HandsUp Congo logoMission Statement: HandUp Congo provides a hand up to its partner communities rather than a handout.  By building bridges between its partners in the DRC and the rest of the world, HandUp Congo delivers tools and education for ongoing development from within.

Programs and Activities

HandUp Congo identifies partners to provide tools for the people of Lotumbe, a remote regional medical hub, to revitalize their community and, perhaps, set a standard for the rest of their troubled country. The women of Lotumbe have formalized their development efforts as an official Congolese NGO, Fondation Lucie Otaenga (FLO). FLO's projects include sustainable revenue-generating projects such as a sewing school, sale of sewing projects, a community garden, general store, community bank, and use of a motorized dugout for riverside markets. Income from these projects has helped pay for school uniforms, mosquito nets, hospital fees for poor women.

Sewing school
FLO sponsored Sewing School

HandUp Congo also identifies resources for the highly respected Université Protestante au Congo (UPC), which offers degrees in Business, Law, Medicine, and Theology — keys to building the nation of DRC through education. Lotumbe students receive scholarships to attend UPC, which is located in the nation's capitol, Kinshasa. Projects to date include delivery of current medical books for the university's new medical school, scholarships for medical students, and a shipment of donated computers.

Specific projects include:

Community Garden — The FLO experimental nutritional garden features nutritious and fast-growing vegetables to supplement the local fish-based diet.

Community Bank — FLO administers a small loan fund to provide microloans to local women.

FLO sponsored new canoe in floating marketSewing School
— The FLO sewing school teaches local women income-producing skills while providing uniforms for school children and necessary linens and surgical gowns for the local hospital. Sewing projects are also sold locally.

General Store — The FLO general store provides bulk-purchased goods to Lotumbe so that residents do not have to paddle for seven or more days to the Provincial capital.

Floating Market — A motorized dugout canoe transports the regional doctor and also carries sewing projects and other goods to nearby towns.

Training and Development — HandUp Congo seeks training opportunities for its Congolese partners. To date, we have provided a microfinance internship for FLO president at Hope International in Kinshasa; and professional development for vice president Antoinette Mapele, Dr. Diderot Bolingo (regional doctor), and agricultural specialist Celestin Engelemba at Heal Africa in Goma.

Links to Additional Information

Project Leader Biographies
HandUp Congo web site

Contact Information

Betsy Brill, CEO/Director (pro bono)
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web site: http://www.handupcongo.org