Democratic Republic of the Congo
Written by Plant With Purpose on September 22, 2015 in Proverb
By Ben Held
“Bwisi bwoso buba mu zingila manunu kunu kukia bu kia.”
Translation: “However long the night, the day will follow.”
There are very few who have the depth of understanding of this proverb as the Congolese who speak it. For several hundred years, this central African country has been caught up in a maelstrom of exploitive colonial rule, government corruption, and civil conflict. This unrest has stripped the land of forests and minerals, and the people of their livelihoods and sense of security.
GDP per capita in the DRC is among the lowest in the world, infrastructure is underdeveloped, and human rights are severely lacking. Because of this, the DRC ranks 186 of 187 countries listed on the UN Development Programme’s Human Development Report. In terms of natural wealth however, the DRC—and more broadly, the Congo Rainforest—is one of the most diverse regions on earth, second only in size to the Amazon.
But this rich landscape is at risk and increasingly becoming a risk to those who call it home. In the far west of the DRC, the Kakumba Watershed lies on the banks of Lake Tanganyika just south of the city called Uvira. Historically, the area has been part of an expansive forest that covered the adjacent highlands, but unsustainable farming practices have deforested the hills and caused deadly mudslides that destroy both lives and land.
Amidst this dark history and these present ecological challenges, Plant With Purpose is determined to partner with Congolese communities and restore their hope. Plant With Purpose’s pilot program will conduct a two-year study of the watershed and identification of residents’ greatest needs. Plans to establish Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) are underway, which will help mobilize local financial resources for struggling families while fostering long-term respect for the land. We move forward together, and together we hope for success.
The people of the DRC have spent too long in the night. Slowly but surely, their day is coming.
Join us and Plant For Tomorrow, which helps strengthen and expand life-changing partnerships in the DRC and beyond. Or, contribute to a community’s area of greatest need and see the inspiring impact that is realized by approaching poverty holistically.