A Visit to Congo!!! Part One
What amazing people! My husband John McGlaughlin and I spent two weeks in Kinshasa with Maman Monique, her colleagues, friends, & students: what a welcoming, hospitable, & generous group! They shared their stories & struggles, their courage & faith & songs with us, & showed us many of the regular activities by which Woman, Cradle of Abundance empowers girls and women, widows and orphans, to begin transforming their lives.
The sewing school students let us sit in on a literacy lesson & delighted to show us beautiful things they are learning to make. Present space is crowded, but in the new Center that will change. Maman Jeannette is the head teacher (pictured standing in the middle).
We witnessed the women bringing their small monthly savings “to bank” until they have enough for a special project (maybe starting their own little business, or paying for medical care in illness, or a new dress when the old one is worn out). The calcium & vitamins which you sent were welcomed & distributed. Thank you so much!
Maman Mianda (literacy teacher) & Maman Henriette & Maman Antoinette (below) record each woman’s savings.
The start of the new school year brought grandmothers, aunts, and mothers to enroll children for tuition assistance. (Two per family is all Woman, Cradle of Abundance can do but it is two more than would otherwise attend school.)
Ntumba-Mpoyi-Joel & his mother Kamuleta-Rose Ntumba. He is receiving help for tuition for high school. Her husband abandoned her & their four children because she rescued her two orphaned nephews.
Thanks to their trust in Maman Monique, girls & orphans, elderly widows, successful sewing school graduates & more, bravely told us their stories. It was heartbreaking & inspiring!
The educational project in Uvira (CENEDI) supported by our Hands Across the Water branch at Community Middle School has both good news & sad. Good is 4 high school graduates this year; this letter shows how articulate they are! Good is the opening of Community Charity School, CENEDI’s new school in Goma: : a great new start for 127 students whose lives were torn apart by the war! Bad news is terrible weather-related destruction in the Uriva region, so many people are homeless. Bad is the plight of refugees from Burundi whom Uvira is trying to help. Sharing is a way of life, even – or especially! – when one has so little! Give them a hand!