A Critical Situation in Eastern DR Congo

Since the start of the year, the war in eastern DR Congo has gotten increasingly worse. So far in 2022, over 40,000 people have fled into Goma from surrounding areas. Just one week ago, rebels took over a strategic transit hub, which Goma relied on to get supplies from Uganda. DRC and Rwanda have also been threatening war, and Rwanda has largely closed the border into Goma. The situation in DRC is the most critical it has been since the UN’s military got involved years ago. 

This has presented two large challenges for our partner homes in the region. Prices on everyday goods have almost doubled. Cooking oil is almost three times as much as it was in January of this year. Rice and beans are all double. Since the rebels took over that strategic point last week, the inflated costs of these goods have become scarce and too expensive for most residents to acquire. On top of the supply and pricing issues, banks are now shutting down. The messages we are receiving from our directors, pastors, and partners in the field are that things are critical right now.
The second challenge is the massive humanitarian need at hand. In the last week, Flamme do Amore has been working heavily in the middle of the large new camps of refugees. Just about a week ago, there was a group of about 20 people who just had their village raided and destroyed. They walked for days all the way into Goma and eventually found our Open Spring Ministry campus. They brought a two week old baby whose mother was just killed. Thankfully, the baby survived despite being in critical condition.
All of our partner homes are facing serious financial and supply issues as well as security and safety threats. They are also trying to meet a much larger humanitarian need, while also trying to grapple with a tighter budget due to inflated goods. Our staff at SOW is working hard to assess the needs and provide some immediate relief. We have sent some recent sums to account for inflation, but the needs are increasing rapidly, and there is a concern about getting cash out of the bank in the near future. We are asking our SOW family of supporters to consider making a one time gift to help us meet some of these crisis needs and get funds over before they are unable to get cash out.

Congolese civilians have already experienced decades of violence with a civil war that has killed over 5 million people and still continues to flare up to this day. In addition, the rise of over 100 heavily armed militia groups, HIV/AIDS cases and the Ebola outbreak has left thousands of children orphaned and abandoned, making Eastern DR. Congo a location with the highest concentration of true orphans and widows in the world.

This year alone, UNICEF and their partners registered thousands of children who have lost one or both of their parents due to disease, violence, or other causes. The numbers seem overwhelming, however, God is raising up strong leadership in this region, and many lives are being saved and children are thriving at our SOW partner homes.

New building for Open Spring Home in Goma.

Serving Orphans Worldwide has been working to support Pastor Kibi and his church in Goma to create a manageable system to care for the growing number of orphans coming in from the war zone. In a country with no social infrastructure to care for these children, this process has been both challenging and a true testament of God’s provision and faithfulness.

Over the last few years, special sponsors came together to purchase land, a security wall and the means to start the construction on a building in Goma that would safely house the most vulnerable children in DR Congo. While the building was being completed, Pastor Kibi and his church gathered with hundreds of widows and orphans to provide them with food and clothing allotments. They were able to form a network of families within the church willing to foster children who would otherwise be trying to survive the harsh realities of street life in DR. Congo. They decided to continue with this foster system and reserve the residential program for the most vulnerable children in dire need.

If you are interested in sponsoring a child from any of our partner homes, 100% of your gift will go directly to improving their lives and not to any of SOW’s administrative costs.