Outreach to mothers and babies threatened by the COVID-19 in the Congo

Introduction 

The first case of COVID-19 was declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo on March 10, 2020. To date, more than 6,000 people have tested positive, with 142 reported deaths. COVID-19 is affecting lives at all levels and coping with the confinement protocols has been especially overwhelming for vulnerable families that make their living on a daily basis. 

Thanks to the success of our COVID-19 GoFund Me Campaign Happy Baby, which has been active in Beni since 2016, provided single mothers and widows with a relief package that contained soap, food, and a Happy Baby carrier to meet some of their basic needs while in confinement.  

Project achievement   

Through this project we provided carriers to 60 single mothers, living in rural regions around Beni, who gave birth during the pandemic. Additionally, single mothers and widows received a package containing beans, rice, and 2 bars of soap, to carry them through the following four weeks of confinement. We also distributed bars of soap to 1,000 households in the villages of Pasisi, Butsili, and Musenze to promote handwashing hygiene as an effective public health measure against COVID-19. 

 

Effectiveness / Community Impact:


It is said that good friends show up in difficult times. Thanks to our supporters, we believe that Happy Baby made a big difference in the lives of this underserved community. 

Testimonials on the impact Happy Baby is making in our area:

“Since the beginning of this crisis, we have not received any assistance here. Receiving food is receiving love. Thank you for the carrier and the food. Please continue with your good deeds. My child’s father had already abandoned me. So, thank you for the donation of a baby carrier, rice and soap.  May God bless you.” Kahindo Kabuyaya 

“Since [I] received the Happy Baby carrier it has been easier to make food while carrying the baby. This increases the affection between baby and parents. [I] go to the garden and market carrying the baby. The carrier also will give my fabric a break [since carrying the baby in fabric wears out the cloth]. [I also] thank you for the food you donated… Now I am cooking a full meal for my family. Thank you.” Kahindo Pilipili 

“My job is to dress hair. Since I received this baby carrier, it has helped me a lot. I am no longer tired [from working while carrying my baby]… I feel good.” Katungu Byambwera 

“When I did not have this baby carrier, I carried my baby in a piece of fabric. It bothered me very much and it was easy for the baby to fall out. But today, I can do the cleaning, fetch water, go to the market, and prepare food while knowing my baby is safe.” Kahindo Mwenge 

Collaborative Efforts  

This was a community based project, funded by the generosity of our supporters. Supporting families in rural areas required good collaboration and engagement with local leaders like the mayor and chiefs at all levels, who were informed and supportive of the project. Some of the local chiefs were even with our team around the villages to make sure we had all the support we needed for the outreach to be successful!