What are Vitamins for the Heart? Additionally to the physical help for us the spiritual support has likewise a big meaning. ‘Vitamins for the Heart’ is the title of series in which we publish new articles monthly. The Vitamins are compositions out of texts, which we are friendly allowed by the authors to present on our webpage. Because we had many positive reactions to the vitamins we also want to present them on our webpage and hope that they will also bring many others a big pleasure.

Vitamins for the Heart

20th Anniversary of Active Direct Help

ADH celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. It has been an exciting journey that took us from Guinea in the year 2000 (photo 1), at the time when Lenka was working in Nigeria (photo 2), through Zambia in 2001 (photo 3), to Cameroon in 2002/2003 (photo 4), and then to the DR Congo, starting in mid-2003 (photo 5), shortly after the big war there. Due to health reasons, we had to spend more than one year in South Africa in 2005/2006 (photo 6), after which we returned to Congo in 2007 (photo 7).

In 2011, we shifted the focus of our work to the countryside where the need is much bigger than in the city. From 2011-2016 we built and supported our first school in the interior in Mushapo (photos 8-11). During this time, more than 2000 pupils (photo 12 & 13) received free education in our school, unheard of in Congo at that time.

In 2017, the province Kasai, where our school is located, experienced violence because of national and international forces who were interested in the mineral resources there. Most of our teachers and pupils had to flee with their families to Tshikapa where they had to start a new life from nothing. Since then our school director Pierre and his team of teachers teach our pupils in a rented school building in the afternoon (photo 14) while the pupils from the Tshokwe tribe, which remained in Mushapo, continue their schooling in our school there (photo 15).

In 2017, we pioneered a new school project, this time in Mabala in the Mai Ndombe region (photos 16 & 17). Presently 276 students attend this secondary school, called ITAV ADH Mabala (Agro-Veterinary school), from the 7th to the 9th grade and receive free education. The school started in 2018 and is open to children of the local Bantu (majority) and Pygmy (minority, marginalized) tribes. In the 9th grade, 26 students receive agricultural and 20 receive veterinary training. School director Philemon works with 15 teachers, required by the Ministry of Education for this type of school.

To help support the school, we started an agricultural project with a few chickens and rabbits (photos 18 - 21) as well as a small tree nursery where we recently added 1100 palm nuts (photo 22) for a palm oil plantation, which should cover 7 hectares of our 40 hectares property. The organization PIREDD, which gave the palm nuts, will support the maintenance of the plantation by giving $100 per month for 16 months. The production of the trees will belong to the school.

For more details or our activities, you can see reports of the last 20 years here on our website. Photo 23 shows the location of our projects.

All this has been a string of miracles as we are working fulltime as volunteers. Usually we arrive at the airport of a new country with very limited finances, many times not knowing anybody there. We make friends, research the biggest need and do our best to fill it. After some time we see the good results from our labors. We are extremely thankful for our faithful team members, friends and supporters which made these achievements possible.

We had our share of setbacks and obstacles, but like in childbirth, who wants to talk about the hardships and birth pangs a mother has to endure to reach the moment when she gratefully holds the baby in her arms. Anything worth in life is a struggle. Working in Africa brings with it so many unimaginable challenges that it is a miracle when something is finally achieved. This takes the direct intervention of God to whom we would like to give our biggest thanks.

Let us each keep doing our part to change a part of the world – love being our motivation and the most important ingredient in all this. We hope to be able to be a continued blessing to whoever needs our help and to be an influence of good to the people we meet.

Thank you for your important contribution to our work. We wish you all the best in your private life and work,

With many heartfelt greetings,

Wolfgang, Lenka and Team

Copyright © 2020 Text: Wolfgang Schmidt; Picture: Aktive Direkt Hilfe e. V.

Image Gallery
8. Bricks formed from local clay in Mushapo19. Peanut field behind the school21. Preparing natural fertilizer 2. Lenka active in medical camps in Nigeria4. Our second container: Douala in Cameroon 7. Above: Lenka distributes shoes in Mokali in Congo3. Maize distribution in Zambia12. Angela with about 500 pupils at schoolyard in Mushapo 14. Director Pierre with pupils from the Mushapo School at rented school buildings in Tshikapa5. Third container: Kinshasa in Congo 6. Left: Wolfgang visiting school in S. Africa18. Pupils harvesting vegetables17. 276 students, 15 teachers, 6 classrooms, 40 ha land for agriculture1. Wolfgang and Marianne with our 40 Ft container at the harbour of Conakry, Guinea10. Our manager Jean oversees construction 13. Children, thankful for free schooling9. Kiln made from bricks on construction site11. Prof. Mpona with foremen at the almost finished building16. School sign ITAV ADH Mabala15. Mushapo School after the unrest there23. Locations of our school projects22. Agronom Philemon (right) started this palm nut nursery 20. Chicken yard of the school

 Sometimes the biggest obstacle to school attendance is the great poverty of the parents. They have so little money that they often cannot pay the school fees. Therefore, our school in Mushapo is for free.

Our objective – to provide education


If you want to subscribe to our newsletter, please send us a message.


Contact us

Do you have any questions or comments for us? Contact us directly! We appreciate your message and will try to answer you as soon as possible.

Contact us

I want to help

You want to know how you can help us to help in Congo? Get to know more about how you can support us.

Help ADH