Community of Free Pentecostal Churches in Africa (CELPA), South Kivu

CELPA is a registered NGO with the provincial and national governments.


Bukavu, South Kivu province
CELPA has activities in five provinces of the DRC. In South Kivu, its activities are in Bagira-Kasha, Fizi, Ibanda, Hauts-Plateaux, Itombwe, Kabare, Kalole, Kaniola, Kalonge, Kamituga, Kaziba, Kitutu, Mubumbano, Mulungu, Minembwe, Miti-Murhesa, Mwenga, Mwana, Nundu, Nyangezi, Shabunda, Uvira, and Walungu.

Sectors of Intervention

Health; education; community development; at-risk youths


CELPA (Communauté des églises libres de Pentecôte en Afrique) was initiated in1922 to network Pentecostal churches in DRC. CELPA was born out of the desire to createcohesion between all of the Pentecostal churches and streamline the activities of the communityactionarm of the church. The church saw CELPA’s work in the community as an extension of theirevangelization. It has since grown to be one of the largest local organizations in the country, with wellestablishedmanagement systems. Foreign missionaries mainly managed CELPA’s administration untilthe war years, when the missionaries left and Congolese staff took over their positions.

CELPA’s main objective is to improve the population’s quality of life spiritually, educationally,and physically through integrated and holistic programs. The organization is headquarteredin Bukavu but has offices in all the major towns in DRC, where the administrative staffs work.The programmatic staffs are constantly out in the field and in regular communication with the communitiesin which they are based. CELPA works closely with the Congolese government in the healthand education sectors, and its staff receives state subsidies and/or tax breaks for their work. CELPA iswell known for its work in psychosocial care, run through a separate program called CAMPS (Psychosocialand Medical Treatment for Victims of Violence). CELPA manages around 450 primary andsecondary schools and more than 100 health facilities. In the past few years, CELPA has also started programmatic outreach to other countries in Africa (Kenya, Rwanda, Niger, Ethiopia, and Madagascar).CELPA has worked with many international funders, including WHO, UNICEF, UNHCR,and the World Food Program (WFP).


Improve the socioeconomic living conditions of the vulnerable and poor populations in the areas where CELPA is active


  • Improve the population’s spiritual, health-related, and educational quality of life through integrated programming
  • Support local initiatives to construct or rehabilitate education infrastructure
  • Improve the quality of education and school management through a teacher training program
  • Promote peace, democracy, justice, reconciliation, and human rights
  • Reintegrate former child combatants through vocational training and psychosocial support
  • Promote socioeconomic development through training in agriculture and small business
  • Promote the socioeconomic status and active participation of women by providing informal training courses and literacy courses
  • Rehabilitate and equip health centers and provide training to medical personnel

Populations Served

The entire population of DRC


  • Education component: This program aims to provide quality educational services for both primary and secondary school students through the rehabilitation, construction, and equipping of infrastructure. It also seeks to improve the quality of education and teaching.
  • Health component: This program aims to provide quality medical services to the population through the rehabilitation and equipping of rural health zones, and through the training of medical personnel. The program’s large HIV/AIDS component aims to strengthen collaboration among local health authorities to reduce the infection rate and increase education about STDs.
  • Peace component: This program aims to promote peace, democracy, and reconciliation for beneficiaries; its work is interwoven throughout CELPA’s other programmatic components.
  • Reintegration component: This program addresses the reintegration and reinsertion of former child soldiers into the community through vocational and psychosocial treatment. It also manages CAMPS, which provides psychosocial and medical assistance to survivors of violence in centers around the country.
  • Community development component: This program promotes socioeconomic development through trainings on agriculture and rural development. These trainings primarily target women to strengthen their status in the community and improve literacy rates.


The supreme governing body of CELPA is the general assembly, which meetsannually and selects the board of directors. The general assembly has close ties to church hierarchy;however, the general assembly has autonomy over the organization’s operations. The board ofdirectors meets every six months to oversee CELPA’s programs and finances. CELPA has 167employees nationally.

CELPA South Kivu has four bank accounts at the Commercial Bank in Bukavu. Their programmaticand community services have a certain level of autonomy and can manage their own accountsthrough local banks or cooperatives. For financial, administrative, and personnel management,CELPA has:

  • A procedures manual with policies for financial management, hiring and personnel issues, and purchasing policies and procedures: YES
  • A computerized accounting system: YES
  • A clearly defined accounting process: YES
  • Clear procedures for management of payroll, petty cash, procurement, and disbursements: YES
  • Staff with the technical expertise to undertake projects: YES


  • Educated and relevant staff (doctors, teachers, psychosocial health workers)
  • Huge geographical reach (five provinces)
  • Relevant administrative management for all sectors of their work
  • Strong links to the community through their decentralized network of church structures
  • Due to church links, has the ability to intervene even during times when other organizations leave due to insecurity


  • Better links between the church and the development programs
  • Better security in the country
  • More consistent sources of funding and less dependence on external financial sources; sometimes has trouble meeting its payroll
  • Better access to certain health zones in insecure or enclaved areas of South Kivu
  • Better access to health-care services by the population

Funders and Budget

For 2010, CELPA’s budget was approximately $1,350,000. Funders include the World Food Program, UNICEF, Christoffel Blinden Mission, PYM Norway, UNFPA, UNHCR, and WHO.


  • Has a network of 650 decentralized structures that link their activities to the communities within which they work
  • Runs a network of health structures that treat more than 1,000,000 patients every year
  • Supports a network of educational structures that enrolls more than 800,000 students per year

Organizational Vision

Create a society that is healthy spiritually, mentally, and physically, and is aware of its rights and responsibilities

Project Proposals

  • Water for a maternity clinic in Buruza: CELPA seeks funds to rehabilitate the water system for the maternity clinic in Buruza. In October 2010, a mudslide destroyed the previous system, and the clinic has been without running water since then. Cost: $80,000
  • Rehabilitating water pipes at the hospital in Kaziba: CELPA seeks funds to replace the old, rusty pipes at this hospital. This project will also construct a new water tank. This hospital serves many local patients and an orphanage. Cost: $80,000


The Reverend Zacharie Lwamira, legal representative, +243.997.740.216, +243.815.315.310,,

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