Lent campaign 2019: Food and dreams in DR Congo

/Lent campaign 2019: Food and dreams in DR Congo
Lent campaign 2019: Food and dreams in DR Congo 2019-04-02T12:04:23+00:00

Teacher, minister, nurse, priest. The aspirations of children in DR Congo are not so different from those of Norwegian children, although everyday life is different. Sufficient food makes it easier for children to reach their dreams.

Your support to Caritas Lenten campaign 2019 will save lives

Caritas Norway runs food security programmes for 7,200 households in the DR Congo provinces of North-Kivu, Maniema, Bas-Congo and Tanganyika with support from Norad. According to the World Food Program (WFP), 20 per cent of children in DR Congo suffer from chronic malnutrition. The families participating in Caritas’ food security programmes receive training in more efficient and climate adaptive agriculture. When families increase their crop yield so that they have enough food, it also means that children will find it easier to concentrate in school.

We have talked with some of the children in these families to ask them about their dreams, but also about the problems they face.

Little time for play

The children live in different villages near the capital Kinshasa. In the villages, the children live in houses that have thatched roofs, the mothers cook food over open fire and the children collect water from springs that they most walk between three and five kilometres to reach. After school, the children spend much of the day helping their parents working in the house or in the fields, leaving precious little time for playing. They do not have TV or cinema, as the villages do not have electricity. The parents of the children probably have a mobile phone or a small battery-powered radio to keep in touch with the outside world. But travelling from here is difficult. Leading away from the villages there are either bad roads or no roads at all.

Dreams without electricity

Many children in DR Congo live in a similar way; maybe more than half of the children in the country live in rural areas without electricity. But dreaming about the future does not require electricity. Take a look here:

My name is Benedicte Lola, I’m 12 years old, I’m in fifth grade and have two brothers. Right now I’m on my way to fetch water and so I have to walk three kilometres with a bucket on my head. My dream for the future is to become a teacher. I hope that I will be able to achieve this, even if I don’t always manage to attend school. My parents are not well off and I have to help them with work. Foto: Catherine Trautes/Caritas Norge

“I’m Bazi Mbala, I’m 12 years old and in grade 6. At this moment I feel like playing football, but in the future I hope I can become a minister.” Foto: Catherine Trautes/Caritas Norge

“My name is Bénédicte Mansanga Malamu, I’m 12 years old and I want to be a seamstress when I grow older. Right now I’m learning about plants and planting with my friends. Foto: Catherine Trautes/Caritas Norge

Makangu Luwiya is 8 years old and wants to become a priest when he grows up. «At the moment I’m in first grade and have three brothers and one sister,» he says. Makangu Luwiya Foto: Catherine Trautes/Caritas Norge

Read more about Caritas’s Lenten Campaign 2019:

Lifesaving nutrition in Venezuela

Hunger robs children of their future