Crisis in DRC: CARE Distributes Aid, Brings Hope


A few days before Christmas, CARE teamed up with partner organizations to distribute relief items in displacement camps around Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu, where a recent surge in violence has displaced an additional 150,000 people, adding to what”s one of the largest humanitarian disasters in the world.

Crisis in DRC: CARE Distributes Aid, Brings Hope  image 1
The relief kits contained blankets, kitchen supplies as well as plastic sheeting which has been financed by the Government of Luxemburg (Photo: CARE)

Countless sporadic settlements have sprung up, with most shelters mainly consisting of sheets and flimsy wooden frames that will be no good during the rainy season. To bring some relief, CARE helped distribute more than 17,500 relief kits containing items such as kitchen sets, blankets and plastic sheeting.

Meet some of the beneficiaries:

My name is Mwamini Bagirisha. I am 20 years old. I”ve lived in Mugunga camp since April 28, 2012, fleeing the conflict between the government forces and the M23 group.

Since I have come from the territory of Masisi to Goma, we have received support two times. First, the Red Cross gave us food and plastic sheeting. Then, the government distributed some food, too. But when M23 took over Goma in November, we lost everything again. The fighting happened here, just right outside of our camp.

I am very happy to receive these relief items because now I can cover my hut again. The cooking utensils and clothes will help us, too. But all I really want is to return to my home village and bring in the harvest. We had to leave our land and the fields when we fled in April.

My name is Jeanne Mujawimana and I am 52 years old. I”ve fled my home in Masisi Bihambwe and now I”ve lived in this camp for three weeks. I haven”t found a place to build a hut yet, so I live in a hangar. I have seven children and am very happy to receive this assistance. This will help me construct a shelter for my family.

I would like to thank all the humanitarians who come and bring us relief like this. It will help us overcome the rainy season. I wish we could also get some food assistance, because we do not have enough to eat. Christmas and New Year”s will be difficult.

My name is Natutarumbo Sofina and I am 72 years old. I fled Masisi five months ago and now I live here with my grandchildren. Their parents died during the war.

In August, we received some support, a plastic sheet and some blankets from the Red Cross. But when Goma was attacked in November, we lost all we had. I am happy to receive these items, the plastic sheeting, the cloths, the blankets and pots will help us tremendously. But we also need food.

And security is a big concern. There have been thefts here, because we cannot lock our doors. And it is hard to find firewood to prepare food because we live next to a national park and it is not allowed to cut wood. Our biggest hope is to find peace and return to our villages.

My name is Florence Hategeka and I am 19 years old. I come from Rutushuru, both my mother and father have passed away. I have come to this camp, Mugunfa, about four weeks ago with my two little brothers. We live in a hut covered with leaves from trees. Every time it rains, we suffer.

Now that we have received this plastic sheeting, I am sure that our situation will improve. We are thankful for this support. Our hope is to return to our home village where we had to leave our land and the food we used to grow because of the war.

My name is Bigirimana Anicet and I am 25 years old. I”ve left my home in Rutshuru about five months ago. First, I settled in a camp called Kanyarutsinya, but after Goma had been seized by the M23 group, I had to flee to Mugunga with my family.

I am a husband and father of three. My wife is sick, so I have come to this distribution with one of my children. Before, we were literally empty handed, because all the assistance that we received in Kanyarutsinya camp was lost when we had to flee. Now I am very happy to receive this support, especially the plastic sheeting for our shelter. This will help improve our difficult lives here.