D.J. Mbenga has long felt a sense of obligation to help his home country. During a recent conversation, the former Laker began talking about his Mbenga Foundation. It helps educate children in the Democratic Republic of Congo, builds clean water wells and advocates for sexual assault victims. He shared the concerns, from orphanages he tries to help, about how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the region.
He has always felt passionate about these causes, but a recent personal tragedy has made his need to help more acute.
Last month, his sister, Yvonne Mbenga, contracted COVID-19. A diabetic in her 50s, she was having trouble breathing. By the time doctors examined her, the virus had done enough damage that they weren’t able to save her.
He couldn’t fly to Belgium for her funeral and had