Ledia: Ground Update

1 Comment » Written on November 8th, 2012     
Filed under: Ground Update, News & Updates
Written by Jeff Brown, Senior Advisor for the Northwest DR Congo Launch

We are all very excited to see your names begin to appear on our registry here in the Ledia Program, Gemena, indicating that you have signed up to sponsor one or more children. Families whose children were registered just a few weeks ago are thrilled as they discover that someone cares enough to invest in their lives.

I remember when I sponsored my first child in 1988. I had been told that the situation was complex and that improvements would take time. I listened and nodded in agreement, but then I signed up to sponsor Ilunga. God put love in my heart for him, and I didn’t care what people told me, I just wanted everything to be perfect for him. Right now!

Picture of Ngandali Koko Richidi.

Today I met four year old Ngandali Koko Richidi. I put his picture up on my fridge. He smiled at me, and I smiled back.

To be honest, after all these years of being an “international development professional,” nothing much has changed. I still want everything to be fixed right now, but I try to remind myself to be patient as we learn better ways to help.

I spend a lot of time getting to know these families personally and see the problems every day. It is all I can do to resist the impulse to immediately take whatever I have in my pocket and begin to buy food and pay medical & school fees on the spot. While instantly gratifying, I know these children’s families won’t thank me in the long run. They don’t want to depend on my handouts forever. They want me to help them figure out how they can take care of themselves. We agree, but at the same time, I am compelled to do my best to help parents keep their kids healthy while we are struggling to put in place long term solutions. You can imagine, finding this balance is not easy.

We should have the first year operating plan finished soon and look forward to sharing some of those details with you. In the meantime, World Vision is investing a lot of time in providing training and coaching to the church and other local institutions since they are the ones who are providing the services and implementing the program. People are learning how to better plan activities, manage the money carefully, and track how all the children are doing.

A team of specialists just completed testing the water quality everywhere in the city. They also researched the best way to bring clean water to as many people as possible at the lowest cost. Additionally, they have made some practical recommendations that will make better use of existing water sources by repairing existing installations and capturing more of the good quality spring water. Other neighborhoods will need to have deep wells dug. We won’t be able to do that right away because of the cost, unless we receive special gifts intended for that purpose.

You are doing a wonderful thing, and it is going to make a real difference! I hope you know that you can always ask any and all questions about what’s being done and how and why it’s being done in Congo. We need you to understand; we need you to have confidence; we need you to walk this journey along with us and to pray.

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One Response to “Ledia: Ground Update”

Thanks for the update. We are sponsoring Ruth. We will look forward to more news.

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