About us

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Our Founders

In 2005 HandUp Congo was founded by two sisters who grew up in Congo, Anne and Lucy Hobgood, and their friend, Betsy Brill.

Photo by Ken Kobré,

Photo by Ken Kobré,

The trio soon added friends around the world to support capacity-building projects identified by Congolese project partners based in areas where the Hobgood family has had connections for more than 100 years.


HandUp Congo

HandUp Congo Incorporated (ABN 12 611 460 987) is a small, non-government organisation based in Australia and registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. It was created to make a difference to the health and well-being of their Congolese sisters in the Democratic Republic of Congo – a country that ranks at the bottom of the United Nations Human Development Index. 


“We work on projects identified by Congolese communities that our family has connections with. We know and trust one another. The goodwill is tremendous."

~  Lucy Hobgood-brown


Where we work

We work in Equateur Province and Kinshasa, Congo’s capitol. 



Lotumbe is in Equateur Province and is a 7-day paddle from Mbandaka, the province's capitol.

To reach Lotumbe (“low-toom-bee”), where Anne and Lucy's father was born, you have to take a short flight from Kinshasa to Mbandaka, the province’s capitol, and then board a dugout canoe for Lotumbe. If you’re paddling, like most of the locals do, you would have to plan for a seven-day trip. If you’re lucky enough to afford an outboard motor, it’s a snap… about 16 hours with a stop or two along the way.  Fast Facts about Congo


How we work

Committed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, HandUp Congo seeks to promote sustainable community-driven business, educational, social and health initiatives. 

To leverage our efforts, we collaborate with outstanding organisations worldwide that are seeking to raise awareness about issues faced by the Congolese people at home and abroad.

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Seed money creates opportunities for women

To improve the lives of children, families and communities.

Through donations of both financial and material goods, and with the help of skilled volunteer teams,  HandUp Congo works with grassroots communities on a range of capacity building projects.

These include a women’s microfinance loan scheme that funds income generating projects for the community, an emergency medicine training program, a duck raising project that enables Pygmy children to pay for their school uniforms and tuition and a sustainable beekeeping initiative.

small by choice

Today the nonprofit remains small by choice, with the focus on food security, education and emergency medicine. We keep in touch with our Congolese project partners by making regular visits with skilled volunteers