The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has put a directive to extend the Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown after an initial 45-days lockdown. Some of the measures include closing all borders for human traffic except for returning citizens, staying at home, closing all non-essential businesses and travelling only when necessary. These are very commendable measures and they represent our best chance of saving many lives given the dire situation and ill-preparedness of the health system. However, DRCongo’s current economy largely depends on the informal sector (about 80%).
Most of these businesses are classified as non-essential businesses making the implementation of the anti-coronavirus lockdowns, seen in countries such as the United States,China and the West, a huge challenge. According to data from The World Bank, extreme poverty in DRCongo was estimated to have risen from 65% in 2018 to 72% in 2019. The DRC is still recovering from a series of conflicts and civil war that broke out in the 1990s. Due to both the civil war and the extreme poverty, many kids were left with no parents. Mbenga's Foundation was created in 2005 to help children in Belgium and the Democratic Republic of Congo. We believe that nurturing and caring for children are the cornerstones of human progress.
The Mbenga Foundation was created with this purpose in mind – to work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child's path. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, we act so that all children are immunized against common childhood diseases, and are well nourished, because it is wrong for a child to suffer or die from a preventable illness. The Mbenga Foundation supports hundreds of orphans through child protection, economic strengthening, education, health and nutrition.
We are raising this money for these kids in order for them to continue their usual programs such as support for children out of school, food for the children, warm clothes and blankets for the children since it's dry and cold season in DRCongo and nutrition packs for HIV-positive children and those with disabilities. The COVID-19 has also added extra responsibilities and needs for the orphanage. For their COVID-19 response, they need N95 masks, sanitizers, liquid soap, maritime for community volunteers and gloves.
Prevention is paramount because these kids don't have any health care system in place. We are kindly asking every kind soul from all over the world to help support The Mbenga Foundation and save thousands of children during these difficult times. Please consider making a donation to ensure that the Mbenga Foundation continues to assist orphans have the food and the Personal Protection Equipment that they need to remain in their communities and be protected from exposure to the Coronavirus and COVID-19.
Thanks in advance!