Our House (Ndako Ya Biso) is a centre based in Kinshasa DRC helping street children to be reunited with their families, return to education and learn work skills for the future. We are a registered charity and supported by the Chemin Neuf Community (CCN), a Catholic ecumenical community with missions throughout the world. For more information about CCN please use the link at the bottom of this page.
The Chemin Neuf Community came to Kinshasa in 2003 at the invitation of the Archbishop of Kinshasa who gave them the parish of Saint Christine, near the Ngaba roundabout, a very busy, commercial centre in the South of the city.
When they arrived the Community quickly discovered a large number of street children who were using the Parish site as a place for meeting and sleeping. They were seen by the local population as a problem and blamed for much violence and robbery. At this stage no organization was working with them in this locality and the Community organised a meeting with the local people inviting them to voice their needs. Their main concern was how to provide their youngsters with an education and a future and how to respond to the ever increasing numbers of street children. Consequently a primary school and a professional formation centre were established.
In response to the issue of street children it was agreed that, wherever possible, reconciliation with the child’s family was the ideal. In 2004, we spent time talking to the children and understanding more about their problems, stories and hopes for the future and we visited and learned from the experience of other organizations working with street children in Kinshasa. In December 2004 we started our own project and the following year we rented a house for the project in the suburb of Makala. When the children began to come, we asked them what name we should give to our centre and they suggested Ndako ya biso which means Our House in lingala, the local language.
Ndako ya biso is now a local charity (NGO) in Kinshasa, with the official agreement of the government of DRC. In 2009 a local, independent organization (LBM) was created to manage the project and LBM now employs a team of twenty Congolese social workers.