In 2003, Mayal Tshiabuila was compelled to serve his community.
The establishment of Centre Emmanuel (CE), an orphanage and nutrition center which safely houses
and feeds nearly 40 orphaned children, was preceded by a series of inspiring educational and
community service projects.
In 2002, Mayal established free literacy classes for the indigenous people of Kinshasa. Lack of education and training opportunities trigger a variety of social problems, including teen pregnancy and chronic poverty. Children came in groups of ten to twenty and were taught reading, writing and arithmetic. The literacy classes expanded to include adult - even seniors in the community (age 60+) enrolled.
They learned to read and write the local language, and graduated from the program. The project then expanded to include a sewing class for single mothers and a carpentry class for street boys.
In 2010, Mayal became interested in serving the young orphaned children of Kinshasa. After researching orphanages in the area, Mayal realized that many were misusing the money donated for children. Brokenhearted, he expanded his community work and created Centre Emmanuel, a safe haven for orphaned children in the area. He refurbished an abandoned property, formerly a hog farm, hired two caregivers and the orphanage became operational in 2012.
In Spring of 2016, about 15 children went home with their adoptive families. Adoptions have not been allowed to continue in the country, leaving the children remaining at Centre Emmanuel as long-term residents of the Centre. This has added considerable strain to the Centre, not only financially but also in terms of the responsibility of spiritual and traditional education for the children.
In March 2019, Centre Emmanuel will commemorate its seventh anniversary. Centre Emmanuel is funded solely by charitable donations and employs ten caregivers, two of whom are also teachers, and five male staff. The day to day operations are led by Mayal Tshiabuila and Constant Tshibadi whose determination and perseverance is a true source of inspiration. Emmanuel is the name of Mayal's son.
Centre Emmanuel offers the children who call it home a chance at a safe, productive future through education: traditional, spiritual and skill-based training. In the coming year, CE hopes to expand their skill training efforts and we very much hope to support this inspiring initiative.