A Note from Faustin N’Tala, Waza Alliance

Hello Friends of JabuAfrica,

My name is Faustin N’Tala, also known as Coach N’Tala in greater Indianapolis, “Mwalimu” (Swahili word for teacher) or “Prof” (French word for teacher), for citizens of the Congo, or Mr. WAZA for officials in the D R Congo.

First I want to say a big THANK YOU to Sarah Castor, David and JabuAfrica for inviting me to speak at a JabuAfrica Fundraising event a few months ago and for donating a $ 1,000.00 to Waza Alliance. It is a real blessing and a way to work together to support children in the D R Congo.

With this amount, Waza Alliance will be able to renew scholarships for at least three children in the D R Congo and provide one teacher with training.

I am the Founder and President of Waza Alliance for Quality Education, a 501c3 Indianapolis based non-profit, non-governmental, non-sectarian organization. It was established by a group of Hoosiers who care about greatly enhancing the quality of life for children living in the Democratic Republic of Congo by improving the quality of their education. To do so, Waza Alliance has four programs:

1. Waza Initiative for Students Enrolment (WISE). This program aims at supporting individual children, at elementary and secondary to enroll and complete educational cycles.
2. Waza Teacher Training Seminars (WTTS) to empower teachers to be able to deliver quality lessons.
3. Waza School Management Initiative (WSMI) that enables schools to monitor and improve teacher and student performance.
4. Waza Initiative for Education Resources (WIRE), to provide students, teachers, and schools with educational resources

Waza Alliance has organized multiple teacher seminars for more than 781 participants from more than 70 schools in the cities of Lubumbashi and Kolwezi, in the Katanga province, DR Congo in the last five years

Waza Alliance has consistently supported 28 students from elementary levels in the last five years. It costs $ 300.00 to enroll a student for a year at elementary, and $ 450 for secondary.

We are working hard to send a container full of school supplies to D R Congo. These include student’s supplies, teachers’ supplies and classroom teaching aids resources.

Please, “like” us at WazaAlliance Facebook ; or visit our website at Waza-alliance.org and twitter @WazaAlliance

Example of teacher seminar:

Démographie, Mobilité des élèves, Responsabilité des Parents

Examples of remittance of school supplies:

Waza Alliance Remitting School Supplies to Makwacha Village July 2011

Remise de fournitures Classiques

Why should I care when it hurts so much?

A beautiful note from Rody–

The “heart” in the biblical tradition refers to the very core of a person.  To grow into our humanity and so our holiness, we need to pay attention to any time our hearts fly open.  For it is through these daily “heart opening” moments that we are most alive.  By honoring their coming, by cherishing them we can move out of small talk into big talk–find our voices about what really matters.

These moments of the heart are every day moments that are offered to every one of us. The only difference between a large, warm, awakened heart and a cold, small, silent one is attentive hospitality.  Here’s a sampler of some of the heart openings that I have known:

Christmas Eve candles begin to mark the dark down the line, one dancing wick to another.  Then as every voice finds “Silent Night,” the heart flies open in automatic response to the hidden sacred that has held back the whole year waiting to be carried in on this one song and must, in a moment, wait another year again.  The too beautiful, too painful, catches up and overcomes.  The night storms rage, a fever spikes then morning comes calm and clear and the heart flies open.   Water, in a swirl of color through glass-stained light splashes into a simple pottery bowl.  An infant you hardly know but have already begun to love is tipped toward the sacred puddle.  A name is asked.  Three times a palm full of water is applied.  You believe.  You don’t believe a thing.  Doesn’t matter to the clinching heart trying to sort out, Is this pain or pleasure? as it flies open.  We think we have seen it all and nothing ever again can reach through the mundane, the crude and unkind haphazard world and then heaven is lowered down and the heart flies open.  Our flag is raised.  The anthem begins.  The heart flies open.  Maybe the same flag is tightly folded and placed in a reluctant lap, and the heart flies open.  The towers fall and the heart flies open.  Someone mentions Columbine or Sandy Hook and the heart flies open.  A lithe and winsome boy who is somehow your son, in trying to protect himself, catches the ball by mistake, winning the game.   A daughter takes her first wobbly steps and then, even though every effort has been made to slow time down, pirouettes across a school stage without faltering as the heart flies open.

