The Christmas Eve celebration started with a song led by Arsene Mudasa, who at 9 dreams of becoming a priest to implore peace in the Congo. Arsene is from a family of four and is the only one able to be in school because he is in the ABFEK — Action Kivu — Jewish World Watch Education Sponsorship program. Arsene told Amani, ”I had no hope of what to wear tomorrow ! Christmas is a big day, now I will go to church and after that I will come back home and spend time with my brothers.”
On Christmas Eve, 2013, thanks to your support, ABFEK, our partner in eastern Congo, gathered together all the kids we support to celebrate Christmas and the new year.
With the wonderful support and grant from Jewish World Watch, these kids are now attending school regularly, without fear of being kicked out for lack of school fees. And with the money donated to this Christmas event from Action Kivu partners, ABFEK bought shoes, clothes, and snacks for the kids who have been orphaned or lost a parent. Each and every single child received a pair of shoes, a blouse and skirt for girls and a shirt or T-shirt and a pair of shorts for the boys, as well as a sandwich and a bag of nuts.
Amani’s example inspires not only those of us who support his work, but the kids he works with and for: Rehema Ludunge is 12 and from a family of eight children and wants at all cost to become like Amani. ”When I graduate from School I will work for ABFEK. Christmas and the New year should mean Peace in the Congo.”
Safariu Byamungu is 10 years old, from a family of three children, and told Amani, “I want to become a medical doctor. This Christmas gives me hope! I did not know where I could get clothes and shoes from. I am so happy and I am sure 2014 should bring Peace.”
Irene Bashimbe, 16 years old, should already be in secondary school but, unable to afford the school fees, has missed years of school until the time ABFEK enrolled her in the program. A very courageous girl from a family of 12 children, she is the only one in school. ”I want to become a teacher and educate other children. I am so happy and proud of ABFEK giving us new Hope for this new upcoming year.”
Happy New Year, from Congo to you!