Christmas in the Congo – Realising Dreams in the Christmas Present and Future

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‘Christmas in the Congo’ Appeal is launched by emerge poverty free and the Aspire Foundation.

A Christmas appeal launched by not-for-profit organisation, the Aspire Foundation, and the international charity, emerge poverty free, is aiming to provide education and skills to widows and bereaved mothers who have fostered orphans in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In the run up to Christmas 2013, both organisations want to ensure that these incredible women don’t just have the means to provide a family Christmas lunch in a war-torn country where 70% of the 68 million population are officially undernourished. They want them to have the opportunity to be independent, free of aid and able to support themselves and their families into the future. This can be made possible by providing them with education and skills.

Throughout November and December, the ‘Christmas in the Congo’ Appeal invites women to buy an educational Aspire gift for themselves or a female friend from a specially created virtual Christmas tree.

All funds raised will go to the appeal and gifts range from inspirational videos designed to build personal skills to motivational recordings of women explaining what has inspired them. The virtual Christmas tree can be found on the emerge poverty free website ( and the Aspire Foundation website (

“Living without an education or job is tough, and doing that in a country devastated by war is even harder,” said Dr Samantha Collins, founder of the Aspire Foundation. “Through this appeal, we’re aiming to raise awareness of the plight of thousands of women in the Congo and help them overcome the hardships they face on a daily basis. By purchasing a gift from our virtual Christmas tree, people can treat themselves or a friend, whilst at the same time changing people’s lives. It’s a great opportunity to spread some joy this Christmas.”

One of the first widows of the war, Bamanyisa Bugambwenda, trained to run a dairy business. Bamanyisa, who cares for a fostered orphan as well as her own children said, “This small business of selling milk has helped me increase my income and now I have hope for the future because my children will get to school.”

Editor’s Notes:
For further information, images or interview requests, contact:
Email: scollins(at)aspirewomen(doy)co(dot)uk
T: +44 (0)207 556 1018
M: +44(0)7793 277299

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Janet Jenkins
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