As I write it is raining and, after the dry season, it is so wonderful to see the whole area turning green again. Then I remember the refugee camp in Bunia, only 14 miles away, and know that there thousands of people are sleeping under tarp tents and more in the rain with no cover. This has been an interesting week. The news of violence escalating in Djugu, tens of thousands of IDP’s (Internally Displaced People) coming into Bunia, and a rapidly growing refugee camp sparked us into immediate action. On visiting the camp and seeing the need for myself, we requested Disaster Response funds from MAF Headquarters and were able to bring food in within a few days.
By that time the local Christian groups of volunteers who were trying to supply food were down to their last bag of rice, a few bags of beans, and only had 6 bags of Maize meal for porridge for young kids. We were able to fly in 50 bags of rice, 760 kgs of beans, 40 x 20 liter containers of oil and 30 more bags of maize meal. We also got 1200 plates and cups so people would have something to eat out of.
Even though it is a drop in the bucket compared to the great need, the people were incredibly grateful and we felt like we were able to tide them over till more supplies could come.
It seems violence all up and down the eastern part of Congo is on the rise. We appreciate your prayers for safety but, even more, we want to be able to help in the community.