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Catherine Mulumba

Catherine was born the youngest of four children, on December 2, 2000 in Shabunda Village, about 75 miles from Bukavu. Tragically, when she was only 3 months old, her father died. Catherine’s mother eventually remarried, but that man had no interest in being a father to her children. Mom chose to abandon her four children in order to be with her new husband.

The kids were taken in by their grandmother who did her best to raise them on her own, but it became too much. She had to send the 3 boys to the village, which destined them to a life without education. Grandma knew that ELI would accept Catherine into our school and the precious young girl was registered for class. Year after year Catherine’s grandma paid her portion of the tuition until she advanced in years and became too ill to continue. When Catherine was financially forced to abandon her studies, our staff invited her and Grandma to the school to talk about Catherine’s future.
Grandma explained why she could no longer pay the school fees and that there was no other support or assistance. Our Congo staff were touched by their heartbreaking struggles and wanted to help!



As they considered what could be done, Catherine had a great idea. She asked if the teachers could help her raise $60 to start some type of small business where the profits could pay the small tuition and also support Grandma. And that is exactly what they did! The staff lovingly gave $65 out of their own pockets and Catherine started a business selling fruit and vegetables. She made enough money to come back to school and successfully support the two of them. It has been 3 years since Catherine started this business. She pays her fees on time and has a wonderful relationship with her grandmother. We are so thrilled that she was able to continue her studies and she is now senior in high school with a focus on business administration. She will take her national exams in May of this year and we know that she has a bright future ahead!





Through tears of overwhelming joy, Catherine told us that she will come back to ELI to support another orphan by paying their tuition next year so they have the same chance that she did to change the world. 
She said, "This is my way of giving back to the school that has raised me since my childhood, the school that cared for me when I was so desperate, the school that made me who I am today."

This is only one example of how an act of kindness can take a life of hopelessness and turn it into something incredible that can start a ripple effect and change the world!





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