Newsletter March 2017

FEBA will have a FARM!

Celebrating a harvest from the old farm in 2003

Celebrating a harvest from the old farm in 2003

Wonderful News! First Presbyterian Church of Evanston, IL, has just made a dream come true! FEBA will soon have a farm again. (Their old farm became untenable when the president’s mother moved in next door & soldiers stole harvests & raped the women. This farm will be in a place where the local community has maintained security for many years.)

The grant of $10,000 will pay for the 10 hectares of land & for clearing & plowing it. FEBA’s agricultural committee will organize planting, weeding, harvesting, equivalent to $6000 in labor. The produce will feed the residents of the new Tomisunga Women’s Center & the sale of the rest will provide income for other needs. By the time the farm is bought & cleared, it will be dry season; significant planting must wait until the rainy season starts in Sept. so harvests will begin only around the end of 2017.

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH, First Presbyterian of Evanston!!!

Furnishing the Women’s Center

Our women’s center has a name:  Tomisunga (Lingala for “We Help Each Other”). Thanks to a crowdfunding-&-match program, we are hoping to furnish the Center in the next couple of months. J&J’s CaringCrowd program hosts crowdfunding for health programs - & will match every gift (according to a specific plan). We are delighted to announce that our proposal has been accepted & is actually moving along! We are at 45% after only three days!

It is called “Furnish a Congo Refuge: From Violence to Good Health.” The project goal is $7000 to furnish beds & tables & chairs & kitchen equipment & counseling room & office spaces. We need online pledges equaling $3500 by April 10, & J&J will match every gift (up to $250/person) – plus 10%! To contribute:


Fair-Trade Market — April 8

Come perk up your spring wardrobe! Add a new African art purse, or a bright colored dress, or a splashy new shirt, or the perfect earrings. How about cheering your table with a placemat & napkin set that sparkles with life? Or a conversation-piece Kuba art pillow/wall hanging? Find the perfect Mother’s Day gift for your mother & help mothers in Congo feed their children.

All at the UFAR African Soiree, at Princeton United Methodist Church, 7 Vandeventer Ave., Princeton, 5-8:30 p.m. (doors open at 4:30). The special speaker is Dr. William Campbell, 2015 Nobel laureate for Medicine. Tickets $35-$100.

Communiversity BIRDS!

Fascination in Feathers! Back by popular demand!

Come to Princeton’s annual Communiversity on April 30 at Princeton United Methodist Church, corner of Vandeventer & Nassau, 1-5 p.m. & see the amazing Ciaranca birds. Have your photo taken with these brilliant beauties, hear what is happening at Woman Cradle of Abundance & Hands Across the Water, enjoy making a difference in the world while you make the acquaintance of these gorgeous birds.

Thanks, HAW volunteers (West Windsor HS North) & Cheryl & Joe Ciaranca! Thanks, PUMC!

Community Charity School Says Thank You!

It is said it takes a village to raise a child but nowhere is that more evident than in the city of Goma in war ravaged eastern Congo.  CENEDI, our Congolese affiliate N.G.O. has been assisting the hundreds of children orphaned by the violence of militia groups, war and illness, but with no financial support other than Hands Across the Water’s fundraising efforts.  The struggle to provide safe haven and quality education for these children is even more challenging during the recent political upheaval and economic downturn.  Community Charity School in Goma has never turned a child away for lack of means to pay, truly a shining example of what dedicated American students can do to help children on the other side of the globe.  Over 50% of the money to establish the school and keep it running has come from students right here in New Jersey.  The current struggles in Eastern Congo have now raised our sponsorship to 80%. With a 300% rate of inflation, families have lost their meager income, and supporters are no longer able to assist.  Education becomes the last priority for families who struggle to eat.

Community Middle School, in Plainsboro, continues to fundraise to support their “little brothers and sisters” in Congo, having held a talent show and auction February 13th raising over $2,300.00.  South Brunswick High School students joined the effort this year with a $500.00 donation and additional fundraisers are being planned at High School North in Plainsboro.  We thank all of these wonderful students and our adult donors for their generous efforts to keep CCS open. Sadly, THEY CAN’T DO IT ALONE!

CCS operates on a budget of $1,050.00 monthly providing a quality education and one daily meal to a population of children living in a poverty few Americans can imagine. It is not hard to understand that with the current circumstances, the school is struggling to keep the doors open!  THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!  Please join us in the fight to assist these wonderful children by making a donation of whatever you can.  Help ensure that Community Charity School does not fall victim to the current political struggles in Congo. 

Please visit www.handacrossthewaterforcongo for more information on Community Charity School and the efforts of our New Jersey students!