Helping to rebuild Kinkala
A project supported by sales of the Crossing Borders albums

Sales of both ‘Crossing Borders’ albums and a number of the Byrnes’ concerts have so far raised over €35 000 (£31 000) for reconstruction projects in Kinkala, in Congo-Brazzaville, a country which Patrick visited in 2003.

Kinkala is in the ‘Pool’ region of the Republic of Congo, which is less well known than its much larger neighbour, the Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo-Kinshasa), but whose desperate situation urgently needs to be brought to the attention of the international community. The Pool region was totally destroyed by the successive civil wars which devastated the country, especially between 1997-98 and 2003. During that period, most of the Pool population fled and sought refuge in the hills above the capital city, Brazzaville, and in other parts of the country. Louis Portella-Mbuyu, the bishop of Kinkala, himself lived ‘in exile’ in Brazzaville, and only returned to Kinkala after the truce in 2003, when it became a bit ‘safer’ to travel there. People are now having to start again from scratch, rebuilding houses and trying to survive and make a living again from the soil. The resumption of farming, even on a small scale, is particularly important not just to avoid famine, but also as a source of employment for young people, to ensure that they are not tempted to take up arms again, as many did in support of the insurgents (the ‘ninja’ rebels, as they were called) during the war periods.

KinkalaThe local Caritas team, under the leadership of Bishop Portella-Mbuyu, is a key organisation in coordinating development aid and helping people to rebuild their lives. They are involved in a variety of projects, including supplying communities with basic food to survive the initial post-war period and organising ‘seed fairs’ for farmers in various parts of the region to enable them to get their farming activities going again. With the money collected through sales of the Byrne family's CDs, they have been able to implement two specific projects:

  1. a pig farm, as part of a training centre for young farmers; this centre opened in October 2005;
  2. a water supply project in the outskirts of Kinkala, to promote and facilitate market gardening, as there is a cruel shortage of vegetables in this area.

If you would like to make a donation, please send your contribution:

Malaikaby cheque to:
The Byrnes, 12 Montée du Château, 5816 Hesperange, Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg

or by bank transfer to one of the following accounts:

In the UK:
Account No. (IBAN): GB71MIDL40180301234722
Bank Code (BIC): MIDLGB2126N
Account holder: Anne-Marie Kerr - Crossing Borders

In Luxembourg:

Account No. (IBAN): LU92 0019 1855 4063 5000
Account holder: Byrne Patrick - Crossing Borders

In France:

Account No. (IBAN): FR28 2004 1010 1007 1563 3P03 140
(La Poste)
Account holder: Patrick Byrne