What impact can Tearfund support have on the lives of people who have experienced the horrors of conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)? The story of Ibrahim Kaiko will give you an insight.
With his wife and six frightened young children in tow, Ibrahim Kaiko walked more than 43 miles to flee the rebel forces that attacked his village.
Although their escape was successful, life as a displaced family was uncompromisingly tough in their new location.
When we fled, my children became very sickIbrahim Kaiko, father of six
Sticks and mud
Ibrahim said, ‘It was so difficult there. I tried to make a little house but we didn’t have much in the way of materials, only sticks and mud.’
Finding food was hard and even though Ibrahim, 42, tried to get casual work to support his family he couldn’t find enough for them to eat more than once a day.
‘When we fled, my children became very sick,’ he says. ‘They suffered from malnutrition and diarrhoea and I was so worried as I couldn’t afford healthcare as well as food.’
Ibrahim made the decision to return to his home village. They arrived to find their home burned down, their household goods looted and animals eating their crops. ‘We were devastated but we are slowly starting to use our fields again thanks to Tearfund,’ says Ibrahim.
Tearfund has given Ibrahim crop and vegetable seeds and he says his family are now producing enough to eat three times per day. In fact, he says he’s producing larger yields now than he did before the conflict began and that his family is eating a more diverse diet.
Such big yields enable him to sell his surplus at market and then if his children get sick he doesn’t have to worry about paying the medical bills. His next project, he says, is investing some of his earnings in materials to re-roof his house: ‘ It will be hard work but I really believe it is possible.’
How you've helped
Ibrahim asks that people pray for peace to remain in his community: ‘If we have peace we can continue and get on with our lives, and I can improve my house for my family’s future.’
With your support Tearfund is giving people practical aid and training to overcome hardship and poverty. In the process, we’re helping people unlock their potential, giving them dignity and hope by restarting livelihoods and giving them new skills as well as improving their access to water and sanitation.
Your support also means we can provide medical care and trauma therapy to women who have been raped. Training will also mean that members of the local church will be able to bring immediate and tangible support to their communities.
A little history...
Tearfund has been working in DRC since 1986 and is currently supporting 7 partner organisatons.
Here are some examples of their work:
PPSSP is providing healthcare for displaced people and their host communities. A community-based approach is deployed in the construction of latrines, water sources and household water-storage units.
The Province of the Anglican Church of Congo (PEAC) contributes to the reduction of HIV/AIDS among young people, pregnant mothers and newborns by carrying out an active programme that targets sexual education & HIV awareness raising, access to VCT and PPTCT.
PEAC, under the leadership of His Grace Henri Isingoma, is leading on church response to sexual violence and keen to see CCM expanded in all 8 Anglican Dioceses in DRC. Launch of Silent No More Report in DRC was made with strong involvement of PEAC, Tearfund and UNAIDS DRC
HEAL Africa adopts a holistic approach to the recovery of women who have experienced sexual violence, the organisation has trained staff who counsel rape survivors and address their psychological injuries too. HEAL Africa also set up ‘Nehemiah Committees’ that work with community and religious leaders to create a support structure for the most vulnerable populations in their communities including the reintegration of widows and survivors of sexual violence.
Meanwhile, Tearfund’s operational teams run a series of relief projects in three provinces – South Kivu, North Kivu and Maniema – providing urgent services in the areas of water and sanitation, school reconstruction, health education and food security.