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Supporting Education and Independence in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo

Co-CEOs  of Bonvolo Penelope Vos and Alphonse Wasela Kamango

Bonvolo is a collaboration of two Rotary Australia Overseas Aid Fund  projects "Mama Wimbi Sewing for Education and Independence" and "SchoolKits for Congo" working with a Congolese charity, Solidarite Bonne Volonte (SBV).

The project operates in Goma, at the Eastern Border of the Democratic Republic of Congo, bordering Rwanda, between the active volcano Nyiragongo and Lake Kivu.


Bonvolo has been supporting orphans and poor children in Goma since 2004. It has a small local and international leadership team led by Alphonse Waseka Kamango (DRC) and Penelope Vos (Australia).

We provide schooling for very poor children and enable some of their mothers to support their families through skilled work.

SchoolKits for Congo

Cultivating Kindness, Global Perspective, and Access to Education

This gift gives three times!

Children in Australia and other comfortable countries interested in children living in very different circumstances. They enjoy completing  a tiny book to share with one of them, and engaging in fund-raising activities to support the gift of a SchoolKit, Sometimes that part may be provided by a local service club,  often happy to help local children do a good thing.

The SchoolKits consist of a backpack and uniform, skilfully made by refugee mothers who have fled other parts of Congo for the relative safety of Goma. SewAid International provides the workshop, tools and training so that these women can have work to house and educate their children.

The SchoolKit recipients are children whose families cannot afford both the school fees and the equipment for learning. They learn to read and write using slates but do not own books, or have any in their school, so the book in the SchoolKit is pretty special to them!

We return photos to all donors so they can see the joy they have brought to a child in need.


Child Sponsorship

Basic Education is a Human Right

Bonvolo has provided direct sponsorship for the education of dozens of primary and middle-school children, and university students. since 2004. We pay the fees to each school in person to ensure that every cent of every donation serves the donor's intention.

(We don't have any way to avoid bank fees, but we do choose the cheapest transfer options).

Alphonse  pays school fees for children in Congo

Mama Wimbi Sewing

For Education and Independence

Look what we did!.jpg

In 2018 we launched a project with Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) to provide sewing training, equipment and workspace, to the mothers of  the children we support.

We called the project 'Mama Wimbi' ('Mother Wave', in Swahili) because of the idea of a significant ripple effect from the empowerment of these mothers to their children, to struggling teachers in underfunded schools, and to local suppliers.

Mama Wimbi also gives these women companionship and belonging as well as the dignity of skilled work, a hope of financial independence and , for some, shelter whilst we work towards that.

Buntings are the first product that sewing beginners can produce reliably, and the fabrics are available locally. 

They have a wide range of applications in richer countries and provide important income for those in need.

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