RAWBANK is involved in the social life of the DRC, whether by promoting cultural and artistic activities or in supporting associations that work for the betterment of the population and the respect for nature. The bank has been involved and is involved in several projects, several of which are described below.
- Kin Accueil
- Street children fortnight
- The springtime of the arts
- Gala evening devoted to the exhibition of works of art by the painter Roger Botembe
- The Rawji Foundation
RAWBANK sponsors an evening of music in support of sickle cell anaemia sufferers
As part of its philanthropic activities, Kin Accueil, a not for profit organisation which brings women from various nationalities together, has looked into the situation of those suffering from sickle cell anaemia and organised “an exceptional musical concert”, the income from which will enable ultrasound equipment to be purchased which will advance the diagnosis of sick people.
Giving details of the risks of this degenerative illness and the need for early diagnosis, Father Henri de la Kethulle de Ryhove, the national crusade coordinator, said that sickle cell anaemia is the most widespread genetic hereditary illness in the world, and is particularly rife in Africa.
In countries burdened by poverty such as the DRC, 50% of those suffering from sickle cell anaemia die before their fifth birthday. Kinshasa has almost 80,000 homozygous-SS sickle cell anaemia sufferers.
RAWBANK has joined with the Grand Hôtel Kinshasa, Engen, Orange, Brussels Airlines, Graphic System, Bralima, Vlisco and Bracongo in organising this evening.
RAWBANK supports the not-for-profit organisation CHIRPA
The NGOs Chaîne de l’Espoir – Belgium and R.D. Congo, together with the not-for-profit organisation Espoir de Vie, working together as CHIRPA ASBL, have joined forces since 2011 to make possible the long-term development of a paediatric surgical and intensive care unit meeting strict hygiene and safety standards on the site of the Clinique Ngaliema in Kinshasa.
This unit takes in children requiring specialised medical or surgical intervention which is not (or no longer) performed in the country. Several tens of thousands of children are affected. It hosts several international medical and surgical missions per year and also enables the Congolese medical teams to practice certain interventions independently.
22 cardiac and urological medical-surgical missions have already been undertaken since 2003 by the Chaîne de l’Espoir – Belgium and R.D. Congo at the Clinique Ngaliema and the Hôpital Universitaire UNIKIN in Kinshasa. In addition to the care given to children suffering from serious diseases, the purpose of these missions is to train a multidisciplinary Congolese team through North-South technology transfer; 96 children with heart complaints and 27 children with malformation of the pelvis have already on been operated on since the missions first began, and 847 cardiology consultations have been performed.
Construction of the wing that will house the medical-surgical unit has started and is financed by the Congolese government, which has responded positively to the pleas made by all the partners for several years.
CHIRPA has defined a supplementary intervention program to undertake this project, which can be broken down into the following five areas:
- To improve the training of the Congolese technical, medical and paramedical staff involved in the project (co-financing of Belgian cooperation – request being assessed) ;
- To strengthen the technical platform of the Clinique Ngaliema (financing of French cooperation – start of operations set for November 2013 – and CHIRPA’s own funds) ;
- To secure the technical and sanitary environment of the infrastructure (financing of French cooperation) ;
- To improve skills and management practices in the clinic (financing of French and Belgian cooperation) ;
- To facilitate access to specialist care (urology and cardiology initially) for the greatest number of children, especially the most deprived (mixed financing).
Street children fortnight
RAWBANK, together with other organisations, supported “Street children fortnight” organised in November 2013 by the Network of Street Children Teachers (REEJER) and by the Collective of International Organisations for the Protection of Children in Family Breakdown (COPERF) in the city and province of Kinshasa.
There are more than 20,000 street children, often called “Shégués”, in Kinshasa.
Several activities were organised between 15th and 30th November, including discussions, open days at over 50 reception centres, screenings, a day of reflection involving the capital’s 24 district mayors and the five presiding magistrates of the children’s courts, an ambassadors’ dinner, a symposium, a round table, etc. The 67 district heads of the communes of Masina and Kinbanseke were also involved and informed of the issues involved in child protection.
The Marine Mangrove Park
RAWBANK is involved in the project to support the preservation of the Marine mangrove park and its tourist activities.
The Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN) has expressed its desire to safeguard this unique ecotone of the DRC and intends to support this project with substantial financial contributions. Large private companies are beginning to involve themselves in the preservation of nature in the DRC.
Happily, this situation is likely to be encouraged by the government, and especially by those departments involved in the preservation of the environment.
Overall, significant efforts are being made to fight against the threats summarised in the following four points: the invasion of the park by land grabs, deforestation, pollution and poaching. With regard to the last point, many successful patrols were organised in 2013, thanks to the financial support provided by RAWBANK.
Numerous measures have been taken and must be implemented so that the laws on this matter are strictly observed. In addition, these provisions must be supported by an ongoing awareness campaign about the legislation in respect of the protection of nature and a reminder of the commitments made by the DRC at an international level.
The springtime of the arts
On 7 June 2013, RAWBANK organised a special arts day at the Théâtre de Verdure, Mont Ngaliema, in Kinshasa.
The following were on the programme in front of some 1000 people: a demonstration by the dancers and musicians of the folklore group Super Mbonda, a performance of the Association Jeunesse 2000, the screening of the report about the Orchestre Symphonique Kibanguiste in Monaco, the performances of the Monaco string quartet, selections of the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste, including a concerto with the cellist Audibert, professor at the Rainier III of Monaco academy of music.
This event was enhanced by the presence of her Royal Highness the Princess of Hannover.
In the evening, at the Roméo Golf in Kinshasa, the drinks reception was entertained by the group Super Mbonda and at around 11 p.m. the evening was rounded off by a performance by the ballet Kiesse Na Kiesse. This prestigious evening was also enhanced by the presence of her Royal Highness the Princess of Hannover.
The Rawji Foundation
The RAWJI Foundation is an apolitical, non-governmental and non-confessional charitable institution. It was established in Kinshasa on 4 December 2004 under Order No. 004/2001 of 20 July 2001 relating to non-profit associations and charitable institutions.
The co-founders are Mushtaque RAWJI, Mazhar RAWJI, Zahir RAWJI, Sirazali H. HEMRAJ, Aslam RAWJI and Murtaza RAWJI
The aim of the foundation is to contribute towards the training of young Congolese and to encourage the development of the DRC by:
- Establishing schools,
- Establishing hospitals,
- Establishing leisure centres,
- Establishing radio and television stations,
- Establishing old people’s homes,
- Developing sources of drinking water,
- Taking care of students by providing study grants,
- Financial assistance to the children of the members of staff of the RAWJI Group.
The resources of the foundation are provided by the co-founders, State grants, benefactor organisations, donations and legacies, and voluntary contributions.