Story — All set to start building at St Matthieu

July 21, 2015Appeal, Arup, Arup Engineer, Bahati Mutunzi, Bukavu, Caroline Ray, St Matthieu Hospital, Story

Since last year many people have been working hard to help us raise funds for a proposed operating theatre at St Matthieu Hospital Centre in Bukavu.

Work hasn’t yet started because we wanted to make sure that the project would be properly designed, ensuring that the building will be very durable and work well in relation to future building on the site. We were very fortunate that our good friend and Semiliki supporter Caroline Ray took it up as a Corporate Social Responsibility project with her firm, engineering consultants, Arup, as an Arup Cause project. This means that they are providing their engineering, design and project management advice to the local team in Bukavu, who will build the operating block.

Caroline is just back from Bukavu having conducted a survey of the St Matthieu site. She shares a few words about her experience here:

It was a privilege to visit Bukavu and the Health Centre at St Matthieu. I was given a very warm welcome by the team, particularly Bahati and Dr Denise. Many thanks to them and to the Bishop for hosting me and making my visit enjoyable as well as productive for the project. Land has been cleared and levelled for the operating theatre building and in the 4 days I was there we managed to discuss the draft plans for the new building both with the medical staff and with two local engineers. The site has some constraints as, similar to the entire town of Bukavu, it lies on a steep slope. We discussed options for how to deal with the levels and came up with solutions to many of the technical challenges. All of this was achieved with a mixture of French, Kiswahili, sketches and smiles…not to mention pacing the ground with a tape measure, much to the amusement of waiting patients and relatives at the busy maternity ward.

I’m amazed at the dedication of all the staff who tirelessly serve the needs of the local population whilst working in very difficult, cramped conditions. I can see why this project is so badly needed and am happy that in a few weeks, with a few more tweaks to the design, we should be in a position to start construction on site.

Part of the cleared site. Watch this space...

Part of the cleared site. Watch this space…

You can see the final plan for the operating block, currently being drawn up by the engineer in Bukavu, here: Bukavu operating theatre building plan 15-07-14.

Another post will follow soon on the blog when the work has begun!

Share this

Related Stories

Our Christmas Appeal

Op kit arrives safely!

You did it!

Semiliki Christmas Appeal 2018

Who needs building regs…..?

Semiliki — helping the most vulnerable every day

Our Autumn Appeal

Cutting the ribbon at St Matthieu!

Equipping St Matthieu’s operating theatre

First incision……

Tantalising glimpses of the operating theatre…..

Surgical kit flown out to St Matthieu

Will it be ready for the opening ceremony….?

Half way there….!

Christmas gifts with a difference!

DRC Travels Part 3

They did it!

St Matthieu Update

Great River Race


St Matthieu Hospital

Preventing Covid-19

Island Health Services

Speeding up operations!


The joy of reading

What’s going on in Congo?

DRC Travels Part 2

Good news from Cirunga!

Maternity Construction


Cirunga Health Centre


Centre for Women and Children


Drop out of the sky for Semiliki…

Restoring livelihoods after Goma eruption

Saving a life….

Salt, soap, oil and beans

The plight of the displaced

Equipping hospitals

Building hospitals

Goma eruption

Semiliki valley – a biodiversity haven

Tough times continue

You may have missed the boat….

Journey with us up the Semiliki River!

Our dear friend Désiré

Training tomorrow’s nurses

What virus….?

Semiliki Turns 10!

Under the microscope

Women delivering safely

Improving living conditions at the Compassion Orphanage

Wavy lines

Ebola continues to take its toll

Lorry load of operating kit arrives safely in Congo

Help us build a new house for orphans

Putting the roof back on…….

Christmas Operating Kit Appeal

Many mouths to feed…..

Medical supervision: what to do about the cows…..?

Towards peace and reconciliation in Rutshuru

Welcoming Ande to Oxford

The daily chores

Self-support for sustainability

Getting best value for money in Boga

Music and medicine


Restoring dignity


Life at Olongba Health Centre

Keyboards for efficient health systems

Keeping teeth in order…

Building new inpatient block in Beni

A tutorial in brick making….

Recovering from conflict

Transforming Bukiringi

DRC Travels Part 1

The sky’s the limit!

Semiliki Conservation

Orphanage Evacuates!

Moving On(line)

Film: Seeds of Hope

Crossing the Semiliki river!

Land for Orphans

New Mattresses

Visit in Goma

New Medical Books!

How to build a floor


New Blog Launched!


Subscribe to receive our semi-regular email newsletter.