1960-Now (Independence era)

See the link below for a thought-provoking and informative overview of what's been happening in DRC since independence.


our supporters and their voices


Note:  we will not post your name or comments  unless you give us permission!  Comments can also be posted anonymously at your request.

What this area is about:   A cause, like any organized effort, is only as worthy as the people staffing it and the people funding it.  We have a clear vision, which is key to seeing good results, but we also realize that the true measure of the C.A.M.P. Fund's power to make an impact comes not from the vision, but from the people who support it.  Here we acknowledge and give voice to you, our supporters--the engine of this effort.  Scroll down to see donor comments.

How we got these comments & why they are important to us: following a donation, our family sends a card (separate from the foundation's official non-profit letter) expressing our thanks and inviting you to share your reasons for giving.   Hearing back from you is important to us, because:

  • We would like to know you better.  This is a very personal cause for us, and we are interested in who you are, and how you are connected to the story of doing good in DR Congo, personally or otherwise.
  • We want to thank and recognize you publicly, if you'll allow us.
  • We would like to put things on this site that matter most to you.  If you respond, we can tailor the site better to particular interests and concerns.  Since we are want to give you a rich picture of how this work fits into and affects people's daily lives, rather than a tightly-focused view of a particular problem, we are happy to information-gather and bring new things to delight, entertain and intrigue you.
  • We believe it is important for visitors and donors to hear voices besides our own.  We can talk a blue streak about why the C.A.M.P. Fund is important to us and to Congolese beneficiaries, but when the question "Why give?" gets asked, what a lot of people want to know is "why should I give to this cause particularly and not another?"  The truth is that there are a lot of good nonprofits out there, and many reasons to give, both locally and abroad.  Each person comes with his or her unique reason for giving, but if you look at the reasons given below, you may identify with some of them!

For those of you who prefer to remain private about your information, please know we are equally grateful whether you respond or choose not to, and we will always protect your privacy.  If you respond to us, but would like this information kept private (only visible by C.A.M.P. Fund staff), we are happy to accommodate.


Robert Roush says:  "I was touched by the stories, ideas and hope that I heard at the FCMC luncheon auction."

Anonymous says: "To help continue the great work Jim did in all his too short life."

Reed & Leta Feight say: "We want to do for Jim what he did for us."

Anonymous says: "I learned of you through my friend, whose family is involved with your efforts.  I was moved to help for many reasons, but mostly because of the inspirational sacrifices you are making for the children of Congo."

Jen Johnston says: "I sort of met Jim Camp twice, once as a ten-year-old and again as an adult.  Both times he was quite a presence.  Although (as a child) I was intimidated at first, after getting to know Jim his presence was warm and reassuring.  Later, he seemed delighted at the presence of a new face in the workplace, especially a familiar one.  I am very fortunate to have known Jim; however, in losing him suddenly, I also feel I only knew the tip of the iceburg.  I am proud to be a part of this cause because I get to see a whole new part of Jim's life and I also get to help people in a part of the world that is unfamiliar to me, which makes me feel part of something BIG.  Keep up the good work!

Teddi Prettiman says: "Initially I was motivated to contribute because of my friendship with Becky (Jim's daughter) & her contagious enthusiasm for the mission he started--but as I read and learned more, now I am motivated by the very tangible difference being made both for, and by, the Congolese to improve their lives and the entire region."

Sherri Hickernell says: "It is important to me to be a part of this cause because I want to do anything I can to support Becky and Jeff. They are two of my favorite people. I love their huge hearts and their commitment to the Congo and its wonderful people."

The Harveys say: "We love you and so appreciate the friendship we shared with Jim since we were freshmen at PCB (Philadelphia College of Bible).  We support his love for the people in the Congo."

Julie Knepper says: "Jim had a way of meeting everyone on a level where they could communicate with each other.  He believed in us at a time when most people only judged us.  It meant a lot."

special contributors

Browse below for shout outs to artists, businesses, and sundry advocates giving their professional expertise, products, skilled labor, time, and effort to provide hands-on help with events and fundraising.  You will find some very talented, generous folk and civic-minded businesses contributing to our cause.


Pat Perry  will melt your brain with his talent.  Click his name to visit his website and see more evidence of the staggering verve and detail in his drawing.  He has generously donated our "heart for Congo" image (see left) despite a backlog of requests for work that would pay him far more than gratitude.  The middle "cutout" shape is that of DR Congo  Thanks, Pat, for your eagerness, and for showing a heart for this cause!

James Simon is an artist beloved in Pittsburgh, where his work is visible in many public spaces; he is responsible for a lot of character around this city, especially with his statues and mosaics. It's worth noting, too, that his generosity of spirit and open home have fostered not only visual arts, but literary arts, as he supported an innovative  project called The Gist Street Readings for the last decade.  For our event he donated one of his cement "garden lady" sculptures, pictured here.  I urge you to look at more of his work by clicking on his name and visiting his website.

