project hope, the democratic republic of congo
TiC member Jocelyn suggested Project Hope via TiC’s ‘Pick up a Piece’ scheme which enables members to recommend projects. Since December 2007, TiC has supported forty-two children to attend the Mere Marie Augustine Centre primary school in the capital Kinshasa, via small charity Caring for Congolese Children. At the start of Project Hope the children were too malnourished to start school. After receiving urgent medical care, they entered mainstream education at the Centre where TiC supported their education.
There are over four million orphans in the Democratic Republic of Congo. One in three children is malnourished, one in five die before their fifth birthday. During the civil war (1998 – 2003) thousands of children were abducted by rebels and thousands more women raped. Although an uneasy peace deal was struck in 2003, in 2005 1,000 people continued to die every day from war-related causes. In January 2009, fighting resumed in the North East.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is the focus of multilateral efforts by the international community to bring a lasting peace, economic prosperity and a bright future. This future was represented in TiC’s When I Grow Up exhibition in October 2009. Alongside the inevitable scars of war seen in one or two of the pictures by the children, many aspire to be teachers, doctors, drivers, pilots and religious leaders; professions that will help their country move towards a safe future. Way-way wants to be a driver: “I love to play with my friends and my hobby is football. I would like to change my society so that I may eat, live well.”