by Brad Graber
Hope for Congo works in the central part of Congo which includes the Kasai provinces where there has been much suffering and community disruption. The political instability has been augmented in the Kasai area by the addition of the Kamuina Nsapu rebellion. This is an ongoing rebellion instigated by the Kamwina Nsapu militia against state security forces in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It is primarily an anti-government militia, which initially aimed at eliminating State authorities in the Kasai provinces, including police officers, military, intelligence agents and public officials, as well as symbols of the State, mainly administrative buildings. The Kamuina Nsapu members are reported to be primarily armed with machetes, sticks and hunting rifles and, to a lesser extent, semi-automatic weapons.
Since August 2016, some 1.3 million people in the Kasai have been displaced within the DRC by the violence that has grown out of a locally rooted conflict, while another 30,000 have fled to Angola. Many people have gone into hiding fearful of being out in the open and at risk of being killed or forced to join the militia against their will. Thus far, reports have identified 2,261 children used as fighters by the Kamuina Nsapu.
Children are the main victims of the conflict. UNICEF estimates that 440,000 children have not been able to complete the 2016-2017 school year following the violence, destruction of school infrastructure and killing of teachers.
The increasing violence and displacement in the region have resulted in two lost harvests, exacerbating food insecurity in the country. It is reported that 7.7 million people are now on the verge of starvation.
While the situation is very dire with no definitive resolution in sight there remains hope. One person reporting from their visit to the Kasai, Anne Davies, has seen extraordinary resilience and kindness. She reports, “I was struck by the great generosity of ordinary people. Although they have weathered inexplicable atrocities, they expressed a simple wish to get back on track with normal life. They are traumatised by what happened, but instead of direct handouts of food, they want seeds and tools so they can continue farming,” she says. (Kasai: On the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe August 17, 2017 Reliefweb.int)
Hope for Congo works in the Kasai province in the village of Ndjoko Punda. The news we have received corroborates other reports. Currently we have provided seeds and tools for the next planting season.
We look to God to provide the harvest. The younger generation of the community is doing the work (see photo below of garden preparation). This generation needs hope.
Your prayers and giving are a significant part of the hope needed to face the daily struggle to survive. Hope for Congo can be your hands and feet.
Please pray and give generously to keep hope alive for the next generation.
Make your checks payable to: AIMM or Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission
Designate your donation to:
Hope 4 Congo and indicate which project you wish to support.
Example (1): “I would like this donation to be given to Hope 4 Congo for the Bible project.”
Example (2): “I would like this donation to be given to Hope 4 Congo for seeds and tools.”
Example (3): “Please apply my gift wherever it is needed most for the Congolese people.”
Send your tax-deductible U.S. Dollar Donations to:
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM)
P.O. Box 744
Goshen, IN 46527-0744
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Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM)
440 Main Street
Steinbach, MB R5G 1Z5
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We’re all volunteers here at Hope 4 Congo. No one receives any compensation.
© 2018 Hope4Congo