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From homeless to hopeful in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Our local partner in the DRC is helping people who have fled conflict to rebuild their lives.

Agnes McGrane | 22 Apr 2021

Credit: Tearfund partner

Credit: Tearfund partner

Isabelle is one of millions of people who have been forced to flee from their homes due to violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). When conflict came to her community, she was quick to protect her nine children. They escaped with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Eventually, the family found solace in a settlement for people seeking safety. But finding food and a way to earn an income was still a challenge.

A life-changing harvest

Tearfund’s local partner organisation in the DRC, Mavuno, has been helping people like Isabelle to become more independent through farming. Along with other households in the settlement, Isabelle was offered seeds, tools, training, and a plot of land in a nearby field.

This support enabled Isabelle to grow her own food and become financially independent. She started growing maize and cabbage, and the money she made from her first harvest paid for her children’s school fees.

‘I am so happy, and I thank Mavuno and Tearfund,’ says Isabelle. ‘I had nothing as a displaced person but now I can find food and money.’

From strangers to family

Isabelle lives with a community of people who come from diverse backgrounds but all share similar stories of leaving behind everything they once knew. They support and encourage each other in their new lives, both practically and emotionally.

‘We are strangers in this place, for now, but we will work together as a family on this land that Mavuno has provided,’ says Isabelle.

People who have been forced to flee their homes in the DRC are growing crops on the land provided by Tearfund's local partner | Credit: Tearfund partner.

People who have been forced to flee their homes in the DRC are growing crops on the land provided by Tearfund's local partner | Credit: Tearfund partner.

Leading by example

When newcomers arrive, they are often so hungry that they want to eat the seeds rather than plant them. But when they see what people like Isabelle have achieved, they are inspired by her example. They know that if they plant the seeds, they will have much more to feed their children in the months to come.

As for Isabelle, she now has plans to branch out and buy her own field. ‘Now I can become independent and invest myself,’ she says. ‘I am able to save money and buy a field. That is why I am so thankful for all the help I have received.’

Please pray

Dear God,

We lift up all those who have been forced to flee their homes in the DRC and elsewhere in the world. Please protect them and help them get to safety. We thank you for Isabelle and her family. We pray that she and others in her situation will continue to get the support they need to thrive in the midst of challenges.

In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Agnes McGrane

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