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: 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.
The Water's Fine!
Today I went swimming in Lake Kivu, the sixth largest lake in Africa. On one side is Rwanda, on the other Congo. The water was a perfect temperature - refreshing but not too cold. And just enough waves to bounce you around a bit.
DR Congo: Questions
Spent today conducting assessment surveys with Fernand, one of our Congolese staff. Basically, this means going door to door and asking people 61 questions ranging from how much money they earn and what they eat each day to where they go for health care.