2 million children in Congo are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition and emergency levels of morbidity and mortality in 2017. You can help change that.
As we peer into a new year with all the unknown and expectation it holds, we also take a moment to reflect on this last year, and invite you to join us for a short journey to Congo. Because of your partnership and investment in Action Kivu, women like Faida and Ernata are able to start small businesses, earning income to feed their children and send them to school. More families are receiving goats as our animal husbandry program grows, and more girls and women denied an education are learning to read and write and acquire skills to launch new businesses in sewing and farming and bread-making.
When you take action by investing in hope, you are the change we need in this world, and we are grateful. Please take a moment to connect with the kids and women in our Congo community, and share with your friends, family, and colleagues to let them know why you are investing in the lives of the people of Congo.
Happy new year from our family to you and yours!
The weather gifted the kids of Congo with a dry day in the midst of rainy season this Christmas Eve, and our Action Kivu family of donors gifted the kids with shoes, clothes, and a holiday meal of rice, beans, and a banana. The kids send their wishes for our beloved community to have a Merry Christmas, a happy New Year, and wish for the Congolese people a new year of stability and new hope.
Borauzima, pictured above, is the only of her family of 7 kids who is able to attend school. In the 4th grade of primary school, she is always at the top of her class, and dreams of teaching French as a university professor. When she learned what her tee-shirt says, she smiled, saying: That is what I want! To shine like a star.
In Alice Walker’s book We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For, Walker writes: “It was the poet June Jordan who wrote ‘We are the ones we have been waiting for.’ Sweet Honey in the Rock turned those words into a song. Hearing this song, I have witnessed thousands of people rise to their feet in joyful recognition and affirmation. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for because we are able to see what is happening with a much greater awareness than our parents or grandparents, our ancestors, could see. This does not mean we believe, having seen the greater truth of how all oppression is connected, how pervasive and unrelenting, that we can ‘fix’ things. But some of us are not content to have a gap in opportunity and income that drives a wedge between rich and poor, causing the rich to become ever more callous and complacent and the poor to become ever more wretched and humiliated. Not willing to ignore starving and brutalized children. Not willing to let women be stoned or mutilated without protest. Not willing to stand quietly by as farmers are destroyed by people who have never farmed, and plants are engineered to self-destruct. Not willing to disappear into our flower gardens, Mercedes Benzes or sylvan lawns. We have wanted all our lives to know that Earth, who has somehow obtained human beings as her custodians, was also capable of creating humans who could minister to her needs, and the needs of her creation. We are the ones.”
In this season of giving, if you feel moved to connect with the women, kids, and communities Action Kivu partners with in Congo, please take a moment to read more stories on our blog to learn how your donation is an investment in community building programs that are bringing new hope to women long denied equal rights and access to an education through our Literacy Courses and Vocational Training Programs, as well as life-transforming work in HIV / AIDS prevention, sustainable farming training, animal husbandry, and education assistance for kids like Borauzima.
We are grateful for all our partners who donate annually or on a monthly basis – thank you! We feel surrounded by the power of people reaching out to care for each other in this holiday season and into the new year.
I’ve just arrived from Mumosho, our founder Amani reports. I am so happy to have spent time with this new group working on the shared farm near the Women’s Center today. They are continuing to learn new agricultural techniques, skills they use to improve the harvest through organic fertilizer. They had sprouted the cabbage seeds down in the marsh farm to plant today in the farm next door to the Women’s Center. Today this group is so happy, and so am I, to plant these cabbages.
Planting the cabbage and seeds today is parallel to planting peace: they need to be tended to every day, as people need to work for peace every day, says Amani.
Through Action Kivu’s shared farm program, Organic Farming for All [OFFA], women and girls who have been denied an education are learning sustainable farming, growing food to feed their families and to sell at the market. Those who have been given a goat through our Animal Husbandry program, My Goat is Your Goat are able to transform their goat’s feces into fertilizer.
Sikitu and Neema pause to explain how they use organic fertilizer. The women have been tending a compost pile made of grass, domestic waste, and soil for one year, raking it over every four to six months, depending on how fast it composts. 35 years old, Sikitu is the proud mother of eight, but two of her children died of malaria when they were 13 and 3. Sikitu never got the chance to go to school, and is now part of both our Literacy and OFFA program. Mama Sikitu works beside Neema, who at 18 years old is one of 9 children who did not get the opportunity for an education. Neema is also a student in the Literacy Program, the entry point for all Action Kivu’s vocational training courses.
Nsimire and her sister Lelo load organic fertilizer from the compost pile that is ready to use. Neither had the chance to go to school for lack of support, and are so happy and committed to learn more agricultural techniques to acquire new skills.
The girls and women receive some specific training from Mukengere Bienvenu, a student graduating from the Evangelical University of Africa (UEA) in Bukavu in the field of Agronomy. Fresh from the classroom, he brings new energy to the farm, teaching the latest skills.
Planting seeds and small plants in the soil symbolizes the hope that we plant, knowing we will harvest it in the future.
~ Amani Matabaro, Founder
Read more about how we are planting seeds of hope and peace in Congo on our blog, and consider supporting this life-transforming work today! A monthly donation is an investment in the future of Congo, and ensures the sustainability of projects like our Organic Farm for All and Literacy Program.