DR CONGO - Emmanuel Center

Community Development

$1,180 raised
2
donations

In 2005, Emmanuel Center was established in the High Plateau region of Democratic Republic of the Congo in response to the depserate need to care for children orphaned by war. The long-term vision is to create a "city on a hill" that will bring light to the surrounding region.

Spanning 200 hectares of land, Emmanuel Center has 6 homes, a school of 250 students ranging from grade 1-10, a sewing project to train widows and young girls, a literacy center, a carpentry center, and an agricultural project, which aims to make Emmanuel Center completely self sufficient through the raising of cattle, goats and chickens, the planting of a tree farm, and a flour mill.

Future plans include 4 additional homes, a church, social center, medical clinic, and utilizing solar energy for the homes.

Your donation contributes to the upkeep and expansion of Emmanuel Center, allowing further impact to the surrounding High Plateau region.

 

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Project Updates

  • Dear Friends and Supporters.

    I do apologize for the lateness of an official update letter. We have tried to keep everyone up to date through facebook, Instagram and emails, but do realize it has missed many of you. I am trusting this fills everyone in on recent and current events, challenges and needs before us.

    The High Plateau area has been the scene of ongoing “wars” for the past 9 months. It has been difficult to ascertain who is fighting who at times with various tribal militias as well as rebel groups with Rwandan and Burundian ties. The ongoing instability of the government in DRC has meant the army has had little effect in bringing peace and stability to the region.

    In Uvira, we have helped in providing humanitarian aid and education to many individuals and families in desperate need, thanks to the generosity of many of you. Our school in Uvira (Ecole Shalom) has integrated over 150 students into classes, providing educational stability for this school year. In Emmanuel Center we have hosted many fleeing families also, providing security and basic care for the time they are forced to leave their homes and villages. It has stretched our resources considerably both helping to feed these ones as well as the military in our area providing security. In recent weeks, there has been another influx of displaced (over 20,000 in Uvira alone) whose homes have been destroyed in ongoing fighting. Emmanuel Center has been spared the fighting due to the military presence, but getting to and from Emmanuel Center has been challenging at times.

    Our children have been doing very well in school and are all healthy. We have had 2 children recently brought down for tests due to unexplained ailments. One has already returned to Emmanuel Center and the other is currently receiving medication and is hoping to return next week. The students in Emmanuel School are writing exams beginning next week. Our 3 university students here in Bujumbura are all doing well. The 2 students in their final year of secondary at Ecole Shalom in Uvira are also well and sitting final national exams as we write. Thank you CC4Africa and our many other sponsors.

    Our thanks goes out also to Team Hope Ireland for provision of shoebox gifts to DRC part of which we transported (by foot) to our Center, and for their generosity in provision of a new flour mill. The flour mill in particular is a huge blessing as it is a means of provision for our homes for flour but also a service and outreach to the surrounding community.

    We are hoping, security permitting, to travel to Emmanuel Center in July or early August.  Thanks again for your prayers and ongoing support.

    Blessings from Ray, Mary Anne and Boss David

  • Here is a video update from the Emmanuel center, highlighting lots of amazing things that are going on there:

     

     

  • This is a plea for prayer and support for our agents and friends in Democratic Republic of Congo, East Africa at the Emmanuel Center Children’s Village and other affected areas.

    There have been a number of attacks on villages in the High Plateau of Congo near Marungu. Twenty six villages in the High Plateau area south of Marungu, where Emmanuel Center Children's Village is located, have been burned by various tribal and rebel groups. Many people have been killed and the rest have fled into the forest and to neighboring villages. Our country director has spent time in two of these villages, Rubibi and Masongo, as well as many of the other surrounding villages and knows many of the people there. Emmanuel Center is okay for now but there is, naturally, much fear. We are currently waiting to hear more from one of our associates as soon as he descends to the market, part way down the mountain, where there is cell service.  

    One old Pastor who Ray knows has been carried down the mountain to Uvira with his wife, and is being transferred to Rwanda to be with his son. Nineteen other families have made it down to Uvira where they are currently staying while many thousands more people are camped in the forest or have found shelter in other villages part way down the mountain. Some have made it to our center where we are  helping to care for them. They have little choice but to remain there until there is some stability and they are able to return to begin the daunting task of rebuilding. Most have lost their homes as well as all their possessions.

    Congo is experiencing much unrest and insecurity, yet again, with a political solution not in sight. It seems, in this vacuum, various rebel factions are trying to strengthen their position, hoping to be included in a future government.

    This terrible situation comes on the heels of a successful baptism, and the beginning of our new church at Najenga this past weekend. In the past two weeks we were also able to transport 50 new mattresses to our children's home in Emmanuel Center along with "Christmas Shoeboxes" sent from Team Hope in Ireland. This in itself was a challenge, with us having to transport them half way by truck and then use porters to get them up the mountain, where the vehicles could not travel due to heavy rains, wash outs, and a lot of fear on the part of truck drivers. We give thanks that they were able to be transported prior to this latest outbreak.

    Please pray for peace; for Congo, for the many families affected by these latest attacks, and for protection for our Children's Center and surrounding villages near Marungu.

     

  • HOPE agent Ray Bale visits Emmanuel Center:

    "Although it is the dry season, the muddy roads give way to unbelievable dust! By 6:30 pm we had progressed all of 30 km and due to security concerns, stopped for the night at a pastor’s place at Katobo. As usual, traditional African hospitality kicked in and before long arrangements were made for all 15 members of our team to sleep and be fed also; Bugali and goat (a mixture of “inside” meat and “outside” meat for the Africans, and outside meat for me). 

    Another eight hours of dusty, rough roads and we finally arrived. The whole village as well as the children from Emmanuel Center were waiting for us as we arrived. Singing, lots of hugs and some tears greeted us, and the effects of the long journey suddenly melted away. We trekked down to Emmanuel Center with our traditional stop at Carmel, our prayer hut, to give thanks for a safe journey and health experienced by all the children.

    The next two days were filled with amazing fellowship, captivating beauty of both the people and the surroundings".

  • HOPE agents, Ray and Mary Anne Bale, share the progress that's been made at Emmanuel Center:

    Exciting news here, as the school is finally complete and in full use with blackboards and desks. The children are happy to have a space now to study and learn. The sixth house is nearing completion and should be ready to accept new children by spring. The agriculture project has completed its first harvest and planting is already underway for the next growing season.

  • First the students and the villagers made their own bricks for the new school.

    Now, they carry the rocks for the foundation of the school. The trek from the river bed to the hillside location is an arduous task ... yet their determination to see a school build makes the task all worth while.

  • First the property - Hope Village on Emmanuel Center ... then the building of 5 children's homes ... and now the vision of a school on site is becoming a reality!

    The students of Kelowna Senior Secondary School held a fund raising campaign to build a school in this mountainous part of the Congo. The funds were raised but then the rebels destabilized this region of the Congo. Seemingly, all plans to build a school came to a standstill. Howsever, the students and villagers at Emmanuel Center began making bricks ... yes, 200,000 bricks!

    Security has returned to this region and the foundations of the school are being put in place. Funds have been sent for the building of the foundations and next the walls will go up. Soon Hope Academy will become a reality.

    What a great testimony to the collaborative efforts of students in Canada and the Congo!

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$1,180 raised
2
donations
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