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DR CONGO: Displaced people receive healthy nutrition through partnerships

displaced people at Camp Don Bosco in Goma, DR of the Congo had access to healthy nutrition thanks to Salesian Missions.

Camp Don Bosco now home to 21,000 internally displaced people

Camp Don Bosco in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

(MissionNewswire) People who have been internally displaced and are living at Camp Don Bosco, located at the Don Bosco Ngangi Youth Center in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo*, had access to healthy nutrition thanks to a partnership between Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, and Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit Christian organization committed to “feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit.”

The donation, sent in partnership with Flexport.org, which managed the logistics and sponsored the shipping costs for two containers, helped 2,780 people over three months in 2023. Salesian Missions will partner with Flexport.org for additional upcoming humanitarian aid shipments.

“The humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo does not receive much attention and resources globally. Being able to support this underfunded emergency response and help those in dire needs is precisely why we established the Flexport.org Fund,” said Kristen Czapar Dohnt, head of Flexport.org. “Partnering with Salesian Missions to transport this life-saving food is a true honor.”

The war between a rebel group and the loyalist FARDC army has been going on for nearly two years. Camp Don Bosco was set up in the fall of 2022. Don Bosco Ngangi Youth Center welcomed the displaced people and allowed them to use a plot of land that was once used for youth sports activities. Most of the now 21,000 people camped on the land have been displaced from Rutshuru and Nyiragongo.

Camps for displaced people, such as Camp Don Bosco, are overcrowded and lack adequate infrastructure. Living conditions are extremely precarious, with limited access to clean water, sanitation, food and health care. Disease, malnutrition and other health problems spread rapidly in such conditions.

A Salesian noted, “The highly nutritious food from Feed My Starving Children has been warmly welcomed by the families living in the camp. The families know that they are getting much-needed nutrition and are able to provide healthy meals for their families. Families with children testify that this food is highly nutritious and facilitates a quick recovery of malnourished children.”

Malnutrition is high. War and forced displacement have disrupted people’s livelihoods. Agricultural land has been abandoned leading to increase in poverty, food insecurity and dependence on humanitarian assistance. People in the camp are suffering psychological trauma impacting their emotional well-being.

A Salesian explained, “Food donations go a long way in helping this population remain fed and have a little hope for the future.”

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.

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Sources:

Photo courtesy of Salesian Missions (contact for usage permissions)

Feed My Starving Children

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.

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