At just 11 years old, Lisette Mibo was forced to flee her family home in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The journey she began at 2am that night, took Lisette to her grandmother’s home where she broke down, explaining her fears. Her granny took her in and helped Lisette get to the UK, where she completed her education with a university degree and became an award winning model. Lisette now wants to ‘reach back’ to help others.
There are 100 million homeless children on this planet. Almost 30 million of them are in Africa and, right now, over 20,000 of them are on the streets of Kinshasa. The task of helping to end such a huge tragedy seems overwhelming, but Lisette Mibo believes that each of us can make a difference.
“As a young girl, I was scared to walk for more than two hours to my grandmother’s home, but at least I had somewhere to go”, she explained. “Over 20,000 vulnerable children have nowhere to go. No escape route. Knowing that just breaks me up inside”.
“Life gave me the chance to fulfill my potential, to become a model and a mother. Now I am determined to reach back and help the next generation of lost children”
In February, Lisette went on a fact finding mission to find the best way to help the street children of Kinshasa – specifically looking to form a partnership with a local charity (Charite et Secours) which can help deliver on-going services like teaching and medical help after the Passion For Motherland Shelter has been built.
“These children have huge potential”, she explained. “They just need a chance. The chance that you can help give them”.
On Saturday 20th August, the Passion For Motherland Showcase 2016 will arrive at the Holiday Inn Hotel, Regent’s Park, London with a celebration of fashion, music, powerful poetry and interesting stalls
All the money raised will go toward creating a shelter for street children in Kinshasa. Tickets start at just £25 with front row seats at £50 and the complete VIP Experience for just £100 – so please don’t be shy!
“This is the 4th time we have run the event and it’s always fantastic”, said Lisette. “What better way to spend a Saturday evening this summer, than to come together & celebrate your PASSION FOR MOTHERLAND!”.
Lisette has shared her plans with Africa Fashion and they are really impressive. The shelter will be built on land bought specifically for the project, with secure living accommodation for boys and girls aged 3 to 15. One shelter will already provide a lifeline, but Lisette has much bigger ambitions.
“It is vital that the project is as self-sufficient as possible”, she told us. “I am working with professional builders in the UK who are donating their time for free, so we can get it right. We want self-heating water tanks, solar panels for electricity and the ability for the shelter to grow as much of its own food as possible”.
We asked her why self-sufficiency is so important.
“If Passion For Motherland can show that the concept works, then we have a model that can be repeated”, said Lisette. “Something that we can build on for the future, without worrying about huge on-going costs for the upkeep of the shelter. It needs to be smart, simple, functional and secure”.
Africa Fashion encourages you to visit the Passion For Motherland site, see the work that Lisette and her team have already begun in Kinshasa and to buy a ticket for the Showcase – which promises to be a GREAT EVENING!