How did the association and projects originate?
The African continent has always fascinated Manuela und ever since her earliest childhood is was her dream to open up a Kindergarten down there, to create a better future for these children. Her attention was caught during a small presentation in Austria about the town of Tshumbe in the Republic of Congo and she knew that this would be the town she can fulfil her dream of opening a Kindergarten.
Thereupon, she established the association “future for Tshumbe” with relatives and friends in August 2012 based in St.Johann in Tirol (now in Going in Tirol), because she wasn’t only planning to build a Kindergarten but later on also a school, an infirmary and numerous other projects.
Manuel travelled to Tshumbe for the first time in January 2013. The first time down there was a real challenge as she had to battle numerous diseases such as malaria, amoebic dysentery, worm infestation and so on, while she was there on her own. She stayed strong for the kids and kept going. It was not easy starting from scratch and finding a team in Tshumbe but with her positive attitude she achieved it. Soon the people in town started calling her “Waale Waana” (mother of all children) and not only gained respect from the population but also a giant family.
Only with the support of her family could she fulful her dream and now the people from Tshumbe are a part of her family.
“Tshumbe and the people there, especially the kids are part of my family in every way. The work there is tough, but for me it’s the best thing there is and makes me extremely happy. Without my parents none of this would have been possible. They supported me from the get go in every way possible and put a lot of trust in me, which is what I am very thankful for. I am also very thankful for finding a husband, that supports me, as well as and starts and continues projects with me and loves the people in the Congo as much as I do, thanks Kerby!”
Meanwhile Tshumbe doesn’t only have a Kindergarten but also a primary school, an infirmary, a huge garden, a sewing workshop and a carpentry workshop, which are all projects from “future for Tshumbe”.
We are also supporting a young Congoleseon his journey becoming a doctor through his medicine studies. The initial 32 children in the Kindergarten expanded to 165 and 40 staff. The children and staff visit our establishment every day and bring lots of joie de vivre with them. Every day the children and staff receive a wholesome diet and medical help in case of illness or education in the prevention of illnesses.
Not only do 165 children and 40 staff benefit from the projects of “future for Tshumbe”, but also hundreds of other people and the whole town keeps developing.
The families of the children get help, many people get the chance of day jobs and the local market is showing an economic recovery.
For Manuela her work in Tshumbe is not just work, it’s her life! She does everything in her power to help the people there and keep developing their town with them. Tshumbe is “home” for Manuela and the people there are her friends and family. I (MANUELA) COULD NOT IMAGINE MY LIFE WITHOUT TSHUMBE ANYMORE!