DR CONGO: Displaced children benefit from food support
Salesian missionaries addressing child malnutrition at camps near Goma
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries with the East Delegation of the Central Africa Province, in collaboration with the Salesian-run International Volunteering for Development (VIS), have been focused on providing food rations and other support for those who have been displaced and are seeking shelter at Don Bosco Ngangi in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo.*
During June 2023, more than 500 children under age 5 and their parents received concentrated cereal porridge every day. In addition, 36 children under age 5, who are facing severe acute malnutrition, benefited from a substantial meal each day in addition to the daily porridge.
Toward the end of the month, 500 of the most vulnerable families — people with disabilities, the elderly, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and heads of larges families — received food assistance including maize flour, beans, vegetable oil and salt, as well as soap.
Salesians in Goma and the surrounding areas are supporting people who have been displaced. The conflict has left more than 5.8 million people displaced across the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu, South Kivu and Tanganyika, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Since the beginning of October 2022, more than 28,000 people have sought refuge from violence at Don Bosco Ngangi. Salesian missionaries, with support of volunteers from VIS, are supporting people as best they can. Those displaced are also turning to Don Bosco Shasha, located outside of Goma.
Father Carlos Balezi, emergency coordinator, said that Salesian assistance for those displaced was possible in close collaboration with VIS and the support of their partners as well as the Salesian Mission Offices in Bonn, Germany: Madrid; Turin, Italy and Salesian Missions USA, among others.
The team in charge of field activities, led by Salesian Brother Augustin Mupoyi, recently provided malnutrition screening and treatment for parasites for 271 children, including 161 girls from the Don Bosco Shasha site.
“Severe acute malnutrition is a clear public health problem especially among displaced people, weaned children, and pregnant and lactating women,” said Father Kizito Tembo, Salesian community leader in Shasha. “There are at least 420 families impacted by malnutrition currently in our camp that we are trying to provide support for at this time. This is not an exhaustive list and we believe there are many more.”
Salesian missionaries have been working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for more than 100 years ensuring that the most vulnerable children are not forgotten. Salesian primary and secondary schools and programs lay the foundation for early learning while Salesian trade, vocational and agricultural programs offer many youth the opportunity for a stable and productive future.Sources:
ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)
Salesian Missions – Democratic Republic of the Congo
UNHCR – Democratic Republic of the Congo
*Any goods, services, or funds provided by Salesian Missions to programs located in these countries were administered in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including sanctions administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.