Tim Oliveira is a Pittsburgh artist (check out his image of the Point) whose works include silkscreen prints and acrylic paintings.    We are extremely grateful for his contributions to our cause, and the pizzaz of his pieces really brightened up our space and got people bidding.  Concentrating on bright bold colors and clean black lines, Tim's artwork can be found throughout the city.  Click on his name to visit his website, where you will find new prints for sale and can also sign up for his mailing list.  Tim knows that Pittsburgh put pop-art on the map; when you support him, you support a local tradition as well as a deserving artist.

John Fleenor is an artist with a pair of clever hands and a wide-eyed bunny for a muse.   Pittsburgh stole him from Oregon,  where he  now  lives, exhibits, and teaches around the city.  Through the years, he's honed his skills in pottery, painting, and sculpture; he very generously donated several pieces of pottery and painting to our event, including the famous bunny, who lorded over us with his all-seeing gaze.  Click on his name to see more of John's fine work, his good humor, and his productive footprint in our community.

m4w is T. Foley’s playful investigation of the types of images attached to posts within the men seeking women section of craigslist.  The exhibit is currently in the SPACE Gallery, downtown.  Utilizing content from an initial survey of over 5,000 uploaded pics, the artist has designed a small clothing line for women celebrating the range of images posted by men. In m4w, Foley harvests and then sows the visual content from these ads, promoting and subsidizing her work as an artist.

Michael Benedetti has an eye for machinery that he credits to growing up in Pittburgh and working in factories. He sculpts, prints and draws his way to creating pieces of art, inspired by the idea that everything is made up of moving parts.  Michael submitted a piece to our event that explored the nature of mechanical motion.  Click on his name to enter his workspace and see not only his work but a  meditation on the conceptual things feeding it.

The WACONGO Dance Company gave an incredible performance at our event.  They masterfully drummed, sang, and danced, and convinced everyone in the room to join them.  I couldn't have asked for better evidence of the good humor, talent and warmth that we've witnessed in our Congolese friends.  This musical group is  proof positive that Congo will enrich you with its people and its culture.


Rick Schweikert from Save PFEX (Save the Paramount Film Exchange) donated the space for our event.   What a fantastic historical building to host our fundraiser, and what a gracious host!  Rick is restoring this building to its former glory, having narrowly saved it from being replaced by a parking lot.  Click on the link to learn more about this building, its engaging story, and Rick's  admirable efforts to save it for the good of the Uptown neighborhood, and the good of Pittsburgh.

Scott Smith at East End Brewing Company donated a quarter keg  of microbrew for our event, so that we could offer not only something good, but something local to drink.  They have a wide array of award-winning brews, which you can check out by clicking their name above and visiting their site.  If you don't have time to drop by their brewery to see what you can carry away, check out the Tap Spots page, to see if one of your favorite haunts carries any of their beers.  Cheers, and bottom's up, Pittsburghers!

Kim Wynnycky from Whole Foods donated a $50 gift card to our event.  This allowed us to offer some tasty treats with wholesome,  organic ingredients.  Heather, a dear friend of ours who works at Whole Foods, volunteered her time and expertise to make Maandazi, or "African donuts" from  these ingredients; if you're curious about how she made them, click here for the recipe!

Starbucks, Baltimore MDThanks to Manager Sarah Allender, and an extra special thanks to Chris Schatz for his eagerness to help, his advocacy, and supreme packaging skills. Thanks to them, we were able to offer some "make your own coffee tumblers" with African fabric  inserts, giving attendees the chance to take away a little color and Congolese style from our event.


Photos coming in January...

23 Dec

In October, I sorted through nearly 6,000 photographic slides and selected 500 to send away for scanning and digitizing.  Images include family photos from Congo stretching back to the 1920s, hunting, village life, mountain vistas, volcanic eruptions, medical and missions work, beloved friends, daily activities, and ... well, hundreds of interesting things to see--the result of family living and working in DR Congo since 1917.   The above photo was taken by Jim (my dad) back in the 1980s in Rwanguba--it's a picture of our "backyard".  The lake you see is the result of water collecting in part of a dormant, ancient volcano, and used locally for fishing.  Note our banana tree (right corner), papaya tree (center), and flame tree (left corner, with red buds).  On the left hand side you can also see the tin roof of the local primary school.

Buckle up, because a lot more images are on their way.  They are scheduled to arrive the first week of January, and we will begin posting them with captions as soon as we get our mitts on them.  It will likely take several weeks to make all the photos available, so keep checking back for new additions!