Archive for the ‘Congo (DRC)’ Category

You Can Change Lives In The DR Congo

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

ICC is blessed to have supporters who are willing to act when they see that “His Kids” have a pressing need. And that they want to provide a way for others of our supporters to join them in relieving these needs. Recently we published a story in our newsletters concerning shortfalls in the operating budget for our Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo. Because of the budget issues our staff were only able to feed our children two meals a day.

Children of ICC's Patmos Children's Village

You can make a significant difference in the daily lives of these children and at the same time double your donation! Please read the article to find out how.

This was a not an acceptable situation for one of our supporters. She quickly emailed Doug Congleton, ICC’s executive director, about ways to close the gaps in the Patmos budget. Thanks to this amazing lady’s efforts a revolving matching fund has been created in which you may participate.

Each month, this rotating matching fund will double your donation until a monthly total of one thousand dollars in donations has been acquired. That means that each month your contributions to our Patmos operating budget—regardless of the amount—can become as much as $2000.

This is not an opportunity to be missed. You can make a significant difference for our children at Patmos by becoming a regular contributor to this matching fund. Please contact ICC today and let us know that you want to double the power of your donation to “His Kids” living at our Patmos Children’s Village.

Thanks for reading!

Ken Wilson
Media Director ICC

ICC Congo Erosion Control Project Successfully Completed

Friday, January 27th, 2012

In 2010 and 2011 Desire Murhima and his team worked hard to fight a severe erosion problem at the ICC Patmos Children’s Village. With the financial support of our ICC Europe Chapters and Offices they were able to successfully combat the problem. Canals to control water flow during heavy rain along with small bridges were constructed and new trees and grass was planted. Desire wishes to thank all the donors for their support.

Photo of one of the erosion control canals at the ICC Patmos Children's Village

One of the erosion control canals at the ICC Patmos Children's Village

This year, 2012, Desire wants to expand the project into other parts of the village. The need for erosion control in those areas is not as imperative as it was where erosion control was installed, but still this needs to be done.

Photo of one of the erosion control canals with a bridge across the canal at ICC's Patmos Children's Village

Another view of one of the erosion control canals

Sad News From The Congo

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Our ICC project in the Democratic Republic of Congo is located on Idjwi Island which is located in the middle of Lake Kivu. This lake holds a certain natural beauty and is very much a part of our Patmos Children’s Village. Some of the ICC Children at The Patmos Children’s Village have actually ended up being part of our project in Congo due to tragedies that have occurred on this particular lake.

The last week of December, 2011, our Congo family felt such a tragedy. Our partner organization in Congo, Prolasa, owns a boat that is used for transporting food, construction materials and passengers on this lake. On December 28, their boat was crossing the lake with passengers and cargo when a severe storm struck. It was during this storm that the boat and all supplies sank, and all passengers were in the water for about 10 hours during the night.

While all the passengers had life jackets, sadly, only 10 of the 17 passengers were able to be rescued. Seven are still unaccounted for, including a woman, a 12-year-old boy and five children between the ages of two and three. None of those lost are from the ICC Patmos Children’s Village, none-the-less, it is a tragedy felt by the entire village.

Our hearts go out to the families of the lost, and we pray for our Congo family as they deal with this tragedy.

Food Is A Luxury In The DR Congo

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Some days it feels as though we are not all living on the same planet. Or as Paul Harvey used to say; “It is not one world.”

A story in the January 3 New York Times, “For Congo Children, Food Today Means None Tomorrow” by Adam Nossiter, caught our attention. It told how parents in the DR Congo can only afford to feed their children just one meal every other day.

This is what Joel Reyes, our public relations director, posted to his Facebook page about how ICC’s children have been effected.

“I hope some of you are able to read this article. It is a reality most of us ignore and some may even think is a myth. We had heard that our children in our ICC Congo project were only eating two meals per day because they didn’t have the budget to provide three [meals per day]. We were horrified when we heard that, however the kids were not complaining. They thought they had it good, and they did considering the rest. They are eating three meals [per day] now.”

Please take a few minutes to read this story. The events in this article are the daily life for millions of people in the DR Congo.

We would also like thank you for supporting “His Kids.” As you can see by this story your support of ICC truly does make a difference.

Here’s the link to the story–
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/03/world/africa/in-congolese-capital-power-cut-applies-to-food.html

Thanks for reading!

Ken Wilson
Media Director ICC

Patmos Children’s Village Welcomes Special Guests

Friday, July 15th, 2011

On June 26th, ICC’s Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo hosted a special delegation lead by Pastor, W. Nathanael, General Secretary of the East Central Africa Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. According to our village director, Désiré, Pastor Nathanael was pleased with the Patmos Children’s Village and has promised to interest benefactors upon his return to the Division office in Nairobi, Kenya.

