2008-12-28 DEM. REP. OF THE CONGO

Emergency Aid for Bobandana, Goma

SED and the FMSI, in solidarity with the people displaced by the armed conflict in the region of Kivu
Account Banco Popular: 075-0125-45-0600820091

The crisis in the region of North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is causing serious consequences for the population. The armed conflict among the CNDP (National Congress for the Defence of the People) and the government forces of the country have caused the displacement of thousands of people who are now living as refugees in different places under very precarious conditions.

One of the towns where the refugees have concentrated is Bobandana, in Goma, to the east of the country on the border with Rwanda. The Marist Brothers have worked in this city for more than five decades, fundamentally in education.

The war situation in this area has transformed the life of Bobandana. Its population has been duplicated going from 2.758 inhabitants to 6.000 people who now live as displaced persons. As a consequence many people are without shelter, without food, without clothes and the population is more vulnerable to any type of illness.

In the face of this reality, in answer to the call of the Marist Brothers of Bobandana, SED and the FMSI (Marist Foundation for International Solidarity) have started a plan for emergency Aid to deal with the most urgent basic needs of the people who are living in refugee camps.

A good number of the families who have come to Bobandana sleep in the classrooms of the Brothers? school. They spend the night in the classrooms and during the day they leave them to the students. This situation increases the risk of sickness and it affects the health conditions of the centre. The women and the boys and girls are the most affected by this armed conflict which has changed their life.

Destination of the aid.
Among the emergency actions are the allocation of basic food to the population lodged in the school and surrounding areas, offering shelter and sanitary aid. At the same time the continuance of educational activity and the greatest possible number of students in school activities and exercises.

As to the food, the money will be invested in the purchase of beans, flour, salt, oil, sugar, soya and milk for the undernourished children. On the other hand, kitchen material will be acquired such as saucepans, glasses and plastic plates.

The allocation for the purchase of clothes will be used to obtain tarpaulins, knitting materials, shirt, trunks and shorts. The aid for schooling will be invested in the payment of registrations for the students, as well as sport material.

The Marist presence
The Marist Brothers have been working in Bobandana since about 1950. During more than five decades their work has been cantered in the educational field running a secondary school principally as a boarding- school and which is without boarders at the moment.

Remember that it was very close to here that the four Brothers Julio, Fernando, Miguel Angel and Servando were murdered in the refugee camp of Nyamirangwe, on 31 October 1996, for helping the refugees.

The community of the Marist Brothers plays an important part in keeping the population of village together. It is also, in an unofficial way, the guarantee of stability and practically one of the few institutions which is well respected by this population which is always the focus of diverse conflicts.

That is why the Brothers are in a good position to be able to support the population of Bobandana in these difficult times.

SED and FMSI are committed to following up the humanitarian help and the projects carried out through this campaign, as well as sending information periodically to people who want to collaborate.

We invite all our associates, collaborators and friends who wish to make a donation to do it through SED account:

Banco Popular: 075-0125-45-0600820091



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