Water: The Source of Life
Six months ago, the City of Uvira went without electricity for 3 months. However when they do have supply, it is only for about two hours in the early evening. It is single phase, which is only sufficient to run a few light bulbs and charge cell phones and laptop batteries. The other major challenge when electricity is out is that there is no clean water supply. Again, “normal” supply is getting water once a week for an hour, so they try to fill containers sufficient for their drinking needs for the week. This problem gets even bigger in an institution like Grace Ministries where they are caring for 5 staff and 35 orphans.
As can be seen in the picture, people started to use river water, and as boiling water with charcoal, the main cooking source, is slow and expensive, many people drink the water untreated. This results in various water-borne illnesses, which can result in diarrhea, severe dehydration, and in the worst cases cholera, all of which claim many lives in DRC.
For the past two weeks, the City has again been without electricity and running water, with no indication as to when services will be restored.
At Grace Ministries Orphanage, we are blessed to be located close to Lake Tanganyika. IWOF supplied the orphanage with P&G water purification packages, which treats water for drinking. The challenge with the lake water is that the salt content is quite high, which makes it very unpleasant for drinking. It is predominantly used for cooking and washing.
The staff and children now have to travel 3 km to get river water to treat for drinking. And treating the water is still no guarantee, as two of the boys are currently seriously ill with parasitic infections. Taking the kids to the clinic costs money as it is a 100% fee for service medical system. Out of necessity that money comes out of the food budget, which reduces the number of meals per day to two; and in extreme cases, the children only eat once a day.
We are continuing to grow our support base, and our prayer is that we will reach a place where the kids do not have to sacrifice meals when children are taken for medical treatment.
An Orphan’s Story: Please Watch this Video (2 mins.)
When we visited different schools in the City of Uvira last October, we were struck by the total lack of books to read. School supplies comprise a couple notebooks and a pen or pencil. There are no books to read in the school or at home. We have to change that, so that children have the basic right to a proper education!
iWof is planning to send a container to Congo in April. We have to purchase the container, as the shipping company will not send it to Congo otherwise. We will include shelving and tools, so that after the container is off-loaded, it will be converted into a library at Mango Tree School, where our children attend.
We already have 4 pallets of French language books donated, but we need more French books and we also need English books at the K to grade 2 reading level.
ASUMANI BASHWIRA: Born in Elenge village, Asumani’s mother became sick, and because of the remote location and extreme poverty, she received no medication and did not see a doctor. She died from a preventable illness. Later while hunting in the jungle his father was bitten by a Gorilla and as no treatment was available, the wounds became infected and he eventually died from his injuries. Asumani was helped by a neighbour and eventually taken into the care of GRACE MINISTRY ORPHANAGE. His vision is to become a nurse.
CHANSE JOYEUSE: Born in Kiliba village, Chanse’s father was working as a gatekeeper in Uvira town, but was killed when a building he was working in collapsed. Chanse’s mother later died during childbirth of a sibling, and at only 4 years old she was left alone with no one to care for her. Chanse was taken to GRACE MINISTRY ORPHANAGE, and she is progressing well. She is in grade 3 primary school and her vision is to become a teacher.
20 of the 35 children are fully supported. Please consider sponsoring a child today. Every little bit makes a difference!
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