

“Espoir Congo” is a partner of Family Care Foundation and 100% of the donations received will be directed to this Clean Water Project; 0% will be kept for administration expenses. You can contribute here.


See completion of project here


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