Friends of Butoke, Inc. began informally in 2005 to support Butoke in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Butoke was founded by Dr. Cecile DeSweemer, its president. Dr. Jean Lumbala Muamba is its executive director. Butoke ministers to the nutritional, food security, emergency, primary health care and the educational needs ofthe area's poor people.
"Whoever is kind to the needy, honors God" Proverbs 14:31
Orphan on her sleeping mat
If you can, please sponsor the children of Butoke and help Dr. Cecile and Dr. Jean to care for the children. We don't need to be there to physically do the work and to help. All we ask of you is your prayers and your support. That is sufficient.
THINK ABOUT IT - PLEASE
Who Is Dr. Cecile DeSweemer??
Anyone can read a bio about someone and think they know that person, but until one spends time with Dr. DeSweemer, knowing her and what she is about is difficult to imagine.
I was introduced to her in 2005 on my first trip to the DRC. My party of three and our Congolese pastor went into the town of Kananga for introductions to the head of a newly formed NGO known as Butoke. At that time Dr. DeSweemer was just organizing and mentoring a young medical student who would eventually graduate in 2006 and become Executive Director of Butoke. They had a small office in town where she was able to initiate a few programs with the poor. Read more.
Children at Nutrition Center
The Mission of Friends of Butoke, Inc. is to educate and raise funds among foundations, organizations and individuals in the United States for a humanitarian, nongovernmental organization entitled “Butoke” (Light). Located in the West Kasai Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Butoke ministers to victims of poverty, oppression and abuse in areas of Food Security and Nutrition, Education, Access to Health Care, Malnutrition, Care of Those with Disabilities, and Human Rights. Friends of Butoke, Inc. shall serve in a supportive and advisory capacity relevant to the stated ministries of Butoke.
Muela and Mujinga
The mother came in late November 2006 to the clinic in Tshikaji, severly ill, HIV positive. She had two children with her: Muela, maybe 5 years old, carrying his little sister of 10-12 months.
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Dr. Jean Lumbala Muamba
Dr. Jean (center) met Cecile in about 2005, introduced by a neighboring night watchman. Dr. Jean explained that he had long had a desire to be an MD but the family chose agriculture and he had worked in that field for 9 years while supporting his family. He said that he had two more years in medical school, but was running out of money and feared he would not be able to finish. Of special significance is the fact that he had worked for eight years as an agronomist, director of a technical college, provincial supervisor of seed multiplication and with agricultural extension. Cecile had been working to stimulate planting of fields so people could become self-sustaining, i.e., collective fields and made a deal with Dr. Jean to be the technical coordinator of Butoke and she would support his medical studies. Ever since, he has been working for Butoke as Executive Director.