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HEAL Africa provides holistic care for the people of Democratic Republic of Congo
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The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been called the "worst humanitarian disaster since World War II" by the International Rescue Committee. An estimated 5.4 million people have died due to the conflict since 1998. The eastern region of Congo, where HEAL Africa works, is characterized by extreme violence, mass population displacements, widespread rape, and a collapse of public health services. The outcome has been a humanitarian disaster unmatched by any other in recent decades. In the midst of this conflict faith communities are the one constant presence and reach into every village; HEAL Africa works through these communities to provide social, physical, and spiritual healing.

Conflict in DR Congo

A Background of Conflict

Since 1992 Central Africa has been torn apart by a war in which over six million people have lost their lives. Congo has been brought to its knees in a bloody regional war which began with the spillover of the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Armed groups from Congo and from neighboring countries continue to vie for power and natural resources in a country endowed with the largest amount of mineral wealth per sq km in the world.  A peace agreement was signed in 2002, but stability is yet to be seen and violence continues. The remaining militias continue to rape, loot, and destroy remote villages.

As a result of our medical specialists, HEAL Africa is called upon to deal with the physical, psychological and emotional consequences of this war.


HEAL Africa is based in the city of Goma which lies on the eastern edge of the Democratic Republic of Congo, bordering the country of Rwanda. Area Map During the genocide of 1994, the UNHCR estimates that nearly a million refugees sought shelter in the area. After the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in 2002, tens of thousands of families lost their homes. Unlike the rural areas which are very fertile, Goma is built on volcanic lava without water supply or soil, making it very difficult for the population to support themselves. 70% of families in the area have an average monthly income of less than $25.

Sexual Violence Against Women

Women have borne the brunt of the war. We are only now beginning to see the extent of the suffering of women whose villages have been destroyed, whose husbands have been killed, whose children have grown up without an education, and who have been raped, tortured and enslaved by militia. As of August 2006, over 4,200 violated women have been identified by the forty counselors working in Masisi Territory alone. Rape has been systematically used as a weapon of war. These women are left with huge physical and psychological needs which HEAL Africa is beginning to address.

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