Newsletter July 2018

Successful Students!

Congo’s academic year ends in July: we have wonderful news! All the seniors graduated well!!!

In Kinshasa FEBA supports about 60 children & youth: school uniforms, supplies, help with fees. After the senior year of secondary school there is a state exam; passing this is the only officially recognized evidence of a successful formal education. All ten seniors passed!

In Uvira the last group of students whom Hands Across the Water has supported through their whole education finished successfully!  Ten more graduates!

Plus all eleven sewing school students not only passed but did very well on their exams for state certification! That story & their graduation will be featured in our next newsletter.

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Further good news: Ms. Gode Kabangu, who graduated from the sewing school several years ago, has developed a thriving business, creatively drawing on West African models which are very popular in Congo. While sewing Ms. Gode has continued her studies, by herself. She took also the state exam for secondary school & passed! WOW!!! Thirty-two young lives changed forever for the better!

Haunted Fun Sleepy Hollow Hayrides

Avoid the ticketing lines & experience 3 amazing events at reduced price with our "Triple Terror Tickets.”

Ride a real hay wagon on a 230-acre haunted farm in Bucks County — a journey where live actors & animated spooks will thrill you. Venture through the "field of fright," a giant corn maze where you are never alone. For the highlight, visit the residents of award-winning Malfate Manor, operated by Midnight Productions professional theater group. Authentic, family friendly fun for all ages. Bonfire, live entertainment, picnic tables; buy or bring snacks & marshmallows for roasting. Gather friends & family together for a jolly evening

Tickets $35; buy 20 get 1 free. Your choice of dates: Sept. 29, Oct. 5, 6, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 25, 26, 28.

881 Highland Rd., Newtown, PA 18940.

Contact Cheryl Ciaranca at or call 215.292.3290

3rd Annual 5K Success

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What a great bunch of runners! Our 3rd annual 5K was a great success. Board member Anna Preston organized an actual run & it was great fun! Maman Monique was delighted to see these young friends supporting Congo. The total for the run was $3000. THANK YOU, SHARI, for your generous challenge grant! THANK YOU, EVERYONE, for your support! THANK YOU, ANNA and youth!

Community Charity School & HAW Finish the 3rd Year

Thanks to a generous matching donation, Community Charity School in Goma is going to be able to pay its final bills! This little school supported by Hands Across the Water (HAW) in New Jersey is now completing its third year! Simply surviving in a war zone is difficult, but thanks to HAW & its friends, CCS has made it possible for many destitute children to learn to read & write.

Welcoming Susan – for real!

Our dear friend Susan Lidstone has been an enthusiastic supporter of Woman, Cradle of Abundance since the beginning. While contributing her artistic talents, her creative energy, her warm sparkling spirit & big bright smile, Susan has resisted becoming an official board member. Until now! So we are delighted to welcome her & write her bio since she is too shy.

Susan brings beauty to life wherever she goes: whether it is creating displays for our FEBA sewing school products (& doing inventory); imagining & creating artwork for the African Soirées of our sister Congo non-profit UFAR (United Front Against Riverblindness); or demonstrating to Communiversity how to bargain in good African style. She also made the first major gift to launch the Women’s Center campaign in 2013, & has followed the progress generously. Hurrah for Susan-Sparkles Lidstone!

UFAR Soiree with FEBA placemats & napkins, commissioned by Susan. Get yours at our  Shop !

UFAR Soiree with FEBA placemats & napkins, commissioned by Susan. Get yours at our Shop!


Congo Update

Congo is hoping for national elections, scheduled for Dec. 23, 2018. Originally they were set for Dec. 2016, but President Kabila refused to step down at the end of his 2nd & last constitutional term & did not organize elections. It is feared that in the next several weeks he will nominate  himself as a candidate for an unconstitutional 3rd term. He has the military power, but some Congolese are planning peaceful protests – the kind his soldiers put down with violence earlier this year.

Over the past two years, political uncertainty has brought economic & social devastation, violence & thousands of deaths. The Norweigan Refugee Council has put the DRC at the top of its list of the ten most neglected displaced-persons crises in the world. Even those who are still in their homes are dying of mal-nutrition because the inflation rate is so high. It is all the more amazing that our sisters & brothers in Congo have not given up but are continuing to build for the future (our graduates!) while trying to help the poorest find a minimal amount of food for their families.

Watch the news for Congo, & urge your Senators & Congress people to keep this humanitarian democratic crisis in their sights. Ms. Elizabeth Jaffee is the Senior DRC Desk Officer at the US State Department. Check the web for her participation in a Telephonic Briefing on the U.S. Humanitarian Assistance and Policy for the Democratic Republic of Congo, April 17, 2018.