By Badylon Kawanda Bakiman
A new structure with more than 300 women has just been created in the province of ”Grand Bandundu” in the southwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is a non-profit association (ASBL) called “Friends of Marie-Olive Lembe Kabila (AMOLKA)”. The women members belong to several fields: agriculture, education, science, economy, law etc.
This ASBL made its official release, a few days ago, in the big ”Salle Lupemba” in the commune of Lukolela, city of Kikwit, where it launched its activities.
It was in the presence of political-administrative, military and police authorities as well as several other guests. Also present was the Head of the Urban Office of Gender, Family and Child.
Marie-Olive Lembe is the wife of Joseph Kabila Kabange, former Head of State of the DRC. This new structure considers her as a model concerning the economic and social actions that the structure will have to carry out in favor of the women and young girls of ”Grand Bandundu”.
The ceremony began with a mass of thanksgiving in the Cathedral of Saint Francis Xavier. It was said by the Abbot Placide Lengelo, parish priest.
“May women take the country in their hands so that everyone can rejoice in life. The Church gives us the example of Saint Catherine who, in the 14th century, devoted herself body and soul to the service of the Church. She played a great role in stabilizing the Church. She died very young, at the age of 34. May the mothers of AMOLKA also see the example that St. Catherine gives”, said the priest at the beginning of his homily.
The abbot invited the members of AMOLKA to be this light that illuminates the darkness, to be at the service of others, to learn to love and to have an active charity.
“The honor of this land of men must help to respect the honor of God (…) It is also necessary to bring one’s hand to develop the country. Think of those who suffer because of your power. Often we need those who come to alleviate the suffering of the people. While we are at it, we think of others,” he insisted.
For her part, Maitre Rachelle Minanga, coordinator of AMOLKA in the city of Kikwit, said that this structure is an ASBL and not a political party.
“This association of Congolese law is different from a mutual insurance company. It is an association which is flanked towards the social in order to change the image of the woman in the province of Kwilu and in the ”Grand Bandundu”. When the woman stands up, everything changes”, she said.
As for her, Antony Paluku, coordinator of the AMOLKA in the ”Grand Bandundu” was pleased to note that what was a dream yesterday has become a reality today. While introducing the various leaders from different backgrounds, Antony Paluku presented the reasons for the creation of this structure.
“Being a non-profit, non-political, social and humanitarian association, we had observed the precarious social conditions and the general impoverishment in which the population of the province in general and in Kikwit in particular lives, especially the women, the pillars of the households. We have observed that the households that hold up are those where both spouses are engaged in lucrative activities. It is clear that where women are only housewives, living conditions are difficult. It is in this context that we have chosen not only to support these women, but also to present through our actions the distinguished ‘Mama Olive, this God-fearing woman with a big heart, ‘Mama Warro’ as a model of success, a hard-working, courageous, fighting, autonomous woman… always listening and serving the vulnerable so that they can be inspired by her life to take the destiny of their homes in their own hands”, she said.
According to her, a society without a model has no reference point.
“Today will remain memorable because it marks the formalization of the Association Mama Olive Lembe Kabila,” she added.
This activity received the encouragement of Brigitte Mukwa, Head of the urban office of Gender, Family and Child and Jean-Claude Mungala, deputy mayor of Kikwit who officially launched the activities of this new structure as a political-administrative authority.
According to its statutes, AMOLKA was created on February 15, 2022 in accordance with Law No. 004/2001 of July 20, 2011 on general provisions applicable to non-profit associations and public utility institutions.
“The vision of AMOLKA is to bring the women of the province of ”Gand Bandundu” to a sustainable economic and social emergence through awareness, promotion of economic initiatives, prosperity, in short to provide assistance to vulnerable people,” inform the statutes.
The same document notes that the mission of AMOLKA is to: -Encourage women and girls to take charge of themselves; -Promote social works in order to change the image of women in society; -Support women and girls in the field of agriculture capable of self-creating and creating jobs by working the land; -Provide balance within the organization in terms of equitable distribution of tasks for good management…