Orlando Magic’s Bismack Biyombo hosts First Coast fundraiser to support project in the Congo


Orlando Magic center Bismack Biyombo visited Jacksonville on April 13, when his foundation partnered with Modular Life Solutions and MATTER to host a fundraising event in support of a medical project for the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Biyombo, a Congolese native, is leading a project aimed at expanding access to medical care in the Congo through medical pods made from reconstructed shipping containers. The Bismack Biyombo Foundation has joined with Modular Life Solutions and MATTER to execute Biyombo’s mission, called The Bismack Project. Modular Life Solutions offers single unit, multi-function environments providing clean water, power and other basic needs to third-world countries. MATTER is a Minnesota-based international nonprofit organization that provides sustainable, healthy food and long-term healthcare solutions.

"I really appreciate this," said Biyombo during the event, which was held at a Modular Life Solutions warehouse in Jacksonville. "When I first started going back home, it was my rookie year; I started by helping 25 kids. When I came back after helping these kids, I realized I had to do more for them. Two years later I went from 25 to 1,000 kids."

Biyombo asserted that the project will make a significant impact and change the lives of struggling locals.

"In life, there's a bigger picture than just ourselves," he said. "I think this is going to take us really far. When this (medical pod) is delivered, hopefully we'll have enough cameras there because people in the community will cry."

Doug Recker, the founder and CEO of Modular Life Solutions, said he formed his organization after selling an old business that utilized containers and solar panels to supply servers with power.

"I owned and operated data centers," said Recker. "The main thing is power with data centers, so I developed a box that preserved and stored power in case JEA went out. Then it would actually take over and supply power to the servers so it would never go down."

After selling his business, Recker came up with the idea of using the leftover containers to provide essentials for those in need. Today, Modular Life Solutions produces different types of pods that address a specific necessity. Biyombo's Congo project will utilize medical pods created with help from MATTER to offer healthcare for Africans.

"You'll see an immediate impact," said Recker. "This pod that's going to Congo is the best in the country. The medical equipment was donated from hospitals through MATTER. I build the components and they put the actual equipment inside."

The pods are insulated like refrigerators to protect them from severe weather changes, Recker noted. They're also waterproof and mold-resistant.

Visit http://www.bismackbiyombo.org/ to learn more about the Bismack Biyombo Foundation. Check out www.modularlifesolutions.com or www.matter.ngo for more information on Modular Life Solutions and MATTER, respectively.