Working with project co-ordinators Marie and Donald Kazadi at Hebron Home in the Katanga Region, Democratic Republic of the Congo, we are supporting 30 orphans with no known care structure and a further 130 children living with extended family.
Sadly, the conflict in the DRC (formerly known as Zaire) has involved seven nations and there have been a number of complex reasons, including conflicts over basic resources such as water, access and control over rich minerals and other resources as well as various political agendas.
Since the outbreak of fighting in 1998,
· Some 5.4 million people have died
· It has been the world’s deadliest conflict since World War II
· The vast majority have died from non-violent causes such as malaria, diarrhoea, pneumonia and malnutrition
· Although 19% of the population, children account for 47% of the deaths
(Stats taken from http://www.globalissues.org/)
Many families try to escape from the fighting to find safety but without homes, sanitation and medical care, many have lost their lives and children have been left orphaned.
Marie and Donald, originally from Lubumbashi, have lived in Nottingham UK for the past twenty years. They established Hebron Home, following a visit back to Lubumbashi in 2009. They were building a holiday home on their farmland and went for a visit to check on progress. During this visit, social services introduced them to children who were living by themselves, with no adults to care for them. These children had no parents and did not attend school. Marie and Donald wanted to help and decided that their holiday home was to become a home for these children instead.
Hebron Home supports these children by providing a caring home, food and paying their school fees every term. Together our aim is to break the cycle of poverty by educating these children as well as giving them skills in various trades such as sewing, cooking, baking, gardening, brick laying, farming, healthcare and sanitation.
There are 130 additional orphans living within the community who receive needs based support from Hebron Home. The team visits the children at their homes to check that they are safe and where possible help with school fees, food, medical treatment and clothing.