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Robin Wright Helps Kick Cholera in the Congo

After months of trying to raise the money for a latrine for the Peace Market in Mumosho, writing “poop” in more emails than I ever imagined necessary, I got a call from JD Stier at The Enough Project, informing me that a lovely and amazing woman would fund the full amount needed to build the latrine.  Robin Wright donated the funds to save lives now, knowing it will be the first step toward building the biogas latrine to provide sustainable energy to the women at the market.  Wright met Amani when she visited eastern Congo with The Enough Project this year.  “Mama Robin” as Amani had written about her after her visit, is making a huge impact on the lives and well-being for so many in eastern Congo, and we can’t thank her enough.

(Robin Wright, photo courtesy of The Enough Project)

It was like I’d drunk three cups of coffee, I was so excited. I tried to dial Amani immediately to share the news, but didn’t get through (thankfully, since eastern Congo is nine hours ahead of us, and I would have awoke his entire family).  His e-mailed response was filled with great gratitude and relief. He has been so worried about the risk of a cholera outbreak from open defecation, a horrifying threat to the lives of children, where 1 in 4 children who die before their fifth birthday in Eastern Congo die of something entirely preventable – cholera and acute diarrhea. With the rainy season upon them, the women started using the market as a safe, dry place to buy and sell their goods, despite the lack of latrines.

We’re wiring the money, Amani will hire the construction crew, and the latrine will be in working order in just two weeks.  The biogas component that will green the latrines and provide a renewable energy source for the women at the market is in the works. Amani is scheduling a site visit with an expert from Rwanda who will oversee that project, and when we get the details and budget from the visit, I will write grants to foundations for the full funding for the construction and upkeep of the biogas latrine.

We are thrilled with all the good things that are happening because of your support and thankful to generous donors like Robin, who see and meet the critical needs in the Congo.  We’re excited to visit the DRC in December to see the market and the new latrine.  We’ll take plenty of photos and report back here soon!

Read more about the Peace Market here, and if you can stomach it, watch an oddly entertaining and very informative short documentary about the world’s toilet crisis here.

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