FULLER CENTER FOR HOUSING BOLOMBA-LIKOLO
Cost to sponsor a house for a family: $2,500-$3,500
In 1973, Millard and Linda Fuller arrived in Mbandaka in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then called Zaire) to begin what was to become history’s greatest effort to eliminate poverty housing. The DRC was where Millard and Linda Fuller first implemented the concept of partnership housing. Working in a neighborhood called Bokotola in the city of Mbandaka, they built the first Habitat houses, which still stand today as tribute to their vision.
The Fuller Center Bolomba Likolo was organized in the summer of 2007. Despite its remote location, the absence of a local bank, no nearby store to purchase building materials, inadequate roads and transportation methods and an unpredictable rainy season, work progresses as the people of Bolomba pour their hearts and souls into the project. Over 200,000 houses later, the vision born and work started in that remote corner of Africa has begun anew. The Fuller Center is in the Congo at the invitations of the Hon. Pierre Maloka, a member of Parliament and friend of Millard and Linda’s from many years ago, and Dr. Jim Conway, who works with USAID in Kinshasa.
The DRC is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a per capita annual income of about $300 in 2007. This is partly the result of years of war. Visiting Bolomba, accessed by a six-hour ride on a riverboat from Mbandaka, is like taking a step back in time. It is a place without electricity, cell phones or litter — where the people live off the river and the jungle.
As people finish clearing their plots, they begin construction of the brick-making sheds. The bricks will be made with the aid of presses obtained from the Hon. Pierre Maloka Makonzi. The bricks are pre-cured. After pressing the bricks, workers must wait several weeks before firing them and at least one or two weeks before using them for construction.
The Fuller Center Bolomba-Likolo has already attracted national interest and has gained the support of the government of Equator Province.
- UCC-sponsored trip takes Fuller Center back to its roots in Africa.
- See pictures of our work in the DRC.
- Check out the NY Times Topic: Congo for facts and links to statistics about The Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- David Snell’s Packing List and Travel Trips for visiting the DRC (Specific for the August 2011 Global Builders Trip)
- Congo-North American Friendship Association Newsletter Spring 2011