DR Congo, Africa: The Response to COVID-19
Recently we’ve been looking at how our partners around the world are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the remote and war-torn central African country of DR Congo, project J893N Pygmy Child Care operates to ensure some of the most vulnerable children receive essential early education and basic nutrition requirements.
Despite closures of schools and restrictions on gatherings of 20 or more people in DR Congo, the wonderful team of carers continue to care for the children in Mubambiro Pygmy Village in small groups, while ensuring social distancing rules are observed.
The children are provided with a daily meal of porridge and each child went home last week with a multi-bar of soap which was made locally in a wooden frame, mostly lye and blue colouring, and each bar has the equivalent of 6 cakes of soap.
While the children are taught about social distancing at the Centre, they go home to a situation where it is almost impossible to comply. The average 2 room hut in the village houses 8 people. The residents of the village and the surrounding villages all live hand to mouth. They don’t have regular work or guaranteed income and must go out daily to find the day’s food and other necessities, they have no spare funds to buy and store food or other essentials and no refrigeration to keep food.
Recently the projects supply manager was able to provide extra deliveries of food and supplies to families in the village where the child care students come from. Delivery of these supplies was not an easy task with the team facing 5 checkpoints along the road from Goma.
Spare a thought for the people of DR Congo and other nations where the governments are not only fighting ‘the war’ against COVID-19, but also a real war against rebel groups. In the case of Eastern DR Congo, they also still face ‘a war’ against the deadly Ebola virus which has emerged again even as it was about to be declared over.
For a more in-depth look at DR Congo and the Pygmies of Mubambiro, consider purchasing the book “Don’t Look Away.” All royalties go towards project J893N Pygmy Child Care.