ADRA Helps Feed Refugees in D.R. Congo
Project JENGA to build homes
he Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is delivering aid to displaced persons in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) who fled heavy fighting between government and regional rebel forces in the eastern part of the country. The organization is also maintaining a long-term food security project in the region, focusing on female-headed households and returning citizens.
Fighting intensified between the Congolese army and rebel forces in late October 2008, leaving 200,000 Goma residents homeless. The displaced persons have experienced serious human rights violations during the conflict, the United Nations reported, prompting ADRA to distribute blankets, clothing, and school supplies to more than 3,000 families in the DRC.
ADRA is providing wool blankets to 2,600 children and 4,000 multifunctional cloths called “pagne” for women to wear or use as blankets of slings to carry babies. ADRA will also distribute 850 school kits to displaced school-children.
ADRA is also working with 7,500 households in the DRC in a three-year project training farmers to increase crop productivity and food security. The project, titled JENGA, will also help build homes for 10,000 Congolese individuals and advocate property rights for female-headed households.
Project JENGA, meaning “to build” in Swahili, is centered in the war-torn South Kivu Province of the DRC.
About 70 percent of the DRC’s population is experiencing food shortages with malnutrition rates continuing to climb, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported.
JENGA will also distribute an estimated 1,500 metric tons of short-term food aid in addition to education in community development, soil conversation, and agricultural practices.
--ANN with information from ADRA