Finding Hope for Tembu and her Children Among the Chaos
Tembu did not think her children would survive after her village and family deserted her. But people like you gave her and so many like her the chance to hope again.
Here’s a look at her story.
A Land of Chaos
On the surface, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a beautiful country of lush mountain ranges and dense forests. The country is rich in natural resources and the Congo River system gives life to the rainforests it flows through.
But behind the beauty is immense pain and suffering. Years of civil war and political unrest have left the people of the DRC searching for ways to rebuild their lives with little support from outsiders or the government. During the years of war, over 5 million people died – many due to disease and severe malnutrition.
The Congolese people have struggled to rebuild their country after years of devastating civil war and violent political uprisings. But poverty and the challenges of reaching rural communities make the idea of stable infrastructure seem impossible.
Today, the DRC is considered by many as the worst place in the world to live.
Yet this is Tembu’s home. Tembu lives in a small shelter with her kids. The walls are made of mud, and pieces of scrap metal form a precarious roof. Tembu has one goal – to feed her children by working in the fields. Their lives are so desperate that school isn’t even an option.
One day, her neighbours noticed patches of discoloured skin on Tembu’s arms and legs. Rumours spread throughout thevillage that Tembu was cursed. Tembu had leprosy and her neighbours were terrified.
“I lost my mother and uncle and only my husband stayed, she said. “Everyone else rejected me. They said others will catch it and then everyone in our village will die.”
This heart-breaking response is very common throughout the DRC. Healthcare is sporadic and most families have no access to even basic medical care.
While most choose to isolate themselves, Tembu was determined to get treatment. Even though no one would help her with a ride, Tembu walked 40km to get the help she needed.
After the treacherous walk, Tembu reached the hospital. The diagnosis of leprosy was confirmed and Tembu was given the healing drugs to cure her of the mycobacterium leprae causing leprosy. Her injuries from the walk were treated and the doctors stressed the importance of ongoing care and protection of her feet to avoid permanent damage.
Being Agents of Hope
Tembu’s story is not a rare one. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world are suffering from leprosy – a totally curable disease if detected early. And, early detection is absolutely critical for preventing permanent disabilities and social rejection. That is why effect:hope is on a mission to reach, educate and care for the most vulnerable in our world today. We invite you to be a part of it.
$330 will fund one more day of critical work in the DRC for women, children and men who have complex cases of leprosy. Perhaps you are able to contribute to the crucial leprosy work in the DRC with a gift of $50 today. Every gift – no matter the amount- is needed to serve the people in the DR Congo.
There are very few organizations working to eliminate leprosy in the DRC because of the political unrest and extreme poverty, yet this disease is a daily threat for so many. Thankfully there are those who have the courage to stand up for the most vulnerable people and their families.
To help people like Tembu in the DR Congo, visit: effect:hope.org