Mama Makeka House of Hope

Mama Makeka House of Hope (MMH Hope) is a Nonprofit Organization established in memory of Mama Makeka Rebecca, who died in the Democratic Republic of the Congo due to inadequate health care services. The goals of Mama Makeka House of Hope are to promote and support initiatives related to health, education, and community empowerment for underserved communities, primarily in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central San Joaquin Valley of California.

See Who we are for further details.


Five Pillars to Kajiji Health Zone Development

The following postcards are the use of anyone who wants to print them out in order to distribute to others to inform them of the work of MMH Hope. 

Support us...

by buying Pakisa Tshimika's autobiography!

"Overcoming nearly insurmountable disabilities, as well as personal tragedies that would derail the lives of many people, Pakisa Tshimika has experienced a life that has both inspired and been inspired by countless others along the way. Through his autobiography, readers will discover an unfailing grace and hope."

All proceeds go towards MMH Hope's ministries.

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Personal Reflection
Pakisa Tshimika, Executive Director

I returned to my home country of Congo (Zaire then) in 1980 after several years of studies in California, where I was granted a bachelor’s degree in the natural sciences (Fresno Pacific University) and a Masters in Public Health (Loma Linda University). I discovered upon my arrival back home that I was only one of fewer than a half dozen Congolese in the whole country with a graduate degree in public health.  The mood among us, though, was that of a Renaissance. Many of the young Congolese who were studying in the cities and internationally were willing to return not only to urban Congo, but also rural Congo, to use the skills they had acquired.

A few years earlier, the Congolese government had signed the UN Chart of Health for all by 2000. Primary health care and the health zone system were chosen respectively as the main strategy and structure for reaching the goal of health for all by the year 2000. I had the privilege of managing one of the first 13 zones to be established in the country. Today the Congolese health zone system is recognized as one of the best designed and decentralized systems in Africa, thanks to the pioneering leadership of the national Ministry of Health and the Faith-Based network of hospitals. I learned a big lesson about being creative in spite of what seemed like an impossible situation, finding order within chaos.

In 1986 I returned to California to pursue doctoral studies at Loma Linda University, where I completed my Dr.PH in public health.  I then found my way back to Congo again in 1991. This time my involvement ranged from leadership training for health professionals to representing several international Non Governmental Organizations at the national level. I learned the skills of maneuvering the local, the national and the international. The different trips to Europe and North America for administrative meetings and conferences assisted me in connecting the missing link – the funding agencies, financial supporters, and lobbyists.

Since moving back to the U.S. in 1999, I have worked to link North American and Congo resources through a new non-profit organization called Mama Makeka House of Hope, which I serve as the founding director.   Actually, Mama Makeka House of Hope is, in a sense, another return home.

Our goals at Mama Makeka House of Hope (named after my mother) are to support efforts in education, health, and peacebuilding in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  High in priority is to return specifically to a Place Called Maluku near Kinshasa to re-envision Mama Makeka’s gifts of hospitality, compassion, and nurture through a center resourcing educators, health professionals and peacebuilders in Congo and a Place Called Kajiji to envision the Kajiji of Our Dream. This document is all about Kajiji!

I travel to Congo several times a year. These trips have taken me to both Western and Eastern Congo.  In the East I have held hands with what seemed like hundreds of women who have been raped and tortured by different armed groups in the region. They took me to rural hospitals where doctors and nurses are struggling to provide health services in spite of limited resources. In addition, traveling back to Congo put me in direct contact with young soldiers returning from war without knowing what the future held for them.

For me Congo will always be personal in the same way that an ancestral village in Poland is personal to some of my German-Polish friends. The same way a small town in Mexico is personal to my Latino neighbor. The same way that the memory of a Hmong village in the hills of Laos is personal to our Southeast Asian friends. In our global neighborhoods, we can no longer afford to say, you take care of yours and I’ll take care of mine.

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