Work in Democratic Republic of Congo
Work in Democratic Republic of Congo
Constructing a Water Tower
Constructing a Water Tower
Water Tower Project
There are no water sources for the 16,000 that live in the village of Ndekesha. Just dilapidated rain wells at the Missionary Institute Friends of Christ Sisters’ convent that provide rainwater, but only when it rains. Women and children slowly carry water in dirty containers back and forth from an unclean river and walk 3-5 km every day as this is the closest water source.
Fr. Emile Tshisekedi, pastor at Our Lady of Seven Sorrows in Ndekesha, knows how desperate the situation is, “If the need for drinking water is real in all our country (the DRC) in general, it’s worst in Ndekesha.” Children and their families get sick from waterborne illnesses and diseases like diarrhea, malaria, and dracunculiasis.
A water tower will decrease waterborne illnesses, promote health and hygiene, eliminate hours spent locating water, and give women and children the freedom to focus on school and their community.
The sisters care for the elderly in hospice, formation of youth in schools, and for the sick in the hospitals. They also serve as an outreach to other women in the village. By sharing the faith, they teach women in the village to be truly Christian. They subscribe Msgr. Martin Bakole’s observation that “to evangelize is to develop.” They care for so many.
Together, we can help the Ndekesha Missions increase their quality of life by supplying clean, safe, and reliable water.
Water Tower Project Completed!
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to you on behalf of the people of Ndekesha Missions and the entire population of Kazumba! The project aimed to construct a water tower and was initially scheduled for completion within three months. The people of Ndekesha Missions, facing various challenges, worked, over the course of eleven months, to complete the project.
We are pleased to share that as of September 17, 2023, the population of Kazumba now has access to clean and safe drinking water. The availability of clean water has prevented waterborne illnesses and been instrumental in saving the lives of thousands of people. Additionally, the water tower has alleviated the suffering of women, young girls, and boys who previously had to travel for miles every morning and evening to reach the nearest spring water source.
Photos are from a blessing held for the completed project. This inspiring moment was made possible by your generous support.
Clean water is on its way!
The construction of a new water tower began with drilling and digging to create a reliable foundation. Unfortunately, the engineer who came to inspect the water quality found the depth of the well to be insufficient to cover Ndekesha. Now, the team will create another drill point at a designated spot where the quality of water will be sufficient for a permanent supply for the population. The population benefitted will include the orphanage, Missionary Institute Friends of Christ Sisters’ convent, and the hospital. Even with the obstacles that occur while making the quality of life better for others, it is important to remember that the Lord is with us every step of the way.
Moving forward, the construction project will include a complete water system with a running faucet and water tank in addition to the central water tower. Then, solar panels will be required to power the new supply of clean water.
There is still much work to be done, but we are hopeful and ecstatic to see the fruits of your generosity start to unfold!
Give a Proper Facility for the Orphans
Give a Proper Facility for the Orphans
After 4 Years, the Ndekesha Orphanage is Re-opened!
Ndekesha Orphanage was started by the Sisters of Charity in 1952. For 46 years, the Sisters of Charity raised many children and did vital work through their ministry at Ndekesha Orphanage. Due to war and increased fighting, the orphanage was closed in 1998.
In 2002 Archbishop Emery Kabongo reopened the orphanage and staffed it with a new order–the Sisters of the Friends of Christ. The facilities were in terrible condition due to the war. With the continued support of the archbishop, the sisters, led by their superior, Sister Beatrice, have been advocates and mothers to many, many children over the last 15 years. Despite their dedication and perseverance, the Sisters of the Friends of Christ and Archbishop Kabongo were unable to get a proper facility for the children, and were without the resources to feed the children nutritious meals.
In 2015, Archbishop Kabongo met with Deacon Rick Medina of Catholic World Mission and personally requested the assistance of Catholic World Mission to help him realize the dream of proper care and education for these orphaned children. This was a project near and dear to the archbishop’s heart, because he was orphaned as a child himself.
Today, 19 orphans call Ndekesha Orphanage home. With the help of the generosity of Catholic World Mission donors, Ndekesha Orphanage has been rebuilt, given electricity and furnished. The children are thriving, and have gained healthy weight after finally receiving three meals every day.
Orphans in the DR Congo are Considered Burdens
The Sisters Provide Love and Education to the Children of God. The orphanage was created because many children are abandoned by their families, especially if the mother dies during child birth. Children in the Democratic Republic of Congo are seen as an economic burden, but the Sisters of the Friends of Christ know the children are a gift and truly cherish them.
The Sisters Provide Love and Education to the Children of God. Every child at the orphanage is given the last name “Kabongo” after Archbishop Kabongo. Under his leadership, the orphanage was reopened in 2002, and he has become the spiritual father to all the children. The orphanage provides a place for the children to grow, learn, and be children in a country with much economic turmoil. The sisters at the orphanage wish they could take in as many children as possible, but their needs are great as it is, and they struggle to provide for the children they care for now.
