The war in the Democratic Republic of Congo left a legacy of violence, poverty and displaced populations. As a consequense of this conflict, the social fabric of the Congolese has been ripped apart and children are the primary victims of the situation. Many have lost parents and some have become street children. Child trafficking has prospered in its most despicable manifestations. Other children, whose families are looking for someone to blame for their misfortunes, have been accused of witchcraft and find themselves tortured and abandoned. The spread of HIV has left many children without parents to take care of them. The situation of orphans is an emergency.
Programs to take care of orphans, such as orphanages and feeding programs, often launch in the DRC without the proper resources to truly take good long-term care of the children. Many of the little ones who have been taken off of the street and brought to live in these institutions find themselves in totally inhumane conditions. They are barely fed, don’t go to school, receive little to no medical care and are under the supervision of ill-trained staff.
Instead of building our own orphanages, Mwangaza International focuses on serving existing orphanages. We search for children's homes whose leaders are willing to commit to excellence in taking care of the children and are striving toward putting the best interest of the child at the center of their actions. Several of these homes have become Mwangaza affiliates. There are currently four associations representing six orphanages, and an open center for AIDS orphans that have become Mwangaza affiliates to this date. We assist them through a feeding program which covers the food needs of the children. Each month we deliver a total of 3.5 tons of food to these institutions. Our farm in Duale and a large garden we cultivate in Kisenso both produce some of the food needed for the children. The rest we buy with the donations that Mwangaza receives. Due to the fact that we purchase this food locally, our orphan care project is not only feeding children. It is also transforming communities by creating a micro-economy with local sellers at the market, transportation providers and other suppliers. We have created a multiplying effect in areas where a formal economy has not produced economic growth. In addition to food for these children, our contributions also help provide education, emergency medical care and training for the staff. Mwangaza is committed to creating a long-term and extended involvement with each institution with whom we partner. Our desire is to create a sustainable framework within each partnership so that the children will experience continuity of care throughout the rest of their childhood.