Désiré is hoping that there will be a delegation of church officials from the Division and General Conference when the village church is dedicated in October.

Special Guests Arrive at the Patmos Children's Village

The guests arrive at the Patmos Children's Village.

The guests are welcomed to the Patmos Children's Village

The guests are welcomed to the Patmos Children's Village

The Patmos Pathfinders club welcomes the guests.

The Patmos Pathfinders club welcomes the guests.

The Ceremonies Continue

The ceremonies continue.

ICC Spaghetti Days Once More a Big Hit

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Around 117 people found their way to the ‘Spaghetti Hall’ in Mechelen, for ICC Belgium’s annual Spaghetti Fest. After the busy Spaghetti Fest of 2009, our chef, Wim Dewindt, felt through his entire body that something needed to change. He proposed to organize this year’s festivity over two days.

The hall where the event was held

The hall in Mechelen, Belgium where the spaghetti feed was held

So, this year people were able to enjoy the tasty spaghetti of Wim on Saturday evening, November 20th  and on Sunday afternoon, November 21st, and with success. For ICC Belgium’s Director, Ronny, and his team the work was better divided, less stressful and everything went very smoothly.

Folks at the spaghetti feed enjoying their food.

Patrons of the spaghetti feed enjoy their dinner

The sales table was a huge success too! Denise Luyckx, a member of the Advent church in Mechelen, provided something new to sell: beautiful glass plant coasters on wheels. Next to that she also displayed beautiful Christmas pieces. Carmen and Wim again made some beautiful handmade pieces to sell, and Francine and her friend Dirk were very busy guiding all the sales in a good way.

Items sold at the spaghetti feed

The sales table with the items that were sold at the spaghetti feed

The total profit of these spaghetti days was 1.904,00 euro, around 2.520,00 USD. Thanks to this event we have reached our goal of 10.000,00 euro for the ‘Educational Program’ at the ICC Patmos Children’s Village in Congo.

Group photo of the folks who made the spaghetti feed possible

These are the folks who made the spaghetti feed possible

[Top row; L to R] Mario Bornbergen, Jeannine Vermeulen, Wim Dewindt (Chef), Ronny Van Dessel, Carmen Hamel (wife of the chef), Francine Vandenbogaerde, Dirk, Coszack (assistant chef and brother-in-law to Ronny) and Ingrid Van Dessel (Sister of Ronny). [Middle row] Nikki and Lynn Coszack (Nieces of Ronny) and Trees Teughels in the middle. [Front row] Anja Voet and Rita Hamel (sister of Carmen Hamel).

A special thanks to those who made a success of this event. The next appointment is for 2011!

Reported by:
Adelin Vermeulen
Volunteer ICC Belgium

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Thanks for reading!

Kent Greve
Director International Development ICC

Clothing Manufacturer Supports ICC

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Recently, Lunter Textiel, a Dutch clothing manufacturer, decided to support ICC Netherlands. Lunter Textiek has created a new design of baby clothes.  This design is made from bright, cheerful colors and designs and is call Puk Design.  The first summer collection of Puk Design, made for babies from zero to eighteen months, was made entirely from organic cotton.  It will be delivered in December 2009.

 

Puk Design will promote ICC to its customers.  On each garment is a special hangtag that features ICC. The manufacturer will also donate clothes from its production facility in India to the ICC children’s village in India. In this way Puk Design hopes got give some color into the lives of these children.

The first child who got dressed in Puk Design clothes was the newest member of the ICC family in Congo. Lambro Triantos, Director of ICC Netherlands, was visiting the ICC Patmos children village in September. Puk Design had given him the very first sample of the new design.  According to Lambro, the baby was very happy with his new outfit.

Lambro with Baby Dressed in Puk Design

Lambro with Baby Dressed in Puk Design

Letter From ICC Boy in Congo

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

The following letter was given to Rick Fleck during his recent visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo.  It is from one of the older boys in our ICC project there.  He is in secondary school taking technology.

Congo Update

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Patmos Island Childrens Village

Patmos Island Children's Village

 

For several years, travel to the ICC Patmos Island Children’s Village in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has been very difficult because of civil unrest.  Recently Rick and Sharon Fleck lead a group of ICC personnel on a trip to this project. Here is a report from that visit.

 

Building progress

Désiré Murhima (Project Director) is leading the village very well. At this moment there are 165 children.

Since 2003, eight houses have been built, as well as some temporary buildings for a primary school and a church. There are also agricultural activities (pineapples, cassava).

