Pygmies, Bambuti, of the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are among the most disadvantaged peoples in the world. They were always considered less than human and often enslaved by other tribes. Driven out of their traditional forest homes in the conflict which continues to ravage the region, they are now destitute, reduced to begging to survive, and vulnerable to every form of exploitation and abuse.
In 2010 a group of local Congolese and an Australian volunteer, Barbara Ferguson PhD OAM, formed an alliance to help a group of 170 displaced Pygmy people. With financial assistance and professional help, they have secured land and set up their own village in a relatively safe place. However, their capacity to feed, provide medical care and education for their children remains limited.
GDG project ‘J893N Pygmy Child Care’ has been established in a substantial walled building in the village in response to the local community’s request. Each week day, 140 Pygmy children aged 3-5 years engage in educational activities, games and singing designed to meet their physical, social and cognitive developmental needs and also receive a nutritious meal. Nurses from Goma City also make regular visits to check on their health and treat sick children and their mothers.
14 pregnant or breastfeeding women receive supplementary food and medical care also.
‘J893N Pygmy Child Care Project’ aims to provide Pygmy children with the chance for a better life.