Before he could even walk, Agnes would carry him on her back and he would look on as she cultivated her small plot of land, often working for 12 hours a day. Today, eight-year-old Jonah accompanies his grandmother to her field when he is not in school. He plays his part in helping his grandmother to secure their future.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is infamously known as one of the poorest, most dysfunctional, and warn torn countries in the world. Erick Rukang, Hands at Work Leader in Likasi, DRC, reflects on the region around Goma:
Madeline* is a 10-year-old girl living in Chilabula, a small village 30 kilometres from the town of Luanshya in Zambia. Madeline is now in grade 2 and enjoys going to school. One day, she hopes to become a nurse so she can help people in need. When she is not at school, she enjoys playing games and collecting wild fruits with her friends.
Prayer for Africa’s Orphaned
Play your part to bring hope
February 20th to Sunday March 31st
Join our worldwide community as we pray together for 40 days and 40 prayer points. As the international Hands at Work family, we will pray for the vulnerable children of Africa and ask God to reveal His heart for the poorest of the poor. Through each prayer point, we will ask God to remind us of not only the external challenges our children face, but the inner wounds that they live with every day. As we ask Him to heal their wounds, we pray He will break our hearts. We know that as we seek God in serving the most vulnerable, we will be blessed with a fresh understanding of His heart.
Mthandazo sits at a fire he has built for cooking outside of his small stone, mud and stick house which resembles more of a play-fort. This is where he and his 15-year-old nephew, Sipho, live. The boys’ first home collapsed during the rainy season the year before. Their new home belongs to Sipho’s mother who abandoned her son when she moved to another village. Mthandazo says he is grateful for the company and security Sipho provides, especially at night.
At night Mthandazo worries about the rats that come and eat through their mattress and about the coming rains that will likely wash away their home. He also worries because there is no door on which to put a lock to keep their few belongings safe.
Mthandazo’s elder sister passed away last year, leaving him the head of the household. His father, who was never really around, passed away a few years ago and his mother moved to work on a rural farm in 2002. Since then Mthandazo has rarely seen her more than a day month when he makes a three-hour trek by minibus-taxi to visit her.
Through all these challenges, Mthandazo has remained a strong student at school and dreams of becoming a geography teacher. He is respected in his village both by adults and his peers. When asked if Mthandazo ever gets into trouble, his care worker replies: “The only trouble Mthandazo has is with food.” The money his mother has to spare each month varies and sometimes there isn’t enough even for the taxi fare to visit her.