Compassion for Children in Distress – DR Congo
Butembo, Democratic Republic of Congo
Current phase of support:
57 Double Orphans
10 Additional Children
(Served through school, feeding programs, rehabilitation, etc.)
Butembo is situated in North Kivu, in the north eastern area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
73 SQ. MILE 217,625 POP.
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.
Compassion for Children in Distress offers a place of refuge in a country marred by violence and suffering.
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.
3 prominent issues
Issues have been identified by children who have faced or escaped these struggles in their region of the world.
The DRC has been a country long ravaged by war and violence. Over 5.4 million people have been killed as a result, many times leaving children parentless, homeless, and displaced.
There are over 4 million children orphaned in the DRC alone, according to UNICEF. This makes those children even more prone to violence and exploitation.
According to UNAIDS, nearly 440,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in the DRC, with 15% of them being children. The source also reports that 350,000 children have been orphaned by the disease.
The children are currently housed in a small, temporary building because it has become unsafe to reside in their original house. There is a great need for proper accommodation, which would be best achieved through an entirely new building. With a new facility, the children would have plenty of room to play, sleep, and do other activities. The home also runs several programs, including a dress making shop, a school, a clinic, and a chaplaincy. These programs not only provide jobs but also a source of sustainability for the home. The home hopes to use these outlets to train and educate children so that one day, they will be able to support themselves.
The home has its own clinic, where the children are housed, so while the children do receive medical care when needed, there are still limitations due to inadequate funds. The children are also more prone to disease from patients coming into the clinic. When we started supporting Compassion, they were only able to serve one meager bowl of porridge a day. Now, they are able to serve at least two meals a day with a much wider variety of foods. There is still a great need for more nutrition to be added to the children's diet, however. The boys in the home take care of the home's six ducks and four pigs. The home does not currently have access to clean water, and are in great need of a water filtering system.
Compassion makes it their goal to remind children that they are important, and they strive to train children to serve others to the glory of God. The home has a chaplaincy, where Bible studies, counseling programs, and prayer meetings are held, ministering to hundreds of people in the community. The home would love to be able to give all of their children their own personal Bible, but are in need of support to obtain those.
The children all walk to a private school each day. This is hard on the children because not only must they walk long distances twice a day, but they also are in danger during rainy season, when many roads flood. Sometimes, the children are forced to drop out of school simply because the walk is too difficult. If the home were able to purchase their own form of transportation, this problem would be solved. The home recently worked to build a three classroom building for school. However, it was completely destroyed during a storm. They hope to run a school that can reach out to not only orphans in their care but also the surrounding community. Please join us in making the dream a reality for Compassion.