News Release

Church Joins Forces with Catholic Relief Services and Caritas to Help Refugees in Eastern DR Congo 

From May 2022 to January 2023, with substantial financial contributions from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Caritas provided emergency kits to 3,800 displaced households and hygiene kits to 3,800 women and girls in war torn North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Growing instability in the area has forced thousands to flee the fighting for the safety of refugee camps. Many of these internally displaced persons abandoned their homes with little more than the clothes on their backs. Government and aid organizations have struggled to deal with the swelling humanitarian needs under challenging security conditions.

The emergency kits included sleeping mats, blankets, clothing, basins, cups, and basic cooking and eating utensils. The hygiene kits included soap, a strip of washable sanitary cloth, an undergarment, 5-liter plastic bucket, clothes drying line, and a set of drying tongs. CRS and Caritas carefully chose persons based on their needs and gave priority to orphans, breastfeeding women, pregnant woman, the disabled, and the elderly.

Recipients of this assistance struggled to express their gratitude.

  • One woman exclaimed, “I usually find the words to express myself! I have been in this refugee center for more than a month without any assistance. I have been sleeping on the ground with my children; without a blanket, without clothes, without a pot. Thanks to you, I now sleep on a mat, my children can get dressed without problems, and I have pots and pans to prepare food for my family.”
  • According to another, “I thank Caritas, CRS, and Latter-day Saints Charities for this gift you have just offered us. For me, you are the envoys of God. Long life to your organizations.”
  • A third said, “We are very happy with these good quality kits. Since we have been here, we have never received assistance like this. Thank you so much; may God bless you abundantly.”

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints strive to follow the Lord’s example of caring for the poor. Church members skip two meals per month and donate the money they would have spent, called fast offerings, to the poor and needy throughout the world regardless of their race, religion, politics, or nationality. The Church regularly joins forces with other religions and charitable organizations to carry out this work.

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