Ending the Year Strong!
THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!
What Excitement! Our Facebook page fundraiser was a great success. THANK YOU to each one who contributed to the $8,060 donated on Nov. 27! We are half-way to our goal of buying a (used) pick-up for the farm, to bring the harvest home. Part of the produce feeds the poorest FEBA members; part is sold to buy other necessities. When we must pay for transport, it takes a good part of the profits which would support other needs. Let’s have our pickup for the next harvest at the end of January!
Here in the Women’s Center courtyard children display new school uniforms & school supplies:
Corn is a staple of daily life; these village women celebrate their harvest. As it is available, corn flour from the new farm is distributed to the poorest members of FEBA. The colorful bags contain 10 kilos of flour to help a woman & her family survive for weeks:
WHAT a YEAR!
The Women’s Center completed!! Classes have begun in lovely new quarters, & the first graduation celebrated. See the whole story of the building on our website under “What We Do.”
21 young men & women earned their state diplomas (equivalent of junior college). Dozens of orphans & destitute children have received school fees, uniforms, & supplies (see at left).
Farm success! The first 5 hectares produced well & the first corn harvest fed desperately poor women & orphans. The rest of the farm is now in production.
Community has been strengthened. Together leaders & FEBA members supported each other through illness, floods, & death.
Goma’s Community Charity School survives to serve hundreds of destitute children.
Celebrating 32 Successes!
Since 2007, HAW (Hands Across the Water), a middle & high school club in NJ’s West Windsor Regional School District, has sup-ported education of 32 young women & men. Through the local Congo non-profit CENEDI they have enabled their counterparts in war-torn eastern Congo to finish secondary school & achieve a state diploma. As many as could, gathered to rejoice & thank their North American friends. What a triumph of determination & hope & caring across the waters!
HAW continues to support Community Charity School in Goma, providing a free education to over 200 extremely impoverished & orphaned children. CCS needed to add 2 new classrooms this fall to accommodate the children who are now in 5th and 6th grade. This year we were assisted in that effort by Mrs. Chiocca & her 8th grade French students at Grover Middle School who hosted a wonderful auction on our behalf on Nov. 2nd. Merci beaucoup for the love & support from Grover Middle School!
Update on Congo’s Elections & Challenges
Long-delayed elections are due on Dec. 23. These were originally scheduled for Dec. 2016, rescheduled for Dec. 2017. The president’s party has finally agreed to hold elections & has nominated one of his relatives. Seven opposition parties agreed on one candidate but several parties withdrew so there are two opposition candidates. This has led to threats from some opposition members against those who defected from the single candidate. The president insists on voting machines – which he bought – which many believe are rigged. Tensions are high. The hope is for peaceful elections, leading to a stable situation in which inflation will be controlled & people will again be able to eat. That will make a great difference to self-support by our partners, who cannot sell their sewing products if no one can buy. But fear is great…