DR CONGO: Salesians continue to support internally displaced taking shelter at Don Bosco Ngangi
People have had to flee for their safety leaving behind everything
(MissionNewswire) Thousands of people from the area north of the city of Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo*, have sought shelter on the playgrounds surrounding Don Bosco Ngangi. Salesian missionaries are reporting that the war between the regular armed forces and M23 rebel group has caused thousands of people to flee toward the city in search of safety and shelter.
Men, women, and children who are depressed, tired, hungry, and traumatized have set up a camp in the center’s three sports areas. The situation is dire as there are not enough supplies for people and this area was not set up for a camp like this. There were no latrines, drinking water, food or firewood. During the first day, about thirty trees were cut down to obtain wood to build more stable shelters and wood for cooking. In addition, about 10 food plantations of local residents were damaged.
Salesians are working to provide support and organization for this camp. Father Jean Pierre Muhima, director of Don Bosco Ngangi, and Brother Augustin Mupoyi, bursar, visited the camp and made an assessment of the most immediate needs required for the people. In collaboration with Mercy Corps, toilets were immediately installed. Nineteen people who were sick and weak and in the most desperate need of care were brought in from the camp and housed in a dormitory in order to protect them against bad weather.
Supplies were also provided to those who are most vulnerable including the elderly, pregnant women and women who are still breastfeeding. Close to 300 people received tarpaulins, soap, mattresses and clothing. In addition, 300 people received food assistance including rice, salt, flour, and vegetable oil, along with non-food items. More than 30 children received clothing and shoes.
“Salesians are working to support the influx of people to Don Bosco Ngangi and provide them with the necessities while they are displaced,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “People have had to flee for their safety leaving behind everything. Salesians are calling on the international community to help support their efforts during this difficult time.”
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.
Despite its vast material wealth, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has long been a very poor nation. Half of the country’s population lives below the poverty line living on less than $1 a day, especially those in rural communities. Because of ongoing strife and violence within the country, more than 8.5 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. More than 4.1 million Congolese are now displaced with 620,000 seeking refuge in neighboring countries. More than 7.5 million people do not have enough food to eat.
Photo courtesy of World Coordinator, SBD fundraising (contact for usage permissions)
Salesian Missions – Democratic Republic of the Congo
UNICEF – DR Congo
*Any goods, services, or funds provided by Salesian Missions to programs located in this country 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.