Each time the drama of this world calls to us, we can welcome it and join the dance or turn away.  The welcoming people become more fully alive–they carry within the sacredness of the world, the muck and the mystery.  Those that choose to join grow in empathy, compassion, and gratitude.  Their capacity for love and joy expands but so also does their experience of sorrow and heart ache.  That’s just the deal.    Those who turn away, well, they go back to sleep.

 

A note of gratitude from our friend, Rody

I have just received word that JabuAfrica has awarded the Kapanga Children’s Nutrition Program a grant of
$10,000!  On behalf of the team at Our Family In Africa, our sponsoring agency and the hundreds of families that will
be given new hope for their children in Musamba Village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!

To all the supporters of Jabu Africa I want to say that rarely does one get an opportunity to save the lives of a new
generation of children while laying the foundation for change in one of the world’s most beautiful and desperate of places.
This astonishingly generous gift lays a foundation for a future that simply would not have been possible without it.

Your gift will provide for an entire year, the supplies needed to make the super food for 192 children, moving them from severe malnutrition to health, maintain the equipment to produce it and pay the salaries of the 8 person team who make and administer the nutritional supplement.

I invite you to allow yourself the grace to imagine one mother, one father watching their sick child regain their
smile, their laugh, the light in their eyes!  Now multiply 192 times!   Jewish theologian/writer/humanitarian and prophet Eli Wiesel once said, “saving one child is like saving the whole world.”

Your generosity is so powerful and
beautiful!

Rody

 

The Nitty Gritty on the PB program

Kapanga Childhood Nutrition Program: Fortified Nutritional Supplement for Severely Malnourished Children

The purpose of the proposed project is to establish a nutrition program for severely malnourished Congolese infants in the remote region of Kapanga, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with a Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF). This product would be locally produced without electricity or water by locally-assembled hand grinders and mixing machines, thus giving local residents ownership of this program.

Severe childhood malnutrition is an endemic problem in rural regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where as many as 34% of children under 5 have stunted growth due to malnourishment and 4% are emaciated.  One approach that has been used to improve nutrition in rural Africa comes in ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTFs) that contain necessary nutrients for rehabilitation.  One such RUTF is Plumpy-Nut, an energy dense, peanut butter based lipid paste that resists bacterial contamination and requires no cooking.  It is essentially a mixture of milk powder, vegetable oil, sugar, peanuts ground to paste, and powdered vitamins and minerals.  Just a few spoonfuls a day of this mixture per day has been associated with almost complete recovery of malnutrition in infants.  Similar RTUF’s have been used successfully to treat malnutrition in Chad, Senegal, Ethiopia and Malawi.

In April, 2010, a trial program was tested in in conjunction with a Kapanga hospital.  4 US nurses provided the RUTF to 10 malnourished children, and after 4 weeks they showed a marked improvement in weight and general health.

This project puts production of the product and the management of the nutrition program into local hands.

·         By making their own RUTF, villagers will maintain the proper number of children in the program each week, based on the amount of RUTF they can prepare.

·         They will teach local mothers how to feed their other children to avoid having to place them in the program.

·         They will be able to take pride in their program, and have a sense of hope for their own futures.

·         The results of the nutrition program will give them dignity and control of their own lives.

·         Local health care providers will assess nutritional needs of their community, yielding a comprehensive study of the effects of RUTF on the development of children.

 

FEED CONGO KIDS

Supply cost for one year:

Oil:                           300

Milk:                       1800

Sugar                        500

Peanuts               2000

Total:                     $4600

Salaries costs for one year: administrator, nurses, mechanics:

4400

Transport             1000

Total for one year: approx. $10,000 per year/ $833 per month

At 16 children/month: $52 per child for one month

 

 

A Mustard Seed Planted

This is the last week to purchase hip camera accessories with mod. Benefiting JabuAfrica. We are so thankful for their partnership and belief that together we can bring hope!

Here is another post from our friend, Rody. This is a moving story of how your actions are changing lived in DRC.

A Mustard Seed Planted in Musamba

The Bible uses the mustard seed as a sign of hope because it is one of the smallest of seeds but properly nurtured can grow so large to even be a home for birds. That’s why we call our “Masumba Childhood Nutrition Program” a mustard seed of hope.

