Wednesday, 7 December 2011

New in Town!

Topic: Africa on the rise and in change - Democratic Republic of Congo

Where? Volkshochschule Leipzig, Löhrstraße 3-7, 04105 Leipzig
When? 27. March 2012, 17.00 Uhr

Roundtable talks are being held every month with regards to informing about the real situation in the respective country, with people from the actual place having a chance and opportunity to speak out about issues and hopes. It is truely possible to come out with a decent initiative and even project.

Host is the school for adult evening classes in Leipzig (Volkshochschule) with friendly support from the University Leipzig and the German-Asian Society, as well as African citizens from the respective country in Leipzig.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is almost 7times bigger than Germany more >>

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Transporter Arrived!

The tomato-pick has arrived in Kinshasa on the morning of the 13th November 2011

Especially for young women, a daily income means a better life.

Women selling vegetables are looking forward to the commencement of the project.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Panel Discussion

My Mobile and War are connected?
Natural Resources, Consum and Conflicts – Exploitation of Developing Countries with focus on the Demokratic Republic of Congo

Panel discussion with Lebendiges Kongo e.V.
Researched often, named likewise and yet not recognized, the actors, who enrich themselves on vastly  existing fields of natural resources in third world countries. During this evening we discussed backgrounds, conflicts, initiatives and challenges regarding the business and economy with those precious natural resources. It became clear, that the normal Congolese does not benefit from the richness of his country.

Mr. Wolfgang Tiefensee
Member of Parliament, Wolfgang Tiefensee presented the discussion, in which ambassadress for DRC from Berlin, Madame Clementine Shakembo Kamanga, Chairman of the association Lebendiges Kongo e.V., Dr. Dinanga Cingoma, and Miss Kristina Rehbein representative of Erlassjahr-Campagne participated.

Dr. Gernot Wagner, Chairman evagor GmbH
With such a extensive topic, it was clear that nothing much could be clarified and solved, yet more interest created and initiated.
Mr. Dr. Gernot Wagner, Chairman of Evagor GmbH, who is running a project in Katanga-region in the DRC, gave an insight into the situation of a company, which wants to invest and build there. He was a special guest in the audience.

The discussion flowed excitingly and it was hardly time to allow the members of the panel to really explain their points in detail. Dr. Cingoma introduced into the talk by stating clearly that the war, under which the DRC suffers, is an imported war. Madame Shakembo Kamanga supported this argument and reported about the civil war, which destroyed all existing economic developments in the country ten years ago.

Dr. Dinanga Cingoma, chairman Lebendiges Kongo e.V.
Kristina Rehbein, and
Clementine Shakembo Kamanga, Ambassodress DRC
She reminded the listeners especially on the destinies the children are suffering as former child soldiers and orphans, who don't face a bright future without proper education. Also, she mentioned initiatives, which are already being undertaken by the government of Germany and other actors, yet lack power and effectiveness. Miss Kristina Rehbein ( focused on the  relation between dependency on export of natural resources and growing indebtedness of state, and discussed the economic events and consequences on the DRC.

The audience did not miss the chance to critically ask questions  and panel members tried as best to find the answers. Even after the official discussion there were excited talks between audience and panel guest.  We appreciated the attendance of many Africans for the event, which showed the great value  of such an event and the interest of the topic. Another association was the  German-African Society Leipzig (DAFRIG e.V.).

Some cultural contribution through traditional Congolese sounds was brought by Engenga-Ensamble and Ndungu Kina, as well as a delicious buffet of Congolese cuisine calmed heated minds and gave the evening a bright end. At times, the discussion had been quiet gloomy, desperate and hopeless. Yet the after-party was relaxing, showed a positive final note  and with it resistance to the feeling of "giving-up". At approximately 10.45pm the last guests left the location.

