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Home / News & Events / "I was lucky" - A mother rebuilds after tragedy

Maombi Babonye knows too well what it means when a young child is malnourished. 

“Most of my fellow mothers have helplessly seen their children waste away and die because they cannot afford adequate food,” says the 29-year-old mother of 4, who has lived in a grass thatched temporary shelter in an internally displaced people’s (IDP) camp in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) for the last seven years. 

She’s among millions of people affected by conflict and political instability in the country. Many were forced to abandon their homes and livelihoods for the relative safety of camps, like the Kaye IDP camp in the North Kivu province of Eastern DR Congo.

Nearly two million children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

Tragically, childhood malnutrition has affected Maombi even more closely than watching other mothers lose their children. She lost her own child to malnutrition when she couldn’t access necessary medical support.

That’s why she was terrified when her daughter Dorcas fell ill last year—she thought she would lose another child. And Maombi herself badly needed medical support at the same time.

Today, with your support, Dorcas is a happy, healthy 4-year-old, and Maombi is not only healthy, but running a small business and providing independently for the whole family.

Dorcas received nutrition support through a Lutheran World Federation (LWF) project supported by CLWR. The project is supporting vulnerable families whose children suffer from malnutrition, providing emergency medical care and nutritional support for both the children and their parents. Because the project was carried out through CLWR’s partnership with Canadian Foodgrains Bank, donations in support of the project were matched 4:1 by the Government of Canada.

“I was lucky to have been identified by LWF,” Babonye says, reflecting on the experience. Apart from the nutrition support, she also received support from LWF to help her build a livelihood. With it, Babonye purchased food and clothes for her children and started a business selling local vegetables and purchased two young sheep. Through her small business, she is now able to put food on the table for her four children. 

Babonye says she can now plan for the future because of these supports.

“I will wait for my sheep to multiply, then sell them and buy a piece of land where I can produce food for my children,” she says.

Babonye feels proud she can help her family, thanks to the assistance she received.

“I am now able to single-handedly raise my children,” she says.

Your support was life-changing for Maombi and Dorcas. Thank you for your partnership! 

Click here to donate to our Therapeutic Food program.

Photos: LWF DR Congo