Following heavy fighting with government forces, a Congolese rebel group has seized control of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province in eastern DRC and home to one million people. More than 25,000 people have fled Goma so far, as have 60,000 refugees from a nearby camp—adding to the 1.6 million people already displaced in eastern DRC after 15 years of civil war.
With over 700,000 civilians now at risk from the escalated violence, International Medical Corps is preparing an emergency response and engaging with humanitarian partners on the ground to assess critical needs. Anticipating shortages of essential medicines and supplies, we are also mobilizing resources to get urgent pharmaceutical and medical supplies to where they are needed.
International Medical Corps always does what it takes to reach those most in need, wherever they are. In eastern DRC, we work in some of the most remote and volatile areas, often where the presence of other international organizations is extremely limited or non-existent. We prioritize women and children’s health, as they tend to be most vulnerable—making up 80% of refugees and internally displaced people worldwide.
Further, in a crisis or refugee situation, one in five women of childbearing age is likely to be pregnant, while access to critical health services becomes extremely limited. As a donor to our “Save a Mom’s Life in the Congo” project, we know that women and children’s health is very important to you. Help us make sure that mothers and children in the Congo continue to receive the lifesaving health services they need—even in the midst of conflict—by contributing to our emergency response in DRC. As always, thank you for your invaluable support for the people of DRC and International Medical Corps’ work in this war-torn country.
Learn more about our emergency response in DRC.
International Medical Corps began working in DRC in 1999 and has since served approximately two million people, 80 percent of them displaced by the war. Today, we provide health care, nutrition, food security, sexual violence prevention and treatment, and water and sanitation services.
The teenagers of Bunyakiri High School in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have lived their entire lives in a region at the center of one of Africa's most brutal and violent conflicts. Women and girls there also carry enormous burdens in tending farms, carrying water and firewood, and caring for families. In this environment of gender inequality, women and girls are at high risk of multiple forms of gender-based violence (GBV), including rape, domestic violence, and forced marriage.
Through a unique collaboration with the U.S. Agency for International Development, International Medical Corps is educating and sensitizing young people about women's rights, sexual health and the consequences of GBV. It is especially important to reach young people who are still developing their ideas about gender and relationships, which tend to be more ingrained in adults. One of the ways in which we engage young people to promote peace and change attitudes and behaviors about violence is through soccer.
By bringing together groups of girls from different villages across South Kivu province to play soccer, International Medical Corps' GBV experts can reach a wide audience to educate young people about their rights under the law, such as their protection from forced marriage under the age of 18, as well as information about where survivors of sexual violence can find help our health centers. The games also build connections between communities that have been kept isolated in recent years because of violence and insecurity. As a result, young people are reached directly and also made champions within their families and communities for a more promising and peaceful future.
One female 10th grade Bunyakiri High School student told us, “Because of the [girls' soccer] matches we play, I have met many new friends from areas outside my village. I say to my family that I am the example of gender equality because I go to play matches all over Bunyakiri."
International Medical Corps has worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since 1999, providing more than one million people with health care, health sector training, gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and treatment, nutrition, food security, and water and sanitation services. Our complementary USAID-funded Care, Access, Safety & Empowerment and Behavior Change Communications projects in DRC take a comprehensive approach to addressing the needs of GBV survivors, while also preventing future cases by changing community attitudes around gender and violence.
We’re halfway through GlobalGiving’s Japan Matching Campaign and we still need your help to reach our goal. Through November 15, GlobalGiving is matching donations to our Japan projects 100%—doubling the impact of your contribution!
Consider this: To express his gratitude for International Medical Corps' work in Japan, the Mayor of Minami-Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture recently presented us with a letter of appreciation. The Mayor’s thanks came for our help in renovating a government-owned community center, which is currently being used as a vocational training center for the disabled. We installed new bathrooms and ramps to make the center handicap-accessible.
And this represents just one of the most recent examples of International Medical Corps’ community-building activities in the aftermath of Japan’s devastating tsunami and earthquake. We’ve been on the ground helping Japan rebuild since 48 hours after the disaster last year. All of our current projects focus on Fukushima, where the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was damaged and people remain evacuated from their homes.
To help you support our work, GlobalGiving will match your donations to our Japan projects dollar for dollar between November 1 and 15.
So make sure to give before November 15 to make your gift count twice.
Thank you for your invaluable support for the people of Japan!
GlobalGiving’s “Tohoku Recovery Matching Campaign” will provide $100,000 in matching funds to projects that are related to earthquake and tsunami recovery activities in Tohoku, Japan. All (online ONLY) donations through Global Giving will be matched 100%, up to $1,000 per donor and $25,000 per organization. The campaign runs from 12:01am on November 1 to midnight on November 15, 2012.