Matthew De Galan’s stories
DR Congo: Lost and Found
Yesterday I went out on the food distribution, our first. We got lost, somehow, driving the minivan over the rough farm paths of Lac Vert.
DR Congo: It's nice to be wanted
Everyone at the hotel wants to work for us, sell us something, get something from us. They approach the matter politely, with deference. Feliciane wants to work in admistration. She also raises chickens and submitted a proposal to us, asking for $70,000 to launch a larger enterprise.
DR Congo: The Key is Hope
Like thousands of Congolese children, young Giselle's path to relative safety in Goma has been grueling. But, with your help, Mercy Corps is offering them much-needed support once they reach their destination.
DR Congo: 'L’eau, c’est la vie!'
I never found Eduardo, but the distribution was exciting. Mercy Corps' first work in Congo. We helped AVSI, an Italian NGO, set up and distribute water to 2,500 families. It started off a bit rocky.
DR Congo: Instructions
Finally, some real work! Actually helping people instead of listening to their stories and driving home. Mugur has found us a niche. He’s been frantically working every angle and contact as the IDPs flooded into town this week. Being new to Congo, it’s been tough to break in.
DR Congo: A Day in the Office
Mugur came back from a security briefing at the UN with the following updates:
DR Congo: Rain and IDPs
A strange couple of days. Yesterday, Thursday, the fighting intensified. Pretty much the whole town of Sake emptied and came here, and they are still coming. Now there are some 30,000 IDPs in Goma, most up in Mugunga.
DR Congo: Chanceline
One day last week I visited the health center in Muja, a town 15 miles north of Goma, just west of the army checkpoint. It is a place of crushing poverty, even by DRC standards. Three-fourths of the children are undernourished. People earn less than a dollar a day.
Rumors of War
We are strangely isolated here, and we get our news from the front — just 15 miles away — in strange ways. Sometimes, friends at home text or email us. They seem to know more than we do. Sometimes, though, we hear from local sources, in random ways. Take today.
Widow's Walk, Part II
In Monigi, as everywhere, the children wear the cast-off clothes of America and Europe. Especially the boys. Last Monday I saw a boy in a Superman T-shirt, then another with a Spiderman shirt, then a Batman, and finally another Superman.