South District answers urgent call to aid Central Congo

The Eastern PA Conference’s South District is answering the urgent call to help people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who are suffering from hunger and malnutrition made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Responding to an appeal by the Congo Partnership, the Rev. Evelyn Kent-Clark, new South District Superintendent, wrote to pastors and churches in her district urging them to contribute to save lives by supporting various struggling nutrition programs.

Both the South and North districts have contributed to the Congo Partnership, an alliance of United Methodist support among the Eastern PA, Peninsula-Delaware and Western North Carolina conferences, along with the Central Congo Conference.

The South District helped develop the Mpasa Medical & Nutrition Center and built and furnished a pediatric medical building with two surgery theatres. It also provided solar power for the entire complex, helped fund an eye clinic to serve the needs of remote villages, and helped fund and launch the New Life Skills program to help people learn trades and become self-sustaining.

“God has worked powerfully through the many churches and individuals of the South District,” wrote Kent-Clark in her district letter. Now she urges them to rise to a new giving challenge to help people there who face growing malnutrition and starvation because of the pandemic and resulting economic losses. Especially hard-hit are people in remote and urban areas who are unable to grow their own food.

The new superintendent outlined three projects “that will be impacted by our generosity”:

  1. Mpasa Nutrition Center, where 250-300 children receive a daily nutritious porridge dish that costs $.56 per meal per child. A $100 donation can help feed 179 children.

    Mpasa also has a program for severely malnourished children, about 60 per month, and a program to help provide food elderly women can take home to prepare for themselves and their families.
  • Miriam’s Table is another nutrition program located in the Mpasa region, a region of over 4 million refugees. Over 400 children receive a daily nutritious meal and medical assessments from the Mpasa Medical Team staff. The porridge at our nutrition programs also have vitamin supplements. Both Miriam’s Table and Mpasa are sites for United Methodist local churches so the children also receive spiritual and emotional support and training.
  • The Agriculture Program is a model farm called Cape Lodja in the village of Diengenga that uses animal traction. A teaching farm, people learn how to grow more nutritious food and use animal traction to enlarge the areas they can cultivate. While the nutrition centers are critical to help those in crisis, the farm provides an opportunity for people to become self-sufficient and prevent malnutrition. The local medical center, another project supported by the Partnership, provides training in sanitation and nutrition. The Farm is also the source of fresh water for the people of Diengenga, the first fresh water well in that area.

“Give hope and life to the people of Congo as you contribute to honor or in memory of someone,” reads the appeal.  “All gifts make a difference.”

Contributions can be made out to one’s local church or sent directly to the Eastern PA Conference Treasurer’s Office designating “Congo Nutrition Projects/South District.” A hundred percent of each donation goes directly to help the people.

For more information contact Annette Onema-Orbach at muyalaonema@gmail.com or 609-943 2021. Or contact Rev. Jonathan or Donna Baker at jonbaker@comcast.net or Donnaapn@comcast.net or call 302-260-2272. Visit the Congo Partnership website at www.Congo-misson.org. The Bakers, retired former missionaries to Central Congo, provide much of the information for the fundraising effort.