|Source: United Methodist News|
For the past three years, the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries’ Global Health Department has been feeding over 1,000 malnourished children in Bukavu, Kisangani, Kindu and Tunda regions of Congo. However, when hostilities broke out between local militias in the region, the viability of the program was threatened.
Thanks to government intervention, roads that had formerly been blocked have returned to being accessible to rural communities who had become isolated during the violence.
One of the affected parents, Gisele Bitembu, 40, said her three children “presented severe malnutrition in 2019. Today, with the support of the church, my three children (have) come to recover their normal health.”
Similarly, Adrienne Aksanti’s six children who were suffering malnutrition are “thriving,” she said. “In January 2020, I had lost hope, but today the church has changed the state of health of my children.”
The United Methodist Food program in East Congo is headed by Dr. Marie Claire Manafundu, wife of East Congo Area Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda.
According to Manafundu, children receive porridge allotments three days a week at the designated feeding sites.
“We also made medicines available to health centers to take care of these malnourished children whose health was critical,” Manafundu said.
Utilizing technology, the feeding program uses the church’s UMConnect messaging platform to spread awareness about the feeding times, sites, and follow-up care opportunities.
Masika Ndongo, a midwife, who works with the feeding program said, “We receive new cases of malnourished children every day.”
Nevertheless optimistic, Ndongo said since the arrival of the church things are improving. The road to recovery may be long, but they are grateful it has begun.
Source: United Methodist News