I say, "when I lived in Congo, I saw family after family caring for the orphans in their midst, in fact, I rarely ever saw a family that didn't have an orphan in their home." I have talked about the incredible church, community, and family networks that are integral in the care of vulnerable children in eastern DRC. And when I talk about the babies at the orphanage we support, this is why I say, "they don't need international adoption, their families need support to care for the children they want but that they didn't have the formula to keep them alive (so they brought them to the orphanage)." I argue over and over again, "that babies are left at the orphanage in a moment of crisis, and that their fathers or other family members intend to come get them."
But, sometimes, when someone else is saying it, it's better, and is heard easier and rings true. Pluse it's exciting to share about other work in eastern DRC that supports vulnerable families! This project is up the lake from the city where I lived (the city I lived in is about 3 hours away from the orphanage we support).
Here is a quote from the article (please read it, it's wonderful):
"In Congo, and in many other places, there is in fact a strong culture of extended family care. Solange, one of the SHONA Congo women, lost both her parents when she was a child. Despite extreme poverty and living in the midst of a war-zone, Solange's uncle still took Solange in. I doubt it occurred to him to do anything else. In the face of extremely difficult situations, Congolese families regularly take in relatives, even distant relatives. They take in children who have been orphaned, or whose parents just can't care for them right now.
But wait. That doesn't mean the rest of us are off the hook.
Because what they are attempting is a Herculean task. The loss of a parent is crushing, and even with the best of intentions, a remaining parent or an extended family often struggles to care for children in this type of loss.
Here is the reality. Orphaned children often have some form of family that is able to take them in. But what they and their families often don't have is support, emotional or financial."
Consider supporting Shona Congo. Consider supporting other work that supports families and keeping them together in crisis in Congo. Consider supporting vulnerable children and their families. Consider supporting our work. Right now we are raising $3000 for the 80 school children we support (and have been doing for the last three years). For their first trimester school fees and school uniforms and notebooks. They all were brought to the orphanage as babies after their mothers died and they all went back to their fathers or extended relatives by age 5 years old (some much earlier). They all live with their families or extended families. Most of these children would not be going to school without support from donors, especially not secondary school and especially not the girls.
Thank you for listening. And if you'd like to contribute to the school fees due September 1st, use the paypal links to the right on the blog here or at our website- www.reedsofhope.org. Or, head on over to Shona Congo and give there. Thank you for caring for the strong and beautiful people of Congo!
|Esperance, last week|