This Wednesday, we had some of our friends visiting us in Lac Vert. The staff of a UK based charity called “The Congo Tree”, working in building a new generation of leaders in the Congo by training young people, focusing on mentorship opportunities as a yearlong journey. Our own Arsene Tungali is part of this.
See the pictures at our Facebook Page!
Today, they visited our women in the morning and then the kids in the afternoon after they are done with classes. Part of the team, we could notice Ms Heidi Bentley and Ms Amy from the UK; Muhindo Malunga and his wife Grace from Goma. All of them are great supporters of our work in Eastern DRC. They were conducted by our own Arsene, Serge and Mama Jeanet as our team based in the DRC.
In the morning, the women were there waiting with Mama Jeanet
With the mothers, Mama Jeanet explained the work we are doing in our “Encourage Mothers” program and some of the women shared testimonies about what this program has brought to them as change. And why they need to keep it running.
“Sometimes, I forget to think about my own problems and focus on what we were taught in our weekly conversations. This space has helped me focus mostly on my strengths than on my weaknesses knowing that I am strong enough to handle my pains”, shared one of the mothers, who would like to see this program continue.
We had the opportunity to take part into one their lessons and it was great to notice how they have created their own safe conversational space. They are happy to share their stories and they now know each other by name, what they would have never done before.
“We are becoming day after day a family. I know the name of everyone here and know their homes. We now visit each other and know each other’s problems, assisting her the way we can”, shared another woman.
Before the end of the session, Heidi shared her impressions and encouraged the women to stay strong and continue to be good mothers. “You are so strong and I have discovered this while I was working in the Congo the past couple of years [she used to work with Tearfund in Goma, ndlr]”, she shared. “Congolese women are strong and good mothers. I am proud and honored to be here in front of you”.
Amy wanted to say something and she couldn’t hide her emotion, being in such a space. “You are beautiful women and I can see the beauty of God in your face”, she started. “I don’t think I have something to teach you but I feel like I have much to learn from you because you are strong. I discovered this while working in South Kivu [she worked as well with Tearfund in Fizi territory, South Kivu, ndlr]”, she concluded.
Then, the kids were out of school and ready to welcome us
At 1pm, we came back to the school to meet with the students. Heidi and Amy brought some pens, pencils, color pencils, etc. This was a gift from a school in the UK to the students in Goma. And this gift was much welcomed and appreciated by our sponsored kids and some of others who were around at that moment. We really thank those students and would love to build a strong relationship with schools abroad. In a classroom were our kids who interacted with the guests and Heidi got to share an experience of working with young people in the UK which was such a powerful story with a positive message.
After the classroom, because so many kids were waiting outside, the team went to meet them in the large space for some games. The team conducted some exciting games with the whole group of students. It was really funny and powerful to see their energy.
We had so much fun and we were happy to have our friends visiting us and got to meet with our beneficiaries. Their comments were really positive and we hope to hear more from them while they are back in the UK.
Friends, if you want to visit us, just let us know when you are in Goma or if you want to travel and volunteer in one of our programs, we can arrange a time for you. Bring some fresh and positive stories to share with our kids and all our beneficiaries. We are really blessed for today’s experience with our friends.