Best of America

Helping the Orphans of Democratic Republic of the Congo

Helping the Orphans of Democratic Republic of the CongoCourtesy Richard Kitumba

Our hero: Richard Kitumba, 36

Where he lives: Springfield, Oregon

How he helps: Rescues orphans

Growing up in the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Richard Kitumba often went to bed wondering if he would be alive in the morning. One night, “soldiers broke into my family’s house, and we were forced at gunpoint to load all our possessions onto their trucks,” he says. Kitumba and his family survived the experience—and he relocated to the United States as a translator in 1998—but countless children were orphaned during the five-year war.

On trips back to his country, Kitumba was overwhelmed by the crippling poverty and instability there, and he became determined to help. In 2007, he founded City of Refuge International, a nonprofit organization that, mainly through individual donations, places DRC orphans in foster homes. By the end of 2010, the group had placed 95 orphans in foster homes in Kitumba’s hometown of Kamina, covering their clothing, medical, and education expenses ($70 per month fully covers one child’s needs).

“I felt compelled to help the children of the DRC because they are so vulnerable,” says Kitumba, who lives in Springfield, Oregon, with his wife and young son. “The difference we make in the lives of these children is already having a ripple effect on the entire city. You never know—one of these children may end up being president some day.”

Go to cityofrefugeinternational.org to donate to Kitumba’s cause.

Know a local hero? Visit American Towns to submit your nomination: americantowns.com/powerofone.

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

One thought on “Helping the Orphans of Democratic Republic of the Congo

  1. This is amazing. I remember doing a high school project on the DR of Congo, and I remembered researching the poverty level there. I am so glad he is making a difference. Hopefully one day, i can join in and help. <3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram

@kristencarney

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.

@sixthformpoet

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”

@NicCageMatch

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 
—Alcohol

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

Fields marked with an * are required
Foods That Harm Foods That HealWant a Free eBook?
FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL offers important information about the role diet plays in the struggle against heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses. Answer the question below to receive your FREE digital eBook.

Someone in my household experiences the following conditions:

Send me a link to download FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL:
By clicking below, I agree to the Trusted Media Brands Privacy Policy