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Binwa and Byaombe
Congo - We don’t have a dime!

In a hospital in Fizi, East-Congo, two women are seated on their beds with a child on their lap. The mosquito nets have been pulled up. Some children walk up and down between the beds. Twenty-two-year old Binwa Wilonda sits with her son Isaac Alimasiel. Isaac, almost two years old, has been admitted to the hospital due to malnutrition. His 4 year old brother stayed home in Kalongwe village.


Isaac doesn’t look well. The little boy suffers from edema and has a swollen belly. Next to this he is nearly bald. These are all signs of serious malnutricion. Recently his mother followed a course on feeding habits. She is aware of the causes and effects of malnutrition. “I know this is caused by bad nutrition, but we can’t help it. His father is unemployed and we don’t have any money to improve the meals of our little boys.”

Too little to spend

Right on the opposite of Binwa Byaombe twenty-year old Masoka is seated. She came to the hospital wit her one-and-a-half year old son Ngyeka Mupaya.

Little Ngyeka shows the same symptoms as his little friend Isaac. Byaombe is concerned about his situation… and of her other son who stayed at home. Being in the hospital she is not able to take care of both of her boys. Her husband is a mason, but he doesn’t earn much being a mason in an area filled with returned refugees. They just don’t have enough to spend.

Byaombe: “I’ve visited the hospital several times with Ngyeka. His situation doesn’t change. Now he is admitted to the hospitalagain, I can see a slight improvement of his situation. But I’m also very worried about his brother and what will become of us once we’ll leave the hospital again. We don’t have anything to eat. We don’t have a dime!”

No garantee

Off course both women are happy their sons are recovering. They hope they all can get healthy again. Jet their living conditions remain sorrowful. If their food situation remains the same no garantee is given on the recovery of their children.

These families are unable to change their situation by themselves. They need support and also help in housekeeping and care to fight malnutrition. ZOA offers them seeds, tools and training. This way the parents learn how to grow their own vegetables, such as corn, beans and cassava so in the end they can offer their families a healthy and nutritious meal.