Skip Global Navigation to Main Content
Skip Breadcrumb Navigation
Programs and Events

Ambassador Entwistle Inaugurates Two Special Self-Help Fund Projects

February 9, 2012
Ambassador Entwistle visits the newly renovated Centre de Sante Tshimungu. (State Dept. Images)

Ambassador Entwistle visits the newly renovated Centre de Sante Tshimungu. (State Dept. Images)

On Thursday February 9th, Ambassador James F. Entwistle inaugurated a new educational auditorium at College Saint Boniface and a renovated health clinic at Centre de Sante Tshimungu. The two projects were supported by the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund, a program that provides assistance for small-scale projects to communities across the DRC.

Centre de Sante Tshimungu, located in Kimbanseke commune, requested a Special Self-Help grant to improve facilities at the community clinic. “Our hearts were touched by the dedicated staff, who had put many of the pieces in place to provide needed care, but who lacked finances to resolve some of the basic sanitary needs of the Clinic,” said Ambassador Entwistle. “In their eyes, we saw hope despite the infrastructure challenges and overwhelming needs.” With an award of $9,900, the Centre constructed two latrines, two showers, an incinerator, a septic tank and a drainage system for rain and waste water. 

This was the second Special Self-Help grant awarded to College Saint Boniface, located in Masina commune. Eager to provide area students with a quality education, the community requested, and received, $9,700 to construct an educational auditorium. In turn, they contributed labor, materials and cash, worth over $20,000, to the project. “The hard work and pride you take in providing for the educational needs of your children – the future leaders of Masina and the DRC – is evident in the newly constructed auditorium with its freshly painted walls, tiled floor, lovely windows, curtains, tables, chairs and educational equipment,” said Ambassador Entwistle.

Begun in Togo in 1964, the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help program has become one of the most successful assistance programs in Africa.  All Special Self-Help projects are initiated and administered at the local level, and include significant community contributions in cash, labor or materials. The implementation period for individual projects is approximately one year, and the awards range in cost from $1,000 to $20,000. In 2011, the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help fund distributed $90,000 in grants to thirteen organizations.  The projects include construction of two classrooms for a primary school near Dungu, Oriental; an income generating bee keeping project for unemployed women in North Kivu; surgery tools and solar energy equipment for a hospital at Boko, Bandundu; and tin roofs for a primary/secondary school at Lokolama, Bandundu.