 

During the visit, there were two special open house programs.   Gilbert Dewinter (President of ICC Swiss) opened a children’s home that was built with funds from a Swiss donor.  Lambro Triantos (Director of ICC Netherlands) opened a children’s home which was built by Dutch donors and the Dutch government.  Lambro also laid the first brick for another children’s home, which he is seeking to provide funding for from Dutch donors and the Dutch government. Rick Fleck had the honor of opening the new church.

 

Situation of the children

The children were very happy to welcome the ICC visitors.  There was a lot of singing and dancing. The children organized a concert. On the day of the inauguration of the houses and the church, they spontaneously started to sing and dance. This was a great experience for the visitors.  There are about three choirs on the campus, and there are some great singing talents among them.

 

The boys like to play soccer. They have their own referee, and they are very disciplined in their play.

 

According to Sharon Fleck, ICC’s children’s services director, the children are a lot happier than when she visited last time.

 

Education

The primary school is progressing well.  The visitors were able to view some of the classes in session.

 

 

Désiré has made significant steps to realizing the construction of the secondary school. It is interesting that project staff are able to make the bricks themselves. This is saving a lot money They use local clay. They put the clay in a form and bake it in the sun. Then they put them in special brick ovens to bake. There is also a tailor in the village, who makes school uniforms and other things.

 

Update on the Newest Family Member         

  

 

On the 11th of June 2009 the ICC in Focus blog informed about a baby who was found. We can tell you now that he is doing fine. On the picture below you can see him with his ICC mother. So far they have not been able to find his real mother. When he was found in May 2009, he was cold and needed food. Today he is well fed. His new brothers and sisters are fond of him. And this is what basically is the most important thing- that a homeless child finds a family who loves him.

 

Special meeting with the King

On Wednesday the 16th of September the King and other leaders from the island were part of the inauguration of the houses and the church. At the ceremonies the King specially thanked all the donors from the US and Europe. He asked to bring his thank you to the donors. He said that the help of ICC is making a difference. Although a lot has been done, the island of Idwji continues to need support. So please don’t stop giving was the King’s wish for the donors.

 

Here are Some of the Major Challenges Facing ICC Patmos Children’s Village

 

1. Erosion problem

There are three major causes.  The houses can’t regulate all the water coming off the roofs.  Also, the soil on the property doesn’t absorb the water, because many trees and buses have been cut.  The last reason is that, in the land above ICC’s property, there is a lot of agriculture going on.  This is results in less trees so more water and soil come down through ICC’s property.  ICC needs around $9,400 to correct this problem.

 

2. Two to three children sharing one bed.

Because of the lack of enough houses, there is still a major challenge for enough beds for the kids. In a lot of cases they sleep with two children in a bed, sometimes even three.  To build a new house ICC Congo needs around $56.000.

 

3. Clean and running water for the homes

It is also still a problem to get clean water to the children’s homes. The source for water is about 3 miles (5 km) away.  A donor had given money to start this project, but it is not finished yet. They are half way now.

 

4. Kitchens for the homes

The housemothers are cooking with wood.  This also impacts the erosion problem. It takes them a lot of time and it is bad for their health. New kitchens for the homes will cost around $11.000.

 

Cooking facilities

Cooking Facilities

 

 

If you would like to help with any of these needs please contact the ICC office at 800-ICC-PRAY.

 

Note: Lambro Triantos, Director of ICC Netherlands, contributed to this report.

Balloons in the Air for ICC

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

On Thursday, September 3, Atlas Copco, an internationally known company, sent 2000 balloons into the air. This was done to celebrate the opening of their new office building in the Netherlands. This company, with a Swedish origin, was founded 60 years ago in Zwijndrecht.  Those who attended the event included Mr. Hans Magnusson, Swedish ambassador to the Netherlands, as well as several directors of Atlas Copco.  

 

Simultaneously, ICC in the Netherlands (IKN) received a big promotional lift.  Mr Matthyssen, Atlas Copco Director, thought that it was important to remember the less fortunate of this world.  Since ICC is committed to children worldwide, Mr Matthyssen had the idea to tie tickets to all of the balloons. For every ticket that is returned, ICC will receive € 2.50.  With the balloon action, Atlas Copco hopes to raise € 5,000 ($7,300) for ICC.


Lambro Triantos, director of IKN, is very pleased with this gift. The total amount will be used for the food program in the ICC Patmos Children’s Village in Congo. Due to the most recent civil war, food prices rose significantly and this contribution from Atlas Copco is very much welcomed. For now, hostilities have subsided and this month Mr. Triantos will visit the ICC Patmos Children’s Village in Eastern Congo to see the project first-hand.  Atlas Copco gave him a number of additional balloons for the children.