A boy enjoying some food at the town of Kongolo…
The SOS mothers at the Children's Villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo are calm, but cautious.
A boy enjoying some food at the town of Kongolo food distribution project that began in 2007.
This is a story I discovered which really brings home to me what it means to be a mother in a country that is under war. The SOS mothers at the Children's Villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in October 2008, were calm, but cautious.
On the 30th of October 2008 it was reported that though the fighting between rebel forces and government troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo had ceased, thousands of civilians were fleeing the dangerous areas. SOS mothers in the SOS Children's Village in Bukavu were stocking up on food supplies - just in case.
Renegade Tutsi General Laurent Nkunda's rebels declared a ceasefire after reaching the gates of the city of Goma, an important trade city located some 230 kilometres to the north of SOS Children's Village Bukavu. Congolese government troops and UN peacekeepers were patrolling the streets of Goma after several cases of shootings, rape and looting.
UN secretary Ban Ki-Moon had warned of a humanitarian crisis of catastrophic dimensions, as thousands of civilians flee their homes in an effort to reach safer regions.
Along with the fact that food supplies for Bukavu, which traditionally come from Goma, have been cut off, the influx of refugees from the north has caused further scarcity of basic foods and products on the markets of Bukavu. This lead to a sharp rise in prices, as SOS Children's Villages national director in the DRC, Marthe Kangene reported.
"The SOS mothers are buying food to stock up their supplies in case the situation worsens. The SOS mothers, the children and the staff are calm, although a feeling of anxiety and generalized fear is in the air."
Nevertheless, life in the villages of Bukavu and Uvira, located at about 110km from Bukavu, continued as normal, SOS mothers and staff went about their work as usual and the children went to school.
Women dancing a traditional dance of Darfur, Sudan. One woman is dressed as a man as the dance usually in.
As SOS Children's' Village Malakal, Sudan cares for 103 orphaned and abandoned children. They live in 11 family houses which are run by 11 Mothers and 4 assistants. There is also a social worker, the activities educator, the sponsor co-coordinator, a gardener and a cleaner.
Besides the Village work we are running a child soldier program which started in March 2004 serving 309 former Child Soldiers providing them with Food, Clothing, Psychological Support, Shelter, Creative Activities, Family Tracing and Family Reunification as a package of integration. In 2007 more than 1000 Former Child Soldiers were supported.
In February 2007 SOS was the only organization that sent support to the children of Khorfulus during the crises that occured in Khorfulus during the fight between two groups. The UN Agencies had classified Khorfulus as a No-Go area at that time, but SOS was already there.
The prices of food commodities have shot up in Malakal as this attributed to many reasons which are due to failure of food crops due to floods in the region. In April this year the Governor demolished temporally built shops and this had angered most of the owners who had abandoned trading in Malakal, but had gone elsewhere. This had left the town with few traders who had increased the prices of their commodities.