Gardening and Nutrition
With an amazing climate for growing fresh produce, it is ironic that fruit and vegetables are hard to come by in the eastern parts of DRC. The staple foods of the area include rice, beans and Ugali (a thick porridge made from corn meal). The staff members at the orphanage are encouraged to grow their own vegetables and they have started with Lengalenga, which is a wild spinach and grows from a small seedling to maturity in 23 days.
We are very blessed to have Hosea Marudi as our Orphanage Manager. He has completed a degree in Agriculture at the University of Uganda, so he is very knowledgeable about the cultivation of crops. He also shares this experience and knowledge with the leaders at another orphanage in the area so they too can grow better crops.
Johann and the team, who recently visited the orphanage, also took along some pumpkin seeds, which they are busy planting now. The aim is to ensure that the children eat healthy vegetables twice a day. This is to avoid chronic undernourishment which, according to the doctor, is pervasive amongst children in this area (and in the DRC at large). Weakening the immune system, malnutrition increases the already enormous risk of infection and disease. This gardening project means they hope to incorporate more nutrition into their diet, as well as ensuring three nutritious meals a day for each child. This would go a long way towards strengthening their bodies, and building up immunity to hold ailments and disease at bay.
The orphanage is in dire need of a better equipped kitchen with a refrigerator, as this would enable sanitary preparation and storage of food and water. Given that electricity is only available a few hours a day, a generator would be necessary to warrant the efficacy of a refrigerator. Please see more about the health challenges at: http://iwof.ca/health-challenges-congo/
An Interview with One of Our Children
Hosea Marudi is by our standards a young man at 32 years old. As a young boy, he escaped an attack on his village by a rebel group. However, the rest of his family were not as fortunate and they all perished when a mortar bomb exploded on their house. Hosea fled with a group of villagers and ended up in a refugee camp in Kibera, Nairobi. David, the orphanage Director, was in the same camp. They met at a small church in that camp. It was there that a visiting Australian missionary was touched by their story and sponsored the two of them to complete school. Hosea also completed an Agriculture degree at the University of Uganda in 2001 which has made him an invaluable source of information and experience.
David and Hosea spent time with YWAM (Youth With a Mission), a youth missions organisation. On an outreach into the forest ministering to the Pygmy people, they were touched by the desperation of these people and felt called to return to the Congo and take care of orphans in their own country.
In 2008 David and Hosea returned to DR Congo and founded Grace Ministries Children’s Home. In the early years they were supported by friends they met at YWAM; and Rosario church in Argentina, who remains a loyal supported, even today. Hosea volunteers 7 days a week from 6 in the morning until late afternoon, and sometimes into the evening. He feels blessed to be living out his calling to care for the children.
It costs $96/month to feed, clothe, educate, and house a child. Please consider sponsoring a child today. Every little bit makes a difference!
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