Posts Tagged ‘Goma’

Distressing News — Renewed Fighting And Insurrection In The DR Congo

Friday, May 31st, 2013

We received a distressing email from the DR Congo on Monday, May 27, 2013. Désiré Murhima, our director of ICC Congo, informed us that rebel militias were once again attacking the city of Goma where the office for ICC Congo is located and where some of our newest children were temporarily housed. Following is an excerpt of Désiré’s email:

“We are sorry to tell you once more, in less than five months, about war in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

“In fact, after our last phone call (which failed because of network connection) [that] same night we did not sleep owing to bombs launched and gun shots in the northern part of Goma and at less than 900 m (less than half-a-mile) [from] Goma International Airport. Until now there are only two days of some peace (Saturday, May 25th & Sunday, May 26th).

“On Thursday, May 23rd, around 9:10 AM, two bombs fell [on] Goma approximately 300 m (two-tenths of a mile) [from] our ICC Congo Office. Consequently [as a result of the blast] one [local] child died, [another] lost [both] legs and another child had his right arm [severed] and his eye was totally damaged.

ICC Congo children from Goma being transported by boat to the Patmos Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi in Lake Kivu

ICC Congo children from Goma being transported by boat to the Patmos Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi in Lake Kivu

“On the basis of this horrible situation, we immediately took the decision to take the new children [to the Patmos Children’s Village] on Idjwi Island where they can live peacefully. [On] Idjwi, we accommodated them in one part of the newly built home [number] eight.

ICC Congo children from Goma on Idjwi

The ICC Congo children from Goma are now residing at the Patmos Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi

“Nowadays, Goma town is not supplied in food because all the roads from Butembo, Rutchuru, Masisi and Bukavu are blocked/shut/closed by rebel militaries. There is only access to Goma town via the Kivu Lake. Civilian aircraft (excepting military aircraft) do not land or take off. Half of Goma’s population has moved to other peaceful areas/regions/places/zones.”

We highly need your prayers.

Désiré Murhima
Administrator ICC Congo

ICC Congo—Project Update

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

The Lord is blessing and protecting ICC’s children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to a recent update from Sharon Fleck, ICC’s director of children’s services, the children are doing well— everyone is healthy. The recent fighting in the country has not spread to the Island of Idjwi where our children are located. While Idjwi is safe, the interior of East Congo and the rural areas are not. Things are starting to move again in Goma, but it is not possible at this time for ICC personnel to visit.

School has started for the children. Our project director, Desire, has been working on getting the Patmos school accredited with the SDA church. The SDA Educational Superintendent for Congo came from Kinshasa, the capital, to visit our school. They are moving forward now with submitting the request to the Union Committee for their approval. Included are some photos of the superintendent’s visit to our school.

SDA Educational Superintendent for Congo

The SDA Educational Superintendent for Congo visits ICC Congo's Patmos Children's Village from the DR Congo capital, Kinshasa.

The project recently hired a psychologist. This has been a real need at this project, and even though it will mean an increase in the project’s budget, it will be a blessing to have someone to help in this area.

Construction on house #9 is continuing as can be seen in the pictures. After this house and the school are built the project is in desperate need of staff housing.

Construction of new children's home at International Children's Care's Patmos Children's Village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Construction of House Nine continues at the Patmos Children's Village

A group of ASI people with a “Share Him” evangelistic group came to visit the project. One of the group members was a sponsor of one of the girls. She promised a cow for the project. The visitors were all excited about the program and went away wanting to get more sponsors. The children sang for them and put on a program.

Children from the Patmos Children's Village in the DR Congo sing for visitors from the ASI "Share Him" group

A choir comprised of Patmos children sings for the visiting SDA Educational Superintendent for Congo

We are working on a bio-gas project to replace the burning of wood/charcoal for cooking. An engineer has come out and they are giving us their recommendations for it.

Help Urgently Needed In Congo

Monday, May 21st, 2012

We’ve been receiving disturbing news for the past several weeks from our staff at our Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo. It seems that once again regional civil war has resumed near our project. What you read here reflects the most recent information we have received from our staff in the DR Congo.

A number of officers from the Congolese army have recently joined with, or started their own, rebel paramilitary organizations to oppose the current government of the DR Congo after it was announced by the president of the DR Congo that one rebel commander in particular should be arrested for ‘crimes against humanity.’

The fighting between this rebel commander, his supporters and the Congolese army has reached the city of Goma approximately 40 miles from our children’s village. Over 20,000 refugees from the surrounding territories have fled into Goma or across the border into Rwanda to escape the fighting. In some cases entire villages have been deserted as the occupants flee the conflict.

Worse yet, children are once again being recruited or conscripted to fight for the rebel warlords. Young men of high school and college age are especially being targeted for conscription into the rebel armies.

Our children and young people studying in Goma and at nearby universities as well as our staff in Goma have returned to the children’s village on the island of Idjwi where it is relatively safe. Predictably this has put a significant strain on our budget and supplies at Patmos.

Prices for food and fuel have nearly doubled in a few short weeks and many stores have closed because all staples have become increasingly scarce or simply unavailable. Demand has also increased because farmers are abandoning their fields and farms to escape the fighting and the population of refugees flooding into Goma is swelling dramatically on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.

Frankly we need your immediate help and assistance to deal with this unstable situation. It is vital that we do our best to collect three months worth of supplies at the Patmos Children’s Village so we can weather this storm as we care for our children. Without  your help the future is very uncertain.

Please contact ICC at (800) 422-7729 to make a contribution or use this link — Congo Emergency Supplies Fund — to make a secure online donation at our website. When you donate online be sure to write, “Congo Emergency Supplies” in the description box.

Thanks for much for all you do for “His Kids!”

Ken Wilson
Media Director ICC

News of Renewed Militia Action in DR Congo

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Some of you may have heard reports about an outbreak of fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to ICC’s director in the DRC, Desire Murhima, “the fighting is 430 km (267 miles) from Patmos Village… Up to now our project is not affected by this fighting.”

ICC’s children are blessed to live on the Island of Idjwi which is not of any strategic significance in the wars that have ravaged this country. Desire also said that while the fighting is going on “the price of food, construction materials and other things increases.” In your prayers, please remember ICC’s children and staff in this war-torn country.