The Democratic Republic of Congo has been in a state of conflict and chaos since 1998, which marks the beginning of the Second Congo War. More than 5 million people have died in this conflict, making it one of the world’s deadliest wars. A striking 47% of those deaths were children under the age of five. Today, the nation remains in a state of desperation. Nearly 1 million people in the Congo have been displaced, forced to leave their homes. As a result, poverty, insecurity, sexual violence, and lack of social services have all taken a toll, according to a report from UNICEF.
Among the many contributing factors to the orphan crisis in the Congo, HIV/ AIDS is one of the biggest. There are approximately 1,100,000 people living with HIV in DR Congo, and over 700,000 children are left orphaned by the disease. These children, at no fault of their own, face discrimination and are often marginalized because of the culture’s stigma that blames AIDS orphans of committing witchcraft or sorcery. Orphaned and abandoned children are extremely vulnerable to dangers such as trafficking, recruitment as child soldiers, child labor, and abuse. These children rely on homes such as Compassion Orphanage for immediate relief from the harsh realities they would otherwise face.
Our SOW field representative often claims: “I have visited no place in the world that has suffered more than the Democratic Republic of Congo.” All of the precious children at Compassion Orphanage lost their parents by HIV/AIDS or in the ongoing conflict that the country faces. In fact, if it were not for inadequate space and funding, the home would open its doors to many more children who are suffering, alone and destitute in their country. Unfortunately, the number of orphaned children is on the rise daily in DRC. Compassion for Children in Distress aims to alleviate and eradicate any kinds of physical and spiritual trauma that children may go through. In doing this, they advocate for those children’s rights and provide them with education, health, food, clothing, etc. Through your support, SOW has been able to help CCD more than double the amount of food the children receive daily. (At one point, they were receiving merely 1 bowl of porridge once a day.) However, there is still a pressing need for clothes, shoes, kitchen utensils, beds, bedding, and a larger facility to house the children.
Serving Orphans Worldwide travels to every orphanage we partner with to ensure needs are legitimate and 100% of funds distributed goes to the livelihood of the children.