Many members would have met Dr Luc Mulimbalimba and his wife Delice from the Democratic Republic of Congo and collected clothing and stationery items to help them in their work. In 2005, they established the Mission in Health Care and Development (MHCD) an NGO based in Bukavu and Uvira (on the borders with Rwanda and Burundi) and Lubumbashi (on border with Zambia).
Dr Luc advises that in DR Congo, the rape capital of the world, raped women are left isolated and without support. As a result MHCD developed community projects to help women recover from rape and regain their dignity. They provide employment, build capacity and create financial independence. The MHCD uses the Zonta Birthing Kits as part of its mission to train birthing assistants.
Dr Luc has emailed to say that, as a result of interest generated through their Birthing Kit train-the-trainer program, the first classroom for a midwifery school has been built at Luvungi (between Bukavu and Uvira). The students currently undergo three weeks of training as birthing assistants and return to their villages to help deliver babies, undertake pre and post natal consultations, conduct immunisations, treat malaria and typhoid and provide family planning services. The women want to become fully trained midwives (4 years of training) and this first classroom will help them to do this. Dr Luc is seeking help to build another 5 classrooms to complete the midwifery school.
But that is not all…. they have opened a market building too….!
Katogota is a village near Uvira that suffered a dreadful massacre during one of the Congo wars. Rebels from neighbouring countries stormed the village and butchered almost everyone. Many women and girls were raped, houses were burned, belongings stolen and since this time the survivors have lived with the trauma and stress. MHCD has helped the villagers rebuild their lives by distributing pigs and creating fish ponds for microfinancing projects. The women sell fish, vegetables and charcoal to survive and send their children to school.
Selling products from the roadside is challenging especially when it is extremely hot or there is torrential rain. To solve this problem, all of the women contributed what they could from their sales, and with donations from Dr Luc and Delice and others, were able to construct a market building. Dr Luc is shown below in front of the market that is called the Market of Martyrs in remembrance of the fallen villagers.
It is always inspiring to see the marvellous work that Dr Luc does!