The DRC (formely Zaire) is one of the largest countries in Africa, almost the size of Western Europe, with a population of 75 million. The country is extremely rich in natural resources but political instability, a lack of infrastructure, deep rooted corruption, centuries of both commercial and colonial extraction and exploitation have limited development.
Nyangezi is a small country town about 15 miles south of Bukavu. In Eastern DRC. The region has experienced fighting between rebel and government troops. Rape has been used as a strategic tool of war. Women who have experienced atrocious sexual violence and children who have been traumatised are in great need of acceptance, protection and healing. Many families have been displaced from their homes. In the DRC, a wife and mother are considered the heart of the home. Destroy these foundations and you can break the community.
The aim of our work is to support mothers and reduce rates of maternal and infant mortality.
With the support of local Congolese leaders, churches and families, FH has been serving in Eastern DRC to support communities and families trying to rebuild their lives. The DRC has the one of the world's worst child mortality rates with over 500,000 dying each day. Over the last five years, "care groups" have been established with Congolese mothers to help promote biblical values and to rebuild the community. Health and nutrition messages are promoted and the messages cascaded throughout the village. Medical education films in the local language are also used to reinforce messages. We are also working with Nyangezi hospital on antenatal and postnatal care. Hospital facilities are poor. The program encouraged women to attend hospital for check-ups but facilities were insufficient. We have therefore supported the hospital in building a maternity unit to accommodate pregnant women.
An evaluation of the results of the project is currently being completed.