Merry Christmas 2021!
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear friends of the Congo Social Care Association,
Only a few more days and we can once again celebrate the feast of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Good news in these dark times. Whereby we here in Germany or Belgium are very fortunate.
As I announced to you in my obituary notice "From the depths I call to you, Lord" of 4 October 2021, I finally travelled from Brussels via Entebbe to Durba in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday 10 October 2021 to say goodbye to my beloved mother.
I was very happy to be able to celebrate the Eucharist for her in the village of Avokala, where my mother is buried. Many friends from Faradje, Durba, Watsa and surrounding areas spontaneously came to the mass to say goodbye. I was especially happy to see many supporters of the Legion of Mary, where my mother was an active member.
Despite all the hope and trust in the Church, this day will remain in my memory for a long time. When both parents are no longer there, there remains a great emptiness and the awareness of being alone. What comforted me, however, was the fact that my mother did not suffer. She fell asleep peacefully in the arms of my youngest sister Sylvie!
In this difficult time, it was very comforting for me to experience a warming sympathy and a loving solidarity from you. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your kind and heartfelt words, letters and conversations. May the Virgin Mary protect you under her mantle!
It was the first visit to my home country, where I was born, after almost five years.
Finally, I was able to get a picture of the current situation of our various projects.
Together with the local people, it was possible to discuss our plans and determine what can be done next. On site, one becomes aware of the true reality that the local population is confronted with every day.
When you feel first-hand what it means to have no clean drinking water or electricity, you develop a new awareness for the need of the people. Here in Germany or Belgium, you cannot imagine an inhabited house or a hospital without water! In Congo, this is exactly the rule. Usually, access to water is very far from the house or hospital and water has to be collected every day. Water that is found in nature and that is not clean and still has to be treated before it is used. During the time I spent in the Democratic Republic of Congo, there was electricity only a few hours a week, so there was no mobile phone or computer, which made any communication impossible.
I can't get the images I saw in Durba out of my head. I was particularly affected by the death of a 22-year-old woman and the removal of the deceased woman sitting on a motorbike. What I experienced in the clinic touched me very deeply! The conditions on site are very basic.
Talking to the nurses again made me very aware of the needs and difficulties they face in their daily work. There is almost always a shortage of medicines or medical supplies.
Because of the insecure electricity supply, medical treatments have to be carried out at night with the sparse light of a torch. Despite these adversities, our doctors and nurses work with great dedication for our projects and always have the well-being of the sick people in mind. Trusting in your support, I have encouraged them and asked them to faithfully stand by us and continue to pursue our common goals. I assured them that Germany and Belgium will continue to stand by the people and help will
come in their time of need.
The largest part of your donations is mainly spent on the provision of medicines. Our clinic is known in Durba as the "Nuns' Hospital". This is because there is a Dominican sister, Sister Marcelline O.P., who is responsible for the clinic's cash register and its finances. There are many poor affected people who visit the health centre to get help.
They often have no financial means to cover costs. They trust that the nuns' hospital will not let them down.
During my visit I have had many positive rays of hope. The human warmth that one experiences from the people in the family or in the community and the happiness and gratitude I experienced about the help we provide is comforting and gives strength to take responsibility. Even though these people live in poverty, they have a deep faith that allows them to experience joy in small things and to look positively into the future.
The Congolese and the people who are used to coming to our health facilities for treatment do not stop thanking you for all your donations in favour of our various projects. In December or better January 2022, when it is the dry season in the region, they have planned that this is a good time to start a water borehole.
We are counting very much on the kindness of your heart so that the water project in Durba can be completed early next year. We have already collected more than a third of the expenses. If we manage to get the remaining funds, this project will also be done.
In the coming year, we can successfully continue and expand our Congo projects only with your loyal solidarity and financial support.
On behalf of the Congo Social-Care e. V. Board of Directors, I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas 2021 and – in advance - my best wishes and God's blessing for the New Year 2022.
Dr. Dr. Jean-Bertrand Madragule Badi
(Pater Badi O.P.)
Chairman Kongo Social-Care e. V.