Disabled - Congo Action 3

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How we help
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.
March 2021 Update
Due to focusing on our school project at Kavumba, we had been unable for a while to help the disabled group (ADIPH), now run by our long term partner, Raymond Zikomangane. However, thanks to support from WTC Congo, we have been able to start to intervene and help a few disabled people, who want nothing more than being able to support themselves by selling or making things, and earn a small income. This gives them a sense of normality and independence, and we hope to be in a position to do a lot more for them in the future.

These are a few of the people who have contributed from our support recently:
Tuliya Musombwa Marie
came to the clinic with a severe scoliosis following tuberculosis. As well as having regular medication to help her bones, she has to wear an orthopaedic corset. She comes from a remote village 70 kms away from Bukavu, but is staying with her aunt in Bukavu for the duration of the treatment. Congo Action & WTC Congo helped towards the cost of the medical treatment.
Wivine Karagi
was left paralysed following poliomyelitis as a child. She has also lost her left arm, following a botched transfusion done for malaria. The wheelchair provided by Congo Action & WTC Congo is her only way of being mobile and sustaining herself by selling canned drinks from her home.
Euphrasie Tunda
lives 60 kms away from Bukavu, in the territory of Walungu. She has been paralysed since 2008 (Due to the difficulties of the journey, Raymond has had to make an overnight trip to deliver the wheelchair that we provided).She was overjoyed with the wheelchair and the small amount of money given to help her increase her selling of bananas.
Concilie Basedeke
lives in Bukavu. She became paralysed due to poliomyelitis. Again here, her only means of getting a small income is by selling cans of drinks, which she can now do from her home, thanks to her new wheel-chair and a small advance from Congo action & WTC Congo. She feels strongly about being as independent as possible.
Raymond Zikomangane
We would like to introduce you to Raymond Zikomangane, who is the main actor of “ADIPH” (Action for the development of Disabled people). ADIPH was created in 2005 in Bukavu. Their objective is to help disabled people in the community to achieve economic independence and wellbeing.
Raymond has been working since 1982 as a secretary at the “Heri Kwetu” in Bukavu, a centre for the care and re-adaptation of disabled children and adults.
Raymond is married, father of 6 children,aged from 29 to 10years old. He lives in Bukavu. Raymond is himself disabled, due to having polio as a young child. In 1980, he followed rehabilitation treatment in Goma. He walks with a cane.
Raymond works with Pascal Kulimushi, also disabled through polio. Both them and other members of ADIPH work on a voluntary basis , evenings and week-ends, when they visit disabled people in the community, travelling by motorbike, taxi, or boat, and going as far as Goma ( 3 hrs by boat on Lake Kivu)to buy adaptations (crutches, wheelchairs, trikes, etc).
This is a statement made by Raymond:

We have long realised that disabled people have often been marginalised in society. To have a disabled child in a family used to be a bad omen. We have ourselves, by living a full and productive life, tried to demonstrate that the disabled person is capable of achieving a decent living and contributing to society, in spite of their disability. “

Congo Action met with Raymond and his colleagues several times on our visits to Bukavu. In the past, they were supported by “Pere Andre Thijs” African missionary, who retired to Belgium in 2016. He has since been unable to contribute much to the financing of their work.

Together with WTC (Working Together Congo), we have continued to help them, as we are convinced of the very worthy and selfless nature of their work. Be assured that any contribution made to Congo Action or WTC, will go directly to help them a bit further to achieve their mission.
Pere Andre Thijs
Pere Andre Thijs  is a Catholic missionary who has spent 49 years working in the DRC, and was in active service in the town of Bukavu, Kivu until 2016. He worked very closely with groups of disabled people, a lot of them having suffered  from polio in their childhood. Andre worked 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 got frequent referrals from Andre and funded much of his work. We receive regular feedback about the work acheived as well as receipts for the money spent on adaptations and medical interventions.
Pere Andre is now living in Genk, Belgium at the Community of African Missionaries. From there he is still in contact with his disabled friends in the Congo and helps them as much as he can.
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.
Disabled Workshop Group
Photos of the members of the Disabled Workshop with Pat and Martine
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
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!
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 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).
"Mama Bitangalo"
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.
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