The lusty cry of a newborn pierces the night as new life is ushered into the world. A young
mother smiles to see her baby for the first time. “The child is strong,” the midwife nods.
Being born is a miracle, but in the Democratic Republic of Congo, living to celebrate your
seventh birthday is another.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), there are 13 maternal deaths for
every 1,000 infant deliveries in Congo. HIV and AIDS persist in generally 1.3 percent of 15 to
45-year-olds, with a higher rate of 1.9 percent in urban communities. Lack of sufficient or
accessible health care places adults at risk for contracting otherwise preventable or treatable
illness and disease. Malaria continues in prevalence. On average, 400 people die daily from
malaria in Congo, and half of these are children under the age of seven.
Child mortality rates are staggering. One out of seven children will die before the age of five.
Malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies are responsible for nearly half of these deaths.
Nearly a quarter of the children in this vast country are underweight, and many are not
vaccinated for common childhood diseases.
Although Congo’s land is rich in natural resources, the majority of families live in poverty. Less
than half of the population can obtain a clean source of drinking water, and less than one third
have access to adequate sanitation facilities. Many parents struggle to keep food on the table,
never mind to afford school expenses for their children. As school enrollment declines, child
labor rates climb. Children as young as five years old are working.
The crisis facing Congo’s children has not gone unnoticed. Train Them 2 Fish received funding
from UNICEF to secure and distribute school supplies to 8,250 children in 66 different schools.
We also provided teacher training to 327 individuals, and peace building education to 1,576
children under the age of 15. Although UNICEF and its partners have enrolled 110,000 children
in projects for the orphaned and vulnerable, there are hundreds of thousands more in need.
Our responsibility is clear in the Scripture. “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the
Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted
from the world.” James 1:27
“He tests the love of His professed followers by committing to their tender mercies the afflicted
and bereaved ones, the poor and the orphan… Every kind act done to them in the name of Jesus,
is accepted by Him as if done to Himself, for He identifies His interest with that of suffering
humanity, and He has entrusted to His church the grand work of ministering to Jesus by helping
and blessing the needy and suffering.” Counsels on Stewardship, 163–164.
In Mulamba, a remote village in the South Kivu province, 28 orphaned children have
experienced hope in place of an uncertain future.
By 2013, Mulamba’s population swelled as refugees spilled in, fleeing armed violence. Train
Them 2 Fish received resources from board members and locals to provide for the needs of the
vulnerable orphans there. Thanks to contributions, 28 kids have been sponsored in the last six
Each child is placed with a host family. For each of the families, Train Them 2 Fish has been
providing agricultural training so that they can grow beans, maize and cassava to produce food
for greater self-sustainability.
With $35 monthly, a child can be sponsored in a rural area such as Mulamba. In the capitol city
of Kinshasa, cost is a little higher at $42. Their sponsorship money covers school fees, the cost of
a school uniform, books, meals and primary health care.
There are over 4 million orphaned children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Providing
homes and care for 28 orphans feels like a drop in the ocean, but we hope to make an impact one
life at a time.
With God’s blessing and support, we would like to sponsor more orphaned children, not only in
the village of Mulamba, but in the Kasai region and western Congo as well. We would like to see
200 orphaned children provided for this year, that they may have a chance to experience a new
life, and ultimately life eternal.