Social Action Project: Jiwe Langu6th March 2017
The Congo Tree is supporting a group of young people who have recently kick-started a new social action project called ‘JIWE LANGU’ which translates as ‘my stone’ or ‘my brick’. The name is significant because it represents the contribution of the project in the construction of the society in the DRC.
The idea for this project came from seeing the precarious situation that a number of families are working through in the city of Goma: lack of food, no money to pay school fees for children, trouble paying rent, lack of medication, clothes and other things that cause hardship. This project wanted to contribute by helping some of the fathers in the city, which in turn will help their families financially and also increased their opportunities and hope for the future. The vision is to radically change the way of life for the people involved.
This project involves giving bikes and cans (for holding water) to chosen fathers of large families to use them as tools for work. With these tools, these fathers can transport items, distribute water and earn the means to support their families.
Photo: Bike and work tools, taken at the ‘People’s Beach’ on the edge of Lake Kivu.
To start with, 2 fathers have been selected and each will have access to a bike and 8 empty jerry cans: they can collect water from the lake and provide it to other families in town far from the lake for a fee, and they can also transport goods. With the money they make, each week they will reimburse the group with $4. In other similar projects, someone with a bike would have to give back around $20 a week. However, due to their vision to see significant impact on the well-being of families from the beginning, the group have decided that their project will only claim back $4 per week. After 5 months of work, the fathers will be released and will keep the bike to continue their work, whilst 3 new fathers will be chosen and provided with the same resources, paid for by the money returned to the group. That means that after one year the project will already have helped 5 families.
We asked the chosen fathers how they felt about the project…
Faustin: I’m lost for words, I don’t know how to express the great joy that I feel. Thank you and may God bless you.
Marcelin: Since I was approached, I asked myself the question, ‘why me?’ I have a big family and many children to take care of. This bike will be the most precious object for my family. My children are going to live a better life because they’ve gone a long time without anything. God bless you young people and God bless your leaders.
Photo: During the bike delivery on the ‘People’s Beach’ in Goma, by two Leader mentors, Fidel and Pascal.