A message from our President,
As we anticipate the joyful celebration of Christmas, I consider the scene of Mary giving birth to Jesus in a dark, primitive stable. And I think back to my travels to the tiny village of Yassa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2019 where I was able to observe the dark, mud hut where mothers were giving birth. For those mothers, not much had changed over the course of 2000 years, that is, until the generosity of our donors allowed us to make a difference by constructing a new Maternity Clinic with the first electric lights in the village.
During the visit to the Congo two years ago for the dedication of that clinic, we identified the significant need for a well. It would greatly improve the functionality of the clinic, and it would also be life-changing for the villagers of Yassa. As we investigated the project on our return, we found that the project would be much more involved, and expensive, than we had anticipated. We were able to press forward, however, despite fund-raising efforts being hindered by the pandemic. And in July of this year, after many technical setbacks, water started to flow in Yassa for the first time from a 600’ deep well. It was life-changing for the villagers. We are still working to make the plumbing connections from the well to the Maternity Clinic, and to construct a septic system for the waste water. Fortunately, both of these minor projects are funded. This last year, we were also able to repair the solar system for the Maternity Clinic that had been struck by lightning.
And now it is time to circle back and consider the construction of an Examination Clinic building. It is a building that will house the medical equipment donated by MedShare several years ago, but which has been in storage since its arrival. Currently, those in Yassa and the neighboring villages must travel great distances for basic medical care. Transportation is limited and the roads are often impassable. The Examination Clinic is a much needed resource to provide timely diagnosis and treatment of various illnesses. We are currently reviewing designs and cost estimates for the building including provisions for plumbing and electricity. While we have not yet established the final budget for the project, we do not want to this to delay the initiation of our fund-raising efforts.
And so, we would like to celebrate Christmas in the Congo by officially starting our Examination Clinic campaign. The good news is that we have a donor who is willing to match funds donated during the month of December, up to $10,000. We prayerfully ask you to keep the Friends of the Congo Incorporated in mind as you make your year-end charitable contribution decisions. Reflect on the blessings you have received, and remember those who are less fortunate. And, of course, we would like to ask for your continued prayers for the people of the DRC and for guidance of our non-profit. May you have a Spirit-filled Christmas season, and a blessed New Year.
Deacon Joe Hulway
President, Friends of the Congo, Inc.
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Friends of the Congo, Inc. is organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.