ACTION ALERT: Help for the Congo
February 15, 2009
21-year-old Elizabeth Aziza lives in a tent pitched at an orphanage on the outskirts of Goma, a city in eastern Congo that has seen its population swell by a quarter-million people over the last few months. Nearly all escaped their villages as they were attacked. Most lost their homes. Many saw their loved ones killed.
Help Congo's Displaced Families Survive
She came here three months ago, fleeing a bloody battle between soldiers in her hometown of Rugari. With one tiny infant swaddled to her back, another child in tow and whatever meager belongings she could carry, she struggled to reach the Kibumba displacement camp. But just when she thought she'd found refuge, shots rang out again. So she found herself trudging down craggy roads and through heavy brush in search of a safe place for her kids.
Now 21-year-old Elizabeth Aziza lives in a tent pitched at an orphanage on the outskirts of Goma, a city in eastern Congo that has seen its population swell by a quarter-million people over the last few months. Nearly all escaped their villages as they were attacked. Most lost their homes. Many saw their loved ones killed.
Elizabeth has suffered all three. Today, she spends her days in a crowded communal tent alongside dozens of others - mostly women and children - who were suddenly forced from the lives they'd always known. She used to grow and sell her own food; now she must depend on others to satisfy that need.
People just like you can help make her days a little easier.
For a year and a half, Mercy Corps has been there for displaced young mothers like Elizabeth. We're providing clean, fresh water to the orphanage where she lives - more than 10,500 gallons each day. We're building latrines and furnishing hand-washing stations to help prevent deadly diseases like cholera.
And we're providing firewood and improved cookstoves that protect Congo's fragile environment while helping families meet their most basic needs. Our 60-person team reaches thousands of people each day with lifesaving assistance. You can help them do even more.
Life in war-ravaged eastern Congo is about surviving until tomorrow. Elizabeth hopes one day to return home and plant her fields once again. Until that day comes, she and her children - and more than a million others who've been displaced - need your help.
Mercy Corps - Dept. W - 3015 SW First Ave - Portland, OR - 97201
How You Can Help
Help us deliver water, firewood and other critical supplies to families in places like eastern Congo.
• $45 furnishes three hand-washing stations that help prevent diseases like cholera. Donate $45
• $100 supplies a month's worth of firewood to ten displaced families. Donate $100
• $180 provides safe drinking water for 360 people. Donate $180