My name is Fr. Louis Ngoy. I am a CICM missionary currently serving as the Provincial Superior of Missionhurst-CICM in Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
As a superior of a province, I visit all our missionaries in the fields and I also visit the ICM Sisters (Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary), another sister congregation also founded in Belgium. We consider them our sister congregation.
In one of my visits to the ICM mission areas, I recently met Sister Adrienne Bozangani, ICM, who is working in a remote village in the town of Kizu some 400 miles from Kinshasa. I want to share with you what she related to me about the dire situation in that village.
The greatest challenge in this far-flung village is access to quality health care and the lack of trained health care workers.
Most people there are small farmers that produce palm oil. People have to walk miles and miles to be able to have a healthcare worker attend to their medical needs. Tragically, people sometimes die due to these awful circumstances.
Access is very difficult due to very poor roads.
Kizu is a rural city located in the Kongo Central Province at the border of the Republic of Angola and the Republic of Congo. Most often people travel by foot or use bicycles. Many seek to borrow bikes because they lack the resources to buy their own.
The population is poor and many work in agriculture.
Mainly the production of palm oil, cassava and plantains. Some tend to small livestock: goats, chickens and ducks. But these activities are very rudimentary and even the production that they accomplish is needed mostly for local consumption, not for selling on the open market. In order to provide for health care needs, schooling for children and clothing, people must sell their meager surplus.
Kizu is a Catholic mission.
Saint Michael Parish there is served by three diocesan priests who have organized the parishioners into 75 small ecclesial communities. 65% of the population are young people who participate actively at the celebrations of the Mass, small group activities, choir and other parish programs.
Because of poverty and an unbalanced diet, malnutrition is widespread.
Often people die from diseases that would be easily treatable if access, health workers and funds were more readily available: diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, meningitis, obstetric-gynecological diseases and complications in childbirth, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Unfortunately, many parents cannot afford to pay for needed medical expenses, resulting in self-medication which can have tragic consequences.
But here is the good news…and the urgency of this post.
The Kizu General Hospital recently started a six-month training for auxiliary nurses. After six-months of training, the trainees earn an “Auxiliary Nurse” certificate which is recognized by the Congolese government.
In my conversation with Sister Adrienne, she mentioned her desire to send 30 men and women to the six-month training as Auxiliary Nurses. She hopes that this training will provide glimmers of hope to people in dire need of medical attention. Her only problem is where to get the resources.
I was so moved by her story and, after seeing the situation with my own eyes, I told myself that I am going to write Fr. Randy and the donors of Missionhurst and ask them to help Sister Adrienne realize her dream of helping provide for medical workers in the village. In this desperate situation medical workers would instantly become “miracle workers!”
You might ask, how much does it cost for one to attend the training?
The total cost to send 30 people to the training is $6,900.00, including tuition, lodging and spending allowance during their training.
|Tuition||30 trainees x $70.00||$2,100.00|
|Lodging for 6 months||30 trainees x $45.00||$1,350.00|
|Spending allowance||30 trainee x $115.00||$3,450.00|
I know that the total cost is not much compared to prices in the U.S. The situation here is akin to the boy in John 6 who shared his meal of 5 loaves and 2 fish with the rest of the crowd, thus enabling Jesus to feed over 5,000! Together, we can help these 30 trainees realize their dreams of helping, providing, and caring for those most in need.
I invite you to join us in helping Sister Adrienne provide life-giving opportunities to people who are in need of health care. Thank you so much for listening to my plea for help so that, together as co-missionaries we can engage in this task of helping others.
Fr. Louis Ngoy, CICM
Missionhurst Provincial Superior, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
Will you support Fr. Louis Ngoy’s mission in the Congo? Learn more about how you could increase access to quality healthcare.