Congo Update

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.

Comments are closed.