The GFF grant funded construction of a new building – including a modern kitchen, dining and storage areas – and fully renovated the facility’s existing structures, which house bedrooms, latrines and washrooms. Additionally, the GFF paid to fully repair the facility’s plumbing and drainage systems, restore its electricity, construct a garden, and provide all of the 15 living units with new beds, bureaus, linens and other furnishings.
“We are so happy. The way it used to be compared to now – it’s such a big change!” said Mary Kabaloli, 83, who has lived at the hospice for eight years. “They built a big room where we can eat together and talk and even dance. It’s really something else!”
“Providing care for the elderly is a growing problem in the DRC and a top priority for our foundation, ” explained Dan Gertler, co-founder of the GFF and a senior adviser of the Fleurette Group. “It is one of the reasons that the Gertler Family Foundation focuses so much of our philanthropy on health care, food security and housing.”
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GFF learned of the poor conditions at the hospice from Soeur Angele Verstraete, a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Soeur Angele approached the foundation after being involved with GFF in the renovation of Hospice St. Pierre in Kinshasa. Learning of the poor conditions at Hospice St. Kizoto, the GFF eagerly agreed to fund the renovation.
“The Gertler Family Foundation has once again dealt with the most urgent needs of Congolese, ” said Kinshasa Governor Andre Kimbuta, who officially reopened Hospice St. Kizoto and donated several months of food to the residents. “I urge others to follow the example that they are setting.”
About The Gertler Family Foundation
The GFF is committed to helping meet the needs of the most vulnerable Congolese people. Since its inception in 2004, the GFF has invested millions of dollars in health, education, emergency relief, infrastructure, culture and other projects across the DRC, helping to change the lives of countless Congolese.