In 2012, Alice and I raised $40,000 among parishioners I had served over the past 35 years to be a foundation of funding for the first three years of an experimental program in Musamba Village. We came to this one village at the invitation of one of the United Methodist bishops of the area. Even though there is still a small hospital in this very isolated place of about 10,000 people no significant help of any kind had reached the village for over thirty years. “Couldn’t we come, spend some time and see what we might do to help even in some small way.” This was Bishop Katembo’s request.

So we:
• Began to communicate through e-mail with the head of the hospital who assigned a small of group of nurses to work with us.
• We found an American company who produced a high quality grinder to make the RUTF and purchased two of them. We ran our own trials to make sure we could produce the RUTF efficiently and effectively.
• We found sources for all the ingredients to make the therapeutic food in the DRC except for the vitamins that we had to purchase in South Africa.
• We had people who worked for the UM church purchase all the ingredients in Lubumbashi, the closest major city.

Then in May of 2012 we arrived in the village, ( a 2 ½ hour small plane ride from Lubumbashi)trained a team of five nurses, two workers and a supervisor and began to feed kids. The nurse we had brought with us to lead the training had to return after the initial ten day period but Alice and I stayed for a month and got to see the first sixteen children literally go from near death to life!

As of today we have given almost two hundred children a chance for a full life and the program has been so successful, now run completely by local people, that we will be able to double the number of children (400) this coming June when we return with a new team.

While transportation costs are very expensive as of today all volunteers have paid their own ways to the DRC and we have been able to use all gifts directly for the nutrition program. We do need to offer some small travel scholarships to a few of the young adults going with us this year but still 95% of all gifts go the salaries of the workers, equipment and the RUTF for the children.

We function under the auspices of Our Family in Africa and all gifts should be marked “OFA-Nutrition Program.” We also have ties to “Hope for the Children of Africa,” a program of the Pacific Northwest United Methodist Church and Jabu Africa who have so graciously welcomed us their web site.

You can read a daily blog on our first trip in 2012 at my web site, rodyrowe.com and watch this space for my next entry about the new things our 2013 teams hopes to accomplish in collaboration with the people of Masumba Village. You can also reach me at rodyrowe@gmail.com

Mod & JabuAfrica

For the entire month of February, mod. is giving 10% of each sale on their website to JabuAfrica! Show your LOVE today…and give HOPE to families in DRCongo! Wanna know more about the project benefiting from this campaign? It’s a nutritonal feeding program in Kapanga–this amazing program both heals and empowers those living in this small village in DRC. Keep reading…this is only the beginning of an amazing story!

Please click on this link to go to Mod site!

Mod & JabuAfrica

The Peanut butter Miracle!

New friends,

My name is Rody (Road-e) and my wife and I have the privilege to be involved in the holiest of work—giving hundreds of severely malnourished children a chance at life and bringing new hope to a people all but forgotten by the rest of the world.

At the gracious invitation of Jabu Africa, we’d like to begin to tell you about an exciting, unfolding story of creative and loving partnership with the desperate people of Musamba Village in the southeast region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This new world of possibilities, as odd as it might seem, begins with a peanut butter miracle.

Just a few years ago a Swiss doctor was as frustrated as thousands of others before him when dealing with very poor and isolated people and malnutrition in their children. Over and over again the sad story went like this: as soon as a mother could no longer nurse because of her own poor nutrition, her infant would begin to suffer. With so little protein available inevitability countless numbers of babies slowly starved to death. With no potable water and no refrigeration to keep nutritious supplements the situation seemed pretty hopeless. What was needed was a RUTF (ready to use theraputic food) that didn’t need any water, could keep indefinitely without refrigeration and would be a super-food boost for children. Doctor Manary came up with exactly this and it is brilliant in its simplicity: an energy-dense paste made up of ground up peanuts mixed with oil, powdered milk, sugar and a highly specialized vitamin/mineral mix. Once produced it can be eaten by infants “as is.”

