AKRON, Pa. – Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) efforts to ease the suffering of displaced families in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continue with short-term distribution of food and household items and emergency access to health care for about 225 families or 1,350 people.
Since spring, a new outbreak of violence in a nearly two-decade conflict in eastern Congo has uprooted more than 200,000 people. The total number of internally displaced people in Congo is more than 2 million, and about three-quarters of these are in the eastern provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu.
With its long-time partner the Church of Christ in Congo (ECC), MCC helped provide families who found refuge in a primary school in the North Kivu capital of Goma with beans, flour, cooking oil and salt; plus clothing, cooking and hygiene items, blankets and tarps.
MCC and ECC are planning together for ongoing response. Tim Lind, an MCC representative in Congo with his spouse, Suzanne Lind, said, “It remains a situation of considerable movement and change.” Lind noted that MCC is beginning a Global Family education program in the region to support 300 students in displaced families. The Linds are from Three Rivers, Mich.
Audio report: In this audio report (mcc.org/stories/podcasts/working-church-congo), Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. Program Director Ruth Keidel Clemens talks with the Reverend Pierre Marini Bodho, president of the Church of Christ in Congo. He calls on Christians in Canada and the U.S. to pray for the people of Congo and to advocate to address the root causes of the conflict. The MCC U.S. Washington Office has issued an action alert to email or call President Barak Obama, urging him to take action. Visit bit.ly/NJBH2X to learn more.