During the evening we received donation of 86EUR, which contribute to the association and the current project "fruits no flames". Many thanks to the donors! Find more information on how to support us!
The successful cooperation shall be repeated soon. Many thanks to the team of the bureau-café Tiefensee and the Micha-Initiative for the great cooperation. 

  supported within the framework of the communal strategy
„Leipzig Ort der Vielfalt“ (Leipzig place of diversity)

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Current Project

"fruits no flames - school of life in Kasangulu"

The project "Tomatoes from Kasangulu" targets a better quality of life for former child soldiers and single women in the DR Congo, mainly to give them the opportunity to gain education and work, as well as to participate in social life again and to cater for themselves and their families.

From farming tomatoes until the vocational training college is being established – all steps are funded by each other. Yet, in order to be able to start the project, a kick-off-payment of 5,000.00EUR is needed. This will give jobs to five people immediately and build many more in the future. With an indeterminable unemployment rate, but 71% of the population living below the poverty line (estimated 2006), this already means prospects for a new and better life. 

Just like a tomato plant is growing from a small seed to a big plant that brings forth fruit again. Likewise, the tomato-project shall grow from small to big, from buying products off local farmers, all the way to running a vocational training college with many subjects and students and teachers.


1. Culture gives back-up

2010 – concerts by folklore-choir « Engenga », sales from the book «Kikolo - Kindersoldat im Kongo» (Kikolo, Child soldier in Congo) and great amounts of donation financed the aquisition of the first tomato-pick-up and its shipment to Kinshasa in August 2011.

2. Steady Income

Our partner association in Kinshasa "Congo Vivant"  buys fresh farm products in Kasangulu (about 30km from Kinshasa) and sells on the capital's big markets, restaurants and hotels for a higher price. 
Thus, local farmers, mainly women, who sometimes cannot even sell their products due to few demand in Kasangulu, gain a stable daily income.

3. Generating Profit

The pick-up creates a daily profit of about 50USD. 

Info - the average income in DR Congo is about 335 Congolese Franc equals 0,27EUR or 0,36USD. Also, in the DR Congo there are just 5 cars on a thousand people, in Germany there are 623 per thousand. (source : Worldbank 2007)  

A second tomato-pick-up will bring support to the first and the profitability of the local association. More jobs are going to be created. The vocational training college will be financed through the income of the agriculture in Kasangulu and the transport of fresh farm products to Kinshasa.

4. Re-Investment

The vocational training college is the second part in education after the so-called peace-school, where former child soldiers and orphans are learning to live in peace. 
With this path of education, youths from this area have a real chance to set foot in the markets either as self-employed or as well-educated employees. 

Besides handicrafts like carpentry, mechanics and so on students may also learn computer basics and correspondence in the school, which also hosts them and their teachers for the time of the course.

5. Exchange of Experience

The construction of the college takes place in cooperation with German and Congolese volunteers in order to enable the knowledge exchange.
The finances for the school, establishment of a greater diversity of courses and so on will be managed through sales of ready-made products, like doors, windows, furniture etc.

6. Expansion of Programme

A fishery with two fishing boats is also planned to be part of this school-programme. The Congo-River (4.374km long) is a great resource of food for the people in the DR Congo. Therefore the profession of a fisher has to be taught as well. The fish is being used to cater the college as well as freshly delivered products to restaurants and hotels in Kinshasa.
In addition to that, a summer-course for students from the capital Kinshasa shall be created, to give them a great summer-holiday experience, education inclusive.

Monday, 26 September 2011


Celebrate with us! ...12th November 2011

Norbert Hübner, Marita Simank and Renato Rech celebrate braking the 90's limit. Well, all three of them turn 30 years old. And with this, they plan to treat themselves and our association. How? 
See the invitation by Norbert Hübner! In his name we also invite all friends of « Lebendiges Kongo e.V. » to celebrate with us and enjoy the fantastic music of Engenga and the 3apes!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Singing is Colourful!

We thank the Leipziger Chorverband e.V. (choir union Leipzig) for organising a wonderful concert under the name "Singing is Colourful" within the frame of the "Intercultural Weeks" in Leipzig.

