Dorcas Society Ministry
My name is Douglass and my wife Immaculee and I were born in DR Congo in central Africa in the province of Southern Kivu in Uvira. My family fled the country in 1998 and went to Rwanda and Burundi because of the atrocities we faced that took away a great number of my family members just because of ethnicity (Banyamulenge Tutsi Congolese). But the problem started in 1994 after Rwandan Genocide that took one million innocent people in one hundred days.
They then fled from Rwanda to East of the Congo. Today, DR Congo continues to live in turmoil and fear.
Many of our family members are in different camps of Refugees in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Kenya where they are facing many challenges such as: lack of food, lack of access to Education, sanitary problems, illiteracy, lack of clean water, lack of access to basic health facilities, some people with HIV aids infections. These people are overwhelmed, they are heart broken, and parents are suffering because their kids are not in school and many women are widows and orphaned children. Additionally, in the refugee camps, the kids with disabilities are completely neglected and abandoned, because some family with those kids are considered cursed in their communities. Sometimes the kids with disabilities are locked in a room and are not sharing the same table with other kids during meal times.
The women who have been raped and who have lost everything are wounded inside and out, and therapy services are not available to them. The women have lost hope and they do not have the ability to go to the hospital. The babies are delivered in unsanitary conditions, and in many cases, women die when they are giving birth.
One must visit displaced people in DR Congo or the camp of refugees in Rwanda, Burundi or Uganda to really understand the situation better. Families without food, women without husbands, children without parents, men without jobs, children without access to school, all without voices, all without a future.
There are a lot of challenges that are facing the Congolese people that we are concerned about, and we want to make contributions by saving the life of the people who are in hard situations of poverty. It was these troubled, despairing victims that called Immaculee and I to start this vision of Dorcas Society.
God calls us to labor in field: To feed the hungry, to give drink the thirsty, to welcome strangers into our homes, to clothe the naked, to visit those in prison. Matthew 25:35-39
God calls us to act on behalf of the oppressed: open your mouth for the voiceless; for the rights of all who are destitute, open our mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor, and needy. Proverbs 13:8-9
Jesus said: The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Luke 10:2
If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness. Isaiah 58:10
We exist to promote spiritual growth, understanding, and confidence with God, and accomplish this primarily through the avenues of prayer, teaching, encouraging people in their Christian faith, and helping people in need.
Our main projects in Africa:
1. Sponsor a Child: There are many orphans and kids with disabilities in Congolese communities in which Dorcas Society Ministry can help and who need your help. Without your assistance some of these kids will continue to be neglected and frequently have no food, no mattresses, no clean water, suffer malnutrition, no clothing’s, no shoes, no medication, and many of them are unable to attend school due to the school fees. Research shows that education is the key to a successful future. The kids with disabilities are totally neglected by some families and they are in a room until they die.
2. Feed the Hungry: Dorcas Society Ministry will provide food in camps of refugees and provide food in times of disastrous food shortages in the east side of the DR Congo. Most of the people east of the Congo villages are subsidized farmers and earn less than $1.00 per day. When the maize crops fail to yield, they face food crises with dismaying regularity. The people do not have access to modern farming techniques, so irrigation is not available to these traditional farmers who must face prolonged dry seasons. Our Feed the Hungry program is especially committed to creating a world where no child goes to bed hungry, and to end childhood hunger, but we must work side by side to break this cycle of hunger and poverty.
3. Micro-loan widow program: Empowering widows to start a development business in the East side of the Congo and in refugee camps. This microloan will promote a self-sustaining lifestyle, enhance the well-being of themselves and their family, and positively impact the general community. The widow is treated very badly in some villages in DR Congo. Often what happens is the family on the husband’s side will take everything the wife owns, including her own kids, and send her back to her own family where she grew up. Most of the widow’s voice to us that they want to stand on their own feet and take care of their own needs and those of their children. Self-reliance involves stabilizing refugees in the countries to which they have fled and helping them to regain the social and economic ability to meet their essential needs and reduce dependence on assistance.
4. Human trafficking: Human trafficking in DR Congo is not isolated to a particular gender or age group. Rather it impacts men, women, and children of all ages. Men and boys are often subjected to forced labor in the mines in east of The Congo, and women and under-aged girls are often forced into prostitution, sex slavery, and under-age marriage.
5. Building schools, clinics, and churches: Because of the war, many clinics, churches, and schools have been destroyed. Medical supplies and equipment are very limited and scarce in the Congo, and in the refugee camps. Additionally, the educational materials are also extremely limited. Many schools are without books, proper desks, and the teachers are severely underpaid. The children’s’ family must pay out of pocket for even basic education, and families who cannot afford this, do not get to go to school. Lastly, Dorcas Society Ministry will provide the resources such as leadership training, Bibles and other studying materials, and to help build new churches to promote the Word of God.