The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the second largest country in Africa and is one of the poorest countries in the world. It ranks 186th on the Human Development Index--the lowest ranking of all countries. Since the 1990's, long-standing civil conflict has devastated the DR Congo, killing millions of people. Forty-seven percent of these deaths were children under the age of five. The prevalence of rape and violence here has been described as the worst in the world.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is home to roughly 800,000 orpaned and other disadvantaged children, many of whom are being forced to join rebel groups and participate in the violent conflicts.
Grave violations are taking place, including massacres of entire villages by armed groups, mass rape, abductions, exploitation and abuse, and child recruitment and use in armed forces and groups. At the same time, malnutrition has surpassed emergency levels; nationally, one million children suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM). (UNICEF, 2012 p.1)
OFA has one partner in Democratic Republic of Congo: Centre Elembo
Centre Elembo is currently providing care to a total of 200 children and youth under the direction of Father Blaise Muswar. Sixty-one orphans live on site, while 139 children travel in to the Centre to attend primary school. According to Fr. Emery Kibal, previous Provincial Superior, the children receive help with homework after school and play sports and various games. They are studying English and taking a class on being Christian in order to understand the passion of living with Christ and in Christ.
In November 2012, a pig farming venture was started at Centre Elembo. Concrete pigsties were built and 2 female and 2 male pigs were bought. Both of the females have had litters so the population is growing but feeding the pigs is becoming a challenge as pig feed is expensive.
Centre Elembo is currently praying for funds to initiate another micro-enterprise opportunity: chicken farming. In addition to providing a source of protein for the children, it will provide funds from the sale of eggs, the sale of the chickens after laying age passes and the sale of waste to local gardeners.
- Rural Poverty Portal. Rural poverty in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. http://www.ruralpovertyportal.org/country/home/tags/dr_congo (accessed Oct. 31, 2013).
- The World Bank. Congo, Dem. Rep. http://data.worldbank.org/country/congo-dem-rep (accessed Oct. 31, 2013).
- Wikipedia. Democratic Republic of the Congo. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo (accessed Oct. 31, 2013).
- UNICEF. (2012). Unicef Humanitarian Action Update. Democratic Republic of the Congo. 1-10. http://www.unicef.org/hac2012/files/UNICEF_DRC_Humanitarian_Action_Update_2012.pdf (accessed Dec. 7, 2013).
- UNAids. Democratic Republic of the Congo. http://www.unaids.org/en/regionscountries/countries/democraticrepublicofthecongo/#2 (accessed Oct. 31, 2013).
- Cornerstone Global Associates: Conflict Orphans in the Democratic Republic of Congo. http://blog.cstoneglobal.com/?p=63 (accessed Oct. 31, 2013).