While growing up in the DRC, Bismack BIyombo always dreamt of playing basketball professionally in the United States. Ever since he was drafted into the NBA a decade earlier, his dream has become a reality. However, his off-court activities are the subject of appreciation and praise.
Biyombo has his father Francois Biyombo and mother Francoise Ngoy for nurturing a spirit of generosity and purpose in him. They had sacrificed a lot to ensure that their eldest child could play basketball, and finally, when he was drafted into the NBA, his parents encouraged him to give back to society.
And in reality, he has. Bismack has given his time along with millions of dollars to support health care and education in the Democratic Republic of Congo, through his self-named foundation that he opened back in February of 2017 when he played for the Orlando Magic. His foundation has supported many mobile clinics in the DRC as well as made upgrades to existing public health systems and facilities.
The foundation also provided health care equipment like face masks and hazmat suits to assist in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic in the Congo. These donations cost him many thousands of dollars but he is not complaining.
“We’re locked on to bigger goals”, says Biyombo. These goals include building a hospital in Lubumbashi in the honor of his father, who passed away in August of last year because of complications related to COVID-19. Biyombo also announced earlier this year that his entire salary for the 2021-2022 season would go towards this mission. This amount is a whopping 1.3 million dollars.
Dr. Joseph Bulanda who is the minister of health for the Haut Katanga province in which Lubumbashi is located said that the government appreciated Biyombo’s stellar efforts regarding a new hospital. Construction of the hospital is yet to begin.
Of Biyombo, Bulanda said that he is a person possessing immense goodwill. He also said that the public health system which is one of the poorest in the world would welcome an “assist” from Biyombo. His generosity has not gone unnoticed: the health care giver Kaiser Permanente honoured Biyombo this year with an award for community care as well as a 10,000 dollar check for the foundation.
Biyombo says that this is a great opportunity to make an impact and that he does not want to lose it.