Doctors without Borders now calls his paste a “revolution in nutrition.” In a recent 60 Minutes special a spokesperson for Doctors without Borders said, “We now finally have a simple and powerfully effective tool to fight hunger. We can take a child who is about to die and bring that child back to close to normal in just a few weeks!”

The product is now produced by several large companies for about one dollar a serving and is being used by nearly all major relief organizations in developing nations. This RUTF has saved hundreds of thousands of children already.

Wonderful right? Right! But a few of us thought we had an even better idea. What if we could teach the local people to make the product themselves for the half the cost of the large corporations, creating jobs, using local resources and putting the distribution in the hands of local nurses and doctors? That’s the unfolding dream now taking place in a very isolated village in the southeast portion of the Democatic Republic of the Congo. The village is called Musamba. More of this story to come…

Our First Year in Review

June 2012 marked JabuAfrica’s first birthday!  OK, so this is a little belated but the work we are doing is making a lasting impact on caregivers and children in DRC and South Africa.  It is our mission to encourage and empower local caregivers to continue to give the best care possible to vulnerable children in their communities.

Here’s what we (you and JabuAfrica) have been up to this year:

Emergency support was given to our friends at TLC in South Africa–as you know, the amazing woman that runs this home will not turn a child away.  Although some children in her care are orphans and may be adopted, many will return to their birth families once their circumstances stabilize.  TLC is currently home to 78 babies and children.   Our emergency support allowed TLC to buy diapers, food, medicine and formula.  We were also able to assist in the mandatory purchase of a fire escape for the TLC property.  In July, we partnered with The Ball Project  to bring sports equipment to the older children at TLC–with 12 teenage boys living in the house, the gift of sports equipment was a big hit! 

I had the opportunity to travel back to DRC in July.  This trip was a much needed visit to check on various projects and confirm the direction we are going in as an organization.  I sent out a letter to our supporters and friends in August explaining our change in direction in the building project in Kinshasa.  If you did not receive that letter and would like to know more please email me sarahcastor@jabuafrica.org.

In June, JabuAfrica participated with Forgo to raise funds for the Kinshasa baby house.  We matched all contributions up to $5, 000.  This was a huge boost to their efforts and allowed our support to go even further.  Those funds provided 13.75 months of rent.

The July trip began in Indianapolis on a wave of generosity generated by our friends at Crimson Tate:: Modern Quilter (maker of our favorite Harriet headbands for JabuAfrica–available on Etsy).  Friends of Crimson Tate handmade the most beautiful baby coverlets for the babies and toddlers in the Kinshasa baby home.  It was truly amazing to see our community come together and then be able to hand deliver these precious blankets to the children.  While I was in Kinshasa, we spent one day buying furniture for the new baby house–dining tables for the children, chairs, and tables for the mamas’ to use for set up in the kitchen.  We also helped with the purchase of beds/mattresses.  In our luggage we packed nearly 100 lbs. of formula for the babies in care as well as the coverlets.  So much of what we will be doing depends on my going there…seeing what is going on firsthand, interacting with our leaders there, and delivering things that cannot be purchased easily or at all in Kinshasa.

“A good storyteller doesn’t just tell a better story.  He invites other people into the story with him, giving them a better story too. ”  –Donald Miller.  This is my dream for JabuAfrica.

When I was in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in October 2010, I remember hearing one of the mama’s at an orphanage for school age children say, “Here there are no holidays; No birthdays; No Christmas.”  In truth, there is often no breakfast or lunch—just one meal a day. This orphanage is on the outskirts of Kinshasa and is run by an altruistic college professor who had an enduring dream to run a safe home for older kids.  She is doing a fantastic job caring for the boys and girls in this home despite being in a country torn apart by the destruction of war, an 85% unemployment rate, and threatened today by violence due to speculation of an unfair election. One meal a day, a safe place to live, and the opportunity to attend school is a dream come true.

