Ambassadors of hope for the Congo

Ambassadors of hope for the Congo | World Vision Blog

Martine, recently treated for malnutrition, with her nurse Chiquette in the Ledia community, DRC, December 2012. (Photo: Alice Bafiala Mutombo/World Vision)

World Vision's Child Ambassadors are a network of volunteers and sponsors who go out into their communities as advocates for child sponsorship. This year, they're aiming to maximize their impact by focusing their efforts on a new sponsorship community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo called Ledia. Read why!

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Of the 187 countries listed in the U.N.’s Human Development Index, which measures a population’s well-being, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is at the very bottom: #187.

For the past 17 years, a near-continuous civil war has devastated the nation, displacing almost 1.4 million people and killing over 5 million. Those that remain face a low life expectancy (55), a malnutrition rate among children 3 times higher than the rest of the world, and an unbelievably high under-5 mortality rate of almost 20%; 9 out of 10 mothers lose a child younger than five.

World Vision is in the process of establishing a brand new development program with a community near the city of Gemena in northwestern DRC. 380,000 people live there in mud and thatch houses, with no paved roads, running water, or electricity.

Families in Gemena average a daily income of US$1; 3 of 10 children don’t attend primary school, and more than 70% don’t finish high school. The dropout rate is even higher for girls. And with poorly equipped hospitals, many children die from preventable diseases like malaria and malnutrition.

World Vision is in the early phases of our partnership with this community, aptly called “Ledia,” which means, “A new thing is coming to the village.” As our staff builds relationships in the community, alongside local leaders they have identified clean water and infrastructure as the primary starting needs. They are also beginning to register children for sponsorship.

The funds raised through child sponsorship will support WASH (water, hygiene, and sanitation), education, child protection education programs, and advocacy for child rights by encouraging children and the community to participate in capacity building programs. We’re very excited to be starting this work!

4,000 children in Ledia are being registered for sponsorship. And that’s why World Vision’s Child Ambassadors program is focusing their efforts on this new community.

The Child Ambassadors program empowers a network of our child sponsors – who already know the joys of sponsorship – to go out into their communities and help us spread the word about children in need around the world. An integral part of World Vision’s team, Child Ambassadors connect children in countries like the DRC with new sponsors.

Ambassadors Stu and Celeste in Connecticut describe their experience: “We are letting the world know about these forgotten kids.”

With such a dynamic and powerful group of passionate volunteers mobilized and focused on a single community, the Child Ambassadors have a real opportunity to make a significant difference in one of the most difficult parts of the world.

You can help!

Your monthly gift when you sponsor a child in the Ledia community will directly help provide clean water and infrastructure – and more, as the program grows – in northwestern DRC.

Once you’re a World Vision sponsor, consider applying to become a Child Ambassador. Join our volunteer network and work alongside us to bring hope and joy to children around the world.


 

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