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, and 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. Approximately 1,100,000 people are 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 for 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 St. Therese for immediate relief from the harsh realities they would otherwise face.
St. Therese is the sister home to Flames of Love, a non-profit organization established in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They make it their mission to serve and love those who are hurting, broken, lost, or unwanted. Through this desire they opened up a home that does all of those things by providing a safe and loving place for children to come to. St. Therese does their best to provide the children with the best opportunities to succeed with the resources they have. Through the year, in addition to their support through Serving Orphans Worldwide, they have also received donations of food, clothing, and other items to ensure the children are taken care of.
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.