Collaboration with the Action for the Integral Development of Handicapped People
Since 2005, Congo Action has been working in partnership with Pere Andre Thijs , from “Les Missionnaires d’Afrique” and with the association named “ADIPH” ( “ Action pour le Developpement Integral des Personnes Handicappees”), both based in Bukavu, Kivu. They refer to Congo Action hundreds of disabled children and adults, in need of medical and orthopaedic treatment (not financed by the State). They also refer groups of disabled people willing to better themselves by taking up a trade, (such as sewing, or making handicraft goods) who are in need of financial back up to set up their trade.
Pere Andre Thijs is a Catholic missionary who has spent 49 years working in the DRC, and remains in active service in the town of Bukavu, Kivu. He works very closely with groups of disabled people, a lot of them having suffered from polio in their childhood. Andre works incessantly at providing help for these unfortunate people, by financing their medical treatment, or medical adaptations, financing sewing workshops and professional training and continually visiting and supporting them morally and physically. ( The "handicapped " people in the DRC receive no help whatsoever from the government).
Congo Action gets frequent referrals from Andre and funds much of his work. We receive regular feedback from the work acheived as well as receipts for the money spent on adaptations and medical interventions.
We have just heard the news that Pere Andre will retire at the end of 2016 when he will have had his 80th birthday. Happy retirement and well deserved but we are so sad to see you go!
Visit to the projects for disabled people sponsored by Congo Action
During the recent visit to the Congo Martine and Pat were pleased to be able to visit some of the people and projects Congo Action support amonst the disabled.
Evelyne and Neema
are two of the disabled young girls trained & sponsored by Congo Action in dressmaking. Pat and Martine much admired their finished work!
Disabled Workshop Group
Photos of the members of the Disabled Workshop with Pat and Martine
Martine & Pat with Oliver at the home for disabled young people at Nyatende, South Kivu.
Oliver used to have to walk everywhere on his knees. He has now been provided with a tricycle, making his life a lot more bearable!
is also at the Nyatende center. Her legs were damaged following a failed or poor operation. She is so happy trying out her new tricycle which has been given to her by Raymond, from ADIPH, and financed by Congo Action.
is from Walungu which is 75 kms from Bukavu. Just after finishing her secondary school studies, Euphrasie lost the use of her legs following an accident. She is seen here with Raymond (left) and her parents receiving the wheelchair recently bught by Congo Action.
Life in the DRC as a disabled person often means a life of misery and utmost dependence on their relatives. Congo Action is well aware of the plight of disabled people, so neglected by the state and so often treated as second class citizens. With the little funds that we received from our donors in the UK, we immediately put them to use and we know that we can rely on Raymond and Pere Andre Thijs, our very dedicated colleagues in the DRC, to try and find solutions to improve the lives of the disabled. Many thanks to them for their endless efforts, and also many thanks to all of you who agree to help with a donation.....
Ariane was born with malformed legs. After being brought up to our attention by ADIPH, and Pere Andre, she received financial help for her treatment; Still in plaster casts, and supported by callipers, she was able to start walking some months later.
Born with weak leg muscles, Moise was unable to walk unaided. After medical treatment, and legs put in plaster, Moise was provided with a basic walking aid to encourage him to use his legs.
Nankafu was paralysed from childhood and unable to walk. ADIPH and Congo Action intervened to provide the necessary orthopaedic treatment. The photo below shows the improvement and self confidence gained after her treatment.
She is seen on the right with her friend Immaculee, and “Raymond” our partner from ADIPH.
Francine & Evelyne with "Mama Rachel"
Raymond, from ADIPH, visited Francine & Evelyne, in their sewing workshop where they were teaching a newcomer "Mama Rachel". (The sewing machines seen here were provided by Congo Action).
Here is a wonderful example of how very resourceful and industrious disabled people can be, with the little help that they receive: Here, “MAMA BITANGALO” , who is blind, is seen making shopping baskets with materials provided by ADIPH and Congo Action.
Little MOISE is introduced to our partners, Pere Andre Thijs and Raymond; MOISE is hemiplegic (paralysed on one side). He too received the appropriate treatment, and is seen here making his first steps with the aid of a walking frame. (Pictures of MOISE & MUM, pictures of ANDRE THIJS & Raymond, DEC 2013).
Wivine: Due to a botched operation, Wivine lost the use of her left arm and could not walk with her crutches any more. She needed a wheelchair to enable her to get around. She had been on Andre Thijs waiting list for 18 months. When the funds arrived a wheelchair was duly purchased and Vivienne is now able to function again and continues to look after her five children still living at home.
Eveline and Francine both suffered polio at a young age, which left them unable to walk until they were provided with callipers in their teens. They have been trained by ADIPH , to do sewing and tailoring and are now running a busy little workshop in Bukavu, near the market, where we visited them. Andre Thijs received funds from Belgium to build the little wooden workshop. Congo Action bought them some further equipment (embroidery machine and one to fix buttons on clothes). This boosts their income as other tailors come to their shop to use the equipment at a small cost.
Bisimwa is a young student who also suffered polio in childhood and was walking on crutches up to now. ADIPH referred her as a “bright young student with plenty of drive and ambition” as needing assistance with a “prosthesis” and Congo Action was able to help . Bisimwa now walks to school with her friends, glowing with pride and confidence.
Victorine had a broken arm but due to lack of funds, was not able to receive medical care needed at the time. This meant having some bone removed from her leg to repair the damage done to her arm. Congo Action paid for the lengthy operation to be done. She is likely to need physio for a long time, but will soon be walking again and returning home to her children.