This yearly event marks the interest and cultural orientation of Leipzig and its people. This year, Engenga played together with the

  • Choir of the Evangelic Korean Community in Leipzig
  • Choir "Slawia" of the German-Russian Relief Organisation Holy-Alexandria
  • Chinese Academics Choir of Berlin

The singing was held on the big stage of the festive hall of the town hall in the beautiful centre of Leipzig.

It was a wonderful event supported by the Ministry of Culture, represented through the cultural office, Leipzig.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Project Kick-Off

The Tomato-Transporter leaves towards Congo

We have been waiting soo long for this day! Finally it is here! 
Our first Tomato-Pickup leaves us from here in Leipzig on the August 17th, 2011 towards the far away DR Congo. 
We truely and gratefully thank all people, who enabled this first success and wish the Pick-up and our project a long and happy life !

>> more pictures

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Orphan finds new sponsor

Joel (12) has a new godfather!

A couple of weeks ago, as the school year turned to its end, it was not a reason to be happy for Joel Nzokilu-Bile. His German Godfather was not able to continue the sponsorship out of personal reasons. Thus, Joels future education – he has pretty good schoolmarks - was unsure. To bridge time, Congo Alive stepped in and looked for a new Godparent – with success! 
During the past weekend (06/08/2011) Gabriel S. declared to be Joels new godfather. We are so happy with Joel and thank Mr. S. with all our heart !

Joel is the second-born of twelve in his family. The mother does not have work and his father died when he was still a little baby. Last year he visited class 6 of the Holy Christine School in Kinshasa, in the Makala Area. He is a diligent and busy student. During his next school year, he will change school to the secondary level. After school, Joel wants to join a technical education, so he can become an engineer. His effort and ambition are an important part to this, but first, the support of his sponsor Mr. S from cologne, Germany, enables the young boy to go to school.

In the DR Congo, there are many children like Joel : many families have lost their fathers in the years of civil war, women are alone and not able to cater for the whole family. Support a family like Joel's ! Through this, you give a young Congolese child the chance, to go to school and enjoy good education. Through your support you give a child a future !
Join our sponsorship programme – become a godparent !

Monday, 8 August 2011

Orphan Sponsorship Programme Kinshasa

New Partnership enables Sponsorship-Programme

Last weekend (06/08/2011) Congo Alive met with Mr. Gabriel Shabani, President of Congo Energy and Congoweb TV

Within this frame, Mr. Shabani offered to support our sponsorship programme for orphans in Kinshasa. From now, he will take the responsibility to hand out the monthly sponsorship fee to the custodian of the adopted orphans. 

This step guarantees the continuity between provider and recipient, which up to today was only possible under high effort and through immense personal input. At the same time, it is now also possible to have a lively contact between the children, the godparents and us.

We are very grateful to Mr. Shabani for this great support and wish all of us a good cooperative future!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Sunday Service

Summerparty at Reconciliation Church 

...we are thankful for the warm invitation to the Reconciliation Church 
in Gohlis, Leipzig! 

On Sunday, June 26th 2011, a heart-touching church service was held in the Reconciliation Church in Gohlis, Leipzig. A swinging summerparty afterwards gave a fantastic finish to the worship. Here we were able to listen to a wonderful Kids-Musical, and even we got the opportunity ourselves to attract attention towards our project « Tomatoes in Kasangulu » with the congolese sounds of Engenga as well as to give chance to donate and support this initiative.
Before and after the service, our music reached the hearts of the people and we could talk and discuss about problems and hopes in the DR Congo. 

Many supported us through a donation, or bought the current Engenga-Album or a kids book about « Kikolo, Kindersoldat im Kongo ». We are pleased about the 358EUR, through which we are reaching our aim, to buy the 10h land for our tomato—farm in Kasangulu, much faster. 
We enjoyed the friendly atmosphere in church and would like to come back soon!