Below see photos of the orphans at Ndekesha:
Orphanage is Crumbling After Years of Brutal Civil War
Ndekesha Orphanage is currently in a run-down building with nothing but cracked walls. There are 16 children under the care of the Sisters of the Friends of Christ, many of them malnourished from lack of food. There is no kitchen, bathroom, or any other basic necessities. There are two beds in the orphanage where 5 children sleep sideways in each. The rest of the children sleep on the floor. The number of orphans the sisters could care for can easily quadruple, but there are simply no funds for food, medicine, or any other basic necessities. Their biggest need is to build a safe orphanage for the children to live.
One night at 3 AM Sister Beatrice woke to hear the children crying. Imagining her worst fear–an intruder hurting the children–she ran to check on the girls. There was no intruder, but one of the oldest girls hot with a fever. Sister Beatrice took the girl to the hospital where she was diagnosed with major depression.
The children have all been subject to devastating trauma through their abandonment and through the hard lives they live in a shelter with no security.
Thanks to the generous donations of major benefactors the war-damaged orphanage is being rebuilt! We look to generous donors like you to help us furnish the orphanage, once it’s rebuilt, with basic furnishings such as bunk beds, cribs, a full kitchen, a bathroom, a living room, and a play room.
Your selfless generosity gave many young children the opportunity for nourishment. The children at the Ndekesha Orphanage are thankful for YOU providing them with a nutritious meal. The joy they emulate is contagious and shows us that the Kingdom of Heaven truly belongs to them.
Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, we’ve been able to continue our monthly support of the Ndekesha orphans in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Did you know? Every month we send vital aid for food, medicine, clothing, and personal products like soap and shampoo to the orphans in Ndekesha. With increased costs and increased needs because of the pandemic, this aid was in very real danger of coming to an end earlier this year. But thanks to YOU, the children in Ndekesha continue to thrive.
Look at the photos to see how much they’ve grown. Don’t they look healthy and well?
The Ndekesha Orphanage was just dedicated this fall! New construction was completed, and the children and Sisters were able to return to their home this summer. Bishop Pierre Celestin was on hand for the celebration. He blessed the new orphanage and led a prayer service, which was followed by dancing and songs sung by the children. Thank you for your generous help for these little ones!
Scroll to the bottom of this tab to see some of the photos from the big day! Don’t the children look so cute in their Sunday best?
The orphans are still in Kananga, and still living in a small one-room apartment. Since arriving in Kananga, the sisters have taken in three more children from the streets. 17 religious sisters are now caring for 21 children. Please keep these children and sisters in your prayers. They are still hoping to move into a bigger apartment, and eventually a house. Their living quarters were extremely cramped before and are even more cramped with three more children. Pray especially for the sisters, that their hearts would be fully united to Jesus so that they can continue to love each child well and provide much-needed stability for them.
Bishop Pierre Celestin, of the Diocese of Luebo in DR Congo, visited us! We were so excited to receive Bishop Pierre and to hear an update on our beloved Ndekesha Orphans. He told us they are still in their one-room apartment in Kananga. We thank God that they are all safe, but still in need of our help.
DRC’s civil war has directly affected Bishop Pierre and his priests. Many priests were forced into hiding when they became the targets of the warring factions in DR Congo. The priests, who, in times of peace, usually live alone at their parish, now live in groups in order to stay safe. Some live in the bush, while many fled to other countries.
Bishop Celestin travels the world in the humblest conditions to gather the priests back to DR Congo. He recently traveled to a refugee camp in Angola to visit displaced priests.
Bishop Celestin is himself homeless as a result of the war. His rectory and cathedral were desecrated, sacked, and vandalized by fighters. Among the items destroyed was the cathedral’s monstrance. We were delighted to be able to give Bishop Celestin a monstrance to replace the one destroyed by the war. We hope that Adoration will bring comfort to the bishop and his people during this scary time in their country.
Due to the terrible civil war racking the country, it is unsafe for the children and sisters to stay at the orphanage in Ndekesha.
17 religious sisters and 19 children walked 120 km (75 miles) for their safety. We are happy and grateful to report that everyone arrived safely in Kananga, after the trip took some of the children and sisters 10 days! However, their struggle to survive isn’t over. Currently the 17 sisters and 19 children are all staying in a one bedroom home, packed like sardines.
Catholic World Mission sent immediate help to the sisters and children, who will need help paying for rent, food, medical supplies, and other necessities at least through the end of the year. Your generosity made it possible for us to do that. The sisters and children rely on your continued generosity as well.
Ide, our partner here in Atlanta, Georgia, traveled home to DR Congo, to visit Ndekesha and check in on the orphans. Ide brought vestments to the local priests who were without, she helped carry rocks from the river for the orphanage, and most importantly, she showered the children with love. Together, they celebrated the consecration of three new sisters who made vows as members of their congregation. The children clapped and celebrated the joyous occasion. The sisters who made vows are happy to have finally vowed to love Jesus all their lives.
Thank you to all our generous donors who have helped to raise money for the Ndekesha Orphanage in the Democratic Republic of Congo this year! The sisters feel so blessed to be able to feed their children good meals of sardines, noodles, beans, and milk protein.