March 2015 news

Quaker Congo Partnership UK newsletter
March 2015

New independent charity status for the QCP UK
The Quaker Congo Partnership, which was formerly part of the Cambridgeshire Area Meeting, and supported by Manchester & Warrington Meeting since its inception, has succeeded in its application for independent charity status. On Jan 5th 2015 it was given the registered charity number 1159781 and became Quaker Congo Partnership UK.  

After six years of existence, plus two years preparation time, the QCP group and Cambridgeshire Area Meeting felt it was time to move away from the umbrella of the Area Meeting and become an official charity. Our remit is to partner with local people in the eastern parts of Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Our core projects include trauma counselling, hospital care, schooling orphans, women’s microcredit and providing fresh water.

New baby Margarita in Abeka
New baby Margarita in Abeka

You can be involved?
We are looking to expand our team of trustees and associates and would like to hear from anyone who feels drawn to this work.  The role of the trustees is to discern the charity's way forward. As well as trustees with general skills, we are seeking a clerk or co-clerks and treasurer with experience of Quaker business method to replace those whose terms of office are ending. 

The role of associates is to work with trustees in small groups, so contributing their skills, mostly assessment, research and translation in small groups which focus on particular projects or aspects of our work: our core projects plus on fund-raising, publicity, risk etc.  They're not final decision-makers but inform the Trustees' discernment.  

Interest in rural development in Africa is required. French is helpful but not essential.  Quakers and non-Quakers are welcome.  If you would like to explore these roles, please contact Hannah Morrow

Change within CEEACO, DRCongo
This has been a time of change for our CEEACO partners. This group of Quaker church leaders voted to replace the longstanding legal representative Rev. Mkoko Boseka, with two well respected pastors Rev. M. Lusunga By’ucinda (Legal Representative) and Rev. Mbakwa Malenga Jean Marie, (Deputy L R).  It has been difficult for Rev Mkoko to come to terms with this change.  In UK after taking time to listen, discern and seek advice from respected professionals and Quakers in the region, we chose to support the change in leadership.  We are now in direct email contact with the new directors who are keen to lead the partnership forward in continuing its vital work.  There remain echoes of the dispute but resolution work is underway.

News from the projects

News from the Trauma Counselling Peace Garden (TCPG)
The TCPG are extending their work with orphans to include a group of Batwa children. We believe that by supporting groups of children from different backgrounds who come together for celebrations they are contributing to the possibilities of reconciliation in the area.

Recipients of microcredit 

News from the Microcredit project
The microcredit project is very popular and there are more women wanting to join it.

News from Abeka Hospital
Sadly we have tragic news that reminds us how dangerous this part of the world remains. Unidentified armed men have attacked workers within our projects twice in the last months.  In November 2014, Doctor Marume and his wife were attacked in their home near the hospital and the hospital’s laptop, digital camera, medical equipment and some cash were stolen.  The doctors wife sustained a broken arm and both have been threatened with further violence and now live with this fear.  

Then in December 2014, Mme Yumina Nasenda, a midwife and cashier for the Abeka hospital was attacked at home and the pharmacy money she had take home for safe keeping stolen. Her injuries were so severe that she died a week later. We are all saddened by these attacks and our consultant Bindende was able to attend Mme Nasenda’s funeral and convey our condolences.  We have written to the CEEACO directors encouraging them to contact the police to request extra security support.  

Discussing the Water project

The good news here is that we have managed to raise the £60,000 pounds from two Quaker organisations plus individual donations to enable us to start and hopefully complete the project to provide clean running water to Abeka hospital and village. The challenge we still have and are working hard to resolve is to find an NGO to partner with us who will oversee the project.  We are in touch with two local engineers and the villagers are forming themselves into a water management committee.  It will have life changing effects for our project users and the local population.

Our details
We thank you for your continued support for QCP UK and ask you to note our new postal address and bank details for any Direct Debits or donations:

Quaker Congo Partnership UK, Friends Meeting House
6 Mount Street, Manchester, M25NS

UK Bank account: 6572825  Sort code: 08 - 92 - 99