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Charity

Don’t Forget About The Crisis In The Congo

For those who have had to flee their homes, the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo is very real.

It is estimated that 50,000 people have escaped the recent surge of ethnic conflict in Ituri since January by fleeing across Lake Albert into neighboring Uganda.

The deadly violence isn’t restricted to Ituri, home to long simmering conflicts over land and mineral wealth. It has also spread into provinces previously thought to be stable, such as Kasai and Tanganyika.

Adding to the misery is the political crisis surrounding President Joseph Kabila that doesn’t look like it’s ending any time soon. Kabila’s mandate officially ended in December 2016 but he has stayed on in power, saying it’s impossible to hold elections amid the fighting. Elections to replace Kabila are repeatedly postponed. Widespread protests against Kabila’s failure to step down have been met with deadly violence.

Since the beginning of 2017, some 600,000 Congolese have fled the violence and general instability to other countries in the region. In addition, around 4.3 million people are now internally displaced, estimates OCHA, the UN office responsible for coordinating humanitarian affairs. DR Congo is also home to around 500,000 refugees from other countries.

Please consider supporting the Humanitarian Fund in Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Charity

ChildFund Still Going Strong After 75 Years

Although Richmond might be the state capital of Virginia, ChildFund is what has put the city on the map—literally. In its 75 years, the international child-focused development and protection agency has touched 100 nations across Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe and currently serves children in 30 countries.

Since its creation in 1938, the idea behind ChildFund has been simple simple: Create a link between those who want to give and children in need.

After its founding as China’s Children Fund, the organization then began to expand to other countries and for decades was known as the Christian Children’s Fund. (You may remember TV advertisements that urged viewers to sponsor a child living in poverty.)

Although ChildFund International (www.childfund.org), as the organization is known today, maintains the individual sponsor-to-child relationship, its approach has broadened to include community development. To this end, ChildFund pools the sponsor funds to improve the community environments where children live. Diverse donors allow the organization to expand its reach and work for the children.

Over the years, ChildFund has learned that children need compassionate caregivers, health care, nutrition, clean water, sanitation, education, opportunity and safety. If even one of these is missing from a child’s immediate environment, that child’s potential will remain out of reach.

While we know that at every age, children have unique gifts to offer their communities, it follows that the first few years of a child’s life are the most important. During this time, say experts, a child’s future development is laid out, and disruptions have lifelong consequences.

For instance, children’s experience of poverty differs from that of adults, and that experience changes as they grow from infancy to childhood to adolescence and young adulthood.

In this way, locally owned change is the most sustainable. When community members join hands to create an environment in which children can thrive, children do.

To support this dynamic, ChildFund has mobilized a global network of relationships, connecting children, sponsors, parents, teachers, community members and leaders, local organizations, schools, local and national governments, foundations, corporations and more.

What cannot be measured is how many children ChildFund has helped, because so many of the children who have been helped by this organization have paid it forward by helping others. Monica, for example, was once a sponsored child in Ecuador. She has since earned a degree in finance and now manages her community’s credit union and helps many families.

Thanks to wonderful supporters, these sponsored children have grown up to change more children’s lives.

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