Kandale Spring by Brad Graber

The walk to the spring at Kandale is a daily routine for many women and children. The village sits on top of a plateau and the spring is located down in the valley, about a 30 to 45 minute walk.
My brother, Stan and I walked down to the spring during our visit to the village in October 2017. We hoped we could install a Ram pump to provide fresh spring water at a location within the village.

Follow along with us through words and photos as we share the journey we took.
The path wound its way down into the valley—a drop in elevation of 270 feet from the village to the spring. Portions of the path were easily managed and the slope was not too difficult to walk. But other times the path was narrow, steep, and washed out. Still, the beauty of the view took our breath away.
During our walk we met a steady stream of people coming and going. The photos show some of them, including children who were all seven years old or younger.

It is not unusual to see young children helping to get water—it is the norm in the DRC. Women and children are tasked with getting water each day. An entire day can be spent obtaining water for the family. Many children never get an opportunity to go to school because of the daily need for water.
We followed the children through an opening between the trees. As we reached the final descent to the spring we heard the sounds of activity, voices, and water running downstream from the spring. The shade provided cool relief from the extreme heat.
Stan and I found two very strong spring water sources feeding into one stream. Our hopes were high that a Ram pump might be a good option.
People washed clothes, took baths or filled their water jugs. The containers came in all sizes and shapes—bright yellow or blue plastic—referred to as jerry cans. The jerry cans weighed 40 pounds or more when fully filled.
These bright colored plastic containers reminded us of the water crisis, which exists around the world for millions of people in third world countries. People spend hours each day with some sort of container strapped securely on their backs, held tightly to their hips or balanced on their heads. The average distance to a water source for people in the third world is 6 kilometers or 3.7 miles.
We followed the people back to the village. Most of them carried the water on their heads. Their trek uphill was even more arduous as the women and children lugged the heavy containers. The return trip took longer and required more precious energy—energy that required more food to sustain them. As we’ve mentioned previously, people in the DRC already live constantly on the edge of hunger.
(Editor note: Imagine carrying 40 pounds of water on your head. It makes my head and neck hurt just to think about it. To carry it up a steep hill seems a daunting task.)
After our visit in October, Stan and I received news of a mudslide. It totally destroyed the spring. The village was devastated.

Since then Kandale villagers have found a new water source, but it is even farther away than the spring. A Ram pump is no longer a viable option to bring water into the village.

A Village Drill is the best course of action for Kandale now. The Village Drill is a manual-drilling rig that will allow us to dig down to a depth of 220 feet.

We have the money to purchase the drill and ship it to Congo. But we need an additional $20,000 before we can begin drilling for water at Kandale. The additional money will cover the costs of training workers, purchasing supplies, and transportation within the DRC.

It is our prayer and Hope4Congo that we can bring relief to the people with a well that is located in close proximity to the village. This would provide them with clean safe drinking water. This would allow the women to spend their days in more productive ways. This would allow the children time to attend school.

Your donations to Hope4Congo will allow us to bring change to Kandale and other villages through the use of the Village Drill.

Please consider how you might bring Hope4Congo.

Donations may be made via mail to:
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM)
P.O. Box 744
Goshen, IN 46527-0744
Designate your gift is for: Hope4Congo
Specify: Please use for the Village Drill

You can also make an online donation at: http://www.aimmintl.org/
On AIMM’s web page, click on the donate tab. Below the $0.00
Click on the phrase: “Add special instructions to the seller”
In the area that opens, please note you wish your gift to be given to
Hope4Congo and tell us where you wish your donation to be used.
For example: Village Drill

Reminder: Everyone here at Hope4Congo is a volunteer.
No one receives a salary or any pay for his or her work.
Your gift will be used specifically where you ask it to be used.

© 2018 Hope4Congo


by Brad Graber

Imported bikes are ill-suited for the rugged road conditions which exist in Congo. Transporting hundreds of pounds to market on a bicycle are common everyday scenes in the rural areas of Congo. Chuck Regier and Harlan Bartel’s dream is to design and locally fabricate a bicycle using bamboo as the primary raw material which is readily available in Congo.

Through their process of research they were fortunate to meet and connect with Craig Calfee, a well-known bicycle builder with experience developing bamboo bicycles elsewhere in Africa. Together they have tested a prototype and built several additional bikes to demonstrate fabrication techniques. This is all being done in a rural village area of Khoma close to where Chuck lived as a “missionary kid” 40 some odd years ago.

It’s been said that collaboration is the new frontier in missions. Hope for Congo is collaborative at its core. In turn Chuck and Harlan have collaborated with Craig Calfee and existing organizations in Congo-Hope International Development Agency and Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission to achieve their goals.

The end goal is to develop a self-sustaining cottage industry business model using local resources for the manufacture, assembly and distribution of durable bicycles that can be used for the transport of goods to and from the market place.

A nucleus of interested and vested Congolese are committed to furthering this project and realize its full potential and economic contribution to both rural communities and the overall larger economy.

Next Steps include the following:
• Develop a supply chain for components that cannot be produced locally.
• Develop a reliable mode of transporting components to the rural area.
• Develop sales, marketing and maintenance program.
• Raise $50,000 to begin the manufacturing and assembly process.

You can help make this dream a reality. With your financial tributions we can provide another layer of hope for our Congolese brothers and sisters.

Or you can send your tax-deductible U.S. donations payable to:
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM)
P.O. Box 744 Goshen, IN 46527-0744

Designate your donation to:
Hope 4 Congo and indicate “Congo Bike Project”

Send your Canadian Dollar Donations to:
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM)
440 Main Street
Steinbach, MB R5G 1Z5


Thank you, Brad.
For More on partnerships with AIMM see website:

Next week we will introduce a new long term venture, “The Nehemiah Project.”

• Pray that the Ebola virus will be contained and those infected are healed
• Please continue to pray for the political situation in Congo.

© 2017 Hope4Congo