Recent factors causing stress and trauma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo include escalating violence, an economic downturn, food insecurity, a volcanic eruption and the COVID-19 pandemic.

To date, more than one million Congolese refugees are hosted in neighboring countries. More than 5 million people are internally displaced inside DR Congo especially in the Kasai, Tanganyika, Ituri and Kivu regions. Mennonite communities are among the worst affected.

MCC partner Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (which birthed the HROC model) provides psychosocial support and food assistance to survivors of violence in the city of Beni.

Paluku Tsongo, a resident of Beni, says, “the teachings of HROC helped me to know how to understand and live in the community. Especially, it provided my family and I with the ability to understand and overcome emotions. The different wars and massacres have affected us a lot. We continue to relive the traumatic elements that took place. We recommend HROC to multiply the trainings on trauma healing because the healing is not yet complete and many other people in the community also need it. Also, because trauma lives with us in our homes and in our communities.”

Find more stories and resources in the Fall/Winter 2021 Washington Memo: Carrying heavy burdens: Trauma healing and psychosocial support.