As friends of JabuAfrica, you know that one of our current projects is rehabilitating a building in Kinshasa into a safe and loving home for babies and children who have nowhere to go.  I have been asked “Why? Aren’t there other places these kids can go?”  To answer that I will tell you about another orphanage I visited in the center of Kinshasa.  In this place with a swinging gate open to a busy, dusty road framed by open sewage drains, children are able to disappear without notice. There is no bathroom, and on the day I visited the children had not eaten for two days. The dormitory style bedrooms had bunk beds but no mattresses and very few blankets to protect them from deadly mosquitoes and the cooler nighttime air. I read this week about another orphanage in Kinshasa where men are allowed to abuse the children there for a price. The abuse happens any time of day and any time of night.  The story made me sick, and yet it motivates me even more to do all we can to get this facility built and ready to receive children and keep them from being placed in harmful circumstances.   Is it ok for our children to have every wish checked off their list for Christmas while another child goes without the most basic of needs?

Because of your partnership, JabuAfrica was able to send the first check to buy the spades, shovels, wheel barrels and hammers to begin building the exterior wall.  Construction is set to begin in January.  We will be receiving pictures as items are bought and throughout the construction process.  We have the exciting opportunity to be a part of this project from its genesis.  Construction begins with the building of the outside wall, and then the rehab of the existing building will take place. The facility will be furnished with toilets and running water. Once the facility is running JabuAfrica will help to sponsor the 70+ babies and children that will be living there. They will be safe from abuse, loved, educated and given a future.

Please consider JabuAfrica as you think through your year-end giving.  We are a registered non-profit and your gift is tax deductable.  Unlike many other organizations, 100% of your gift to JabuAfrica will go directly to our projects.  Please send gifts to JabuAfrica, 47 S. Pennsylvania St., Ste 700, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

Thank you for your partnership and the important role you have in this story of hope and a future for many orphans in DRC.

Sincerely yours,
Sarah Castor

 

A Word of Thanks on Election Day in the DRC

Today, on this election day in the DRC, I want to say thank you for all of those who came out last Monday to the JabuAfrica event at Triton Brewery.  I texted Sarah last Tuesday to give her my thanks for throwing such an awesome event; she seemed as excited as ever at the turnout.  So, a huge thank you to all!

A few highlights of the evening was meeting many new people, listening to the musical delights of Stasia Demos Mills and Tad Armstrong, seeing our crazy kids be involved in the event and playing, and most of all hearing the vision of the orphanage that JabuAfrica is working on in the DRC.

In turn, today is election day in the DRC.  Last night, my husband had the news on, and I asked him to call out to me if they reported on the elections in Congo while I whipped our Sunday traditional dinner:  banana pancakes.  I didn’t get a shout out, and therefore my disappointment ensued.  The lack of attention on issues in Africa from our US media is frustrating.

I ask that you lift up the people in Congo today, especially.  Reports are saying that there is violence, confusion, and anger.  It saddens my heart to think that innocent lives are being caught in the crossfire of fear.  I also pray that the person who does win the election does so honestly and more importantly, that he use all of his efforts to help the people in the DRC.

Thank you for all that you do, friends!

November 21st…Just in time!

On November 21st, JabuAfrica will be hosting an event at Triton Brewery from 5 to 8 pm, and it’s just in time before the mad dash for Thanksgiving begins!  Special musical guest, Stasia Demos Mills along with Tad Armstrong will be lending a hand and will be sure to make it an evening you won’t want to miss.  Also, there will be some wonderful giveaways.  I’m thrilled to be able to kick off the holiday season with JabuAfrica friends and hope to see you there!

On another note, my pal, Sarah Castor, encouraged me to read the book Dancing in the Glory of Monsters by Jason Stearns.  The avid reader that I am, I quickly said yes.  This non fiction book unravels the conflict in Congo and the players involved in its complicated and tragic account.  Only three chapters in, I find myself making mental maps of the 5w’s as I begin to try to understand all those who are playing a hand in the conflict in the heart of Africa.  The more I read, the more I feel I must know to truly say that I am an advocate for peace and prosperity in Africa.  I will be journeying on through the book and invite you to join me in the upcoming weeks.

I am stricken with humility by the words of Martin Luther King Jr. who said, “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”  I am the first to admit that my understanding is more shallow than I would like for it to be with the conflict in Congo and the suffering that happens there and in Africa.  As an educator, I believe that education is key and the more information I have, the more I can speak about it.  So, I invite you to gain more knowledge in order to help more effectively and love with a fuller understanding.

I hope to see you on the 21st and bring the kiddos!

Much love,

Kathy, friend of JabuAfrica