Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 42

KALEMIE, Democratic Republic of Congo
Tuesday- day 42
June 11, 2011

This morning we went out to visit two IDP camps: Sango and Mushaba. They both sit less than 30 kilometers outside of Kalemie. I have to say that Sango is probably one of the worst ones I have seen thus far…they have less than the bare minimum- the have nothing. One example of a family that lives in one hut 7 people, no bed, no tarp, blanket, food or, access to water. It’s just unimaginable. There we also met a young girl, Rebecca who is 14 years old and an orphan. She has no idea where her parents are, her sisters or brothers and she is living alone in a small hut with nothing more than a chitenge laid on the ground for a bed. The possibilities of her being raped and or falling pregnant are extremely high. It’s heart wrenching.

The camp of Kabimba where we intended to go (and still intend to…maybe upon our return in October) has yet to be classified or visited by any NGO. We made endless attempts to organize transportation via the NGO’s here but to no avail. Reasons ranged from it being a ‘security risk’ to needing to ‘get approval from Kinshasa/Lubumbashi’. Chris will be gathering information while we are gone and hopefully by the time we return the NGO’s will have made a visit and provided assistance. This is what we don’t understand (add it to the list I guess…):
Why are there SO MANY NGO’s here in Kalemie? What are they doing? Why have the IDP’s received NO ASSISTANCE? The only presence in the camps is MSF and they are clearly understaffed and need help. It’s terribly frustrating. The bureaucracy of the NGO’s have little wiggle room; that is, most likely they already have their 2011 budget and must stay on track. Most of these IDP camps were erected between October 2010 and March 2011…shouldn’t there be an emergency budget!?
Nonetheless, we can only do what we can do which is gather the information as we receive it and share it with the rest of the world with the hopes that these stories will infiltrate to the people, countrymen, corporations, organizations, friends and families so that together, we can not only assist with the cause but come up with a sustainable solution. Until then, we walk, we talk, we question and in the end, we share.

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