This is the personal testimony of Sango Shila, the STEP /Children of Peace Coordinator in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) is one of devastating exploitation of local people by outsiders. The population has continuously suffered at the hands of dictators (both European and Congolese) who have enriched themselves at the people’s expense. Today, the DR Congo remains one of the lowest-income countries in the world; in addition to these economic challenges, the people have lived through civil wars and multiple natural disasters (such as the recent eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in Goma). Fortunately, we have also experienced a cloud of witnesses through the work of countless Christian missionaries, both local and foreign.
The STEP – Children of Peace program in the DR Congo’s South Kivu province is holistic in nature. In addition to their education, the children receive training in non-violence, conflict transformation and health and hygiene. We also want to empower the parents (especially the mothers) of the children in the program and have implemented a “Table Banking” program. Table Banking is a group savings and loan strategy; members of the group save money each month and can borrow immediately from the pool, giving each member an opportunity to use the money. As mothers grow increasingly self-sufficient their children also have increased opportunities.
Thank you for your contributions to the STEP Children of Peace program! Please continue to pray for the DR Congo in the wake of the Mt. Nyiragongo volcanic eruption.
God bless you!
Sango Shila, STEP Children of Peace Coordinator DR Congo and
Lance and Christina Muteyo, Trees of Peace Africa/STEP Children of Peace Program Manager, Africa