5 min read

The path of hope

July 2, 2024
by Medair
Recent clashes in the Masisi and Rusthuru territories of the DRC have displaced families to Goma. There, at the Mudja refugee camp, Medair offers free primary healthcare.

The path of hope

 "My name is Adèle, and I was born in Rugari, a small village nestling in the heart of the mountains in the Rusturu region in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I was born sixty-five years ago, at a time when peace still reigned. But life took a tragic turn two years ago when bombing raids hit our village, and we immediately had to flee."

“My grandson, Faustin, was still a child when his parents died in those terrible attacks. They didn't make it to the village in time, and to this day, I don't even know where they are buried. His parents were all he had, and their loss has left a huge hole in our hearts. I had no choice but to take Faustin under my wing, determined to give him a future despite the trials and uncertainty that lay ahead."

A person and a child sitting in a tentDescription automatically generated
Adèle with her grandson, Faustin, in the refugee camp. © Daniel Wakandu

“We left Rugari, leaving behind memories of a happy life. We travelled more than 40 km to reach Goma, and every step was a struggle and every night a challenge to find shelter.

We first arrived at a refugee camp, which was up as an emergency in Kibati, before being forced to move to the Mudja camp – where we are now. When we arrived here, the suffering was palpable. The tents were packed tightly together, and tired faces told stories of loss and despair. For an old lady like me, living here is a daily battle against hunger, disease and loneliness."

The Mudja camp is located to the north of the city of Goma, and currently accommodates more than 19,908 people affected by the fighting. Since the start of this year, several camps for displaced people have sprung up around Goma. Following the recent fighting, mainly in Masisi territory, the town of Saké, located 20 km west of the city of Goma, has been emptied of its inhabitants. Consequently, more than 2.7 million people have been internally displaced in North Kivu province as a result of the recent armed conflicts.

A group of people walking in a dirt fieldDescription automatically generated
Medair provides free primary healthcare to refugees at the Mudja camp © Daniel Wakandu

Medair set up an outpatient clinic in the Mudja camp in February 2024. It is here that Adèle and her grandson Faustin receive regular treatment.  

"The presence of this Medair clinic in our IDP camp brings a little light into our darkness. The free treatment we receive is invaluable and provides some relief to our situation. Faustin and I receive treatment on a regular basis, and each time we are given a warm welcome. But you’ve given us much more than medicines and bandages; you've given us hope. You've reminded us that humanity can still shine even in the darkest of times. And for that, I’m grateful.”

A white truck parked next to a buildingDescription automatically generated
The Medair team on-site at the Mudja refugee camp © Daniel Wakandu

Today, Adèle and Faustin live modestly in a shelter in the Mudja camp, and are just one example of the resilience of Congolese communities affected by conflict. After two challenging years, moving from tent to tent, they are hoping for peace to return to their village.

A group of people in a tentDescription automatically generated
Refugee children in a schooling tent at at Mudja camp © Daniel Wakandu

"We may be just two souls among many, but the relief of receiving free treatment at the Medair clinic makes all the difference. I watch the sunrise every morning, knowing that we are on the road to hope. So, thank you. Thank you for your efforts, for your love, and for rekindling the flame of humanity in our wounded hearts."

This content was produced with resources gathered by Medair's programme and headquarters staff. The views expressed herein are those solely of Medair and should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of any other organisation.  

July 2, 2024
by Medair
Love stories like these?

Subscribe to receive the latest stories directly to your inbox.

By subscribing you agree with our Privacy Policy.

Become part of the story

There are so many ways you can make a meaningful difference for people affected by emergencies. However you get involved, your support will go a long way to bringing hope and restoration to people who need it most.

More stories of impact

Browse our publications, reports, updates, and stories.

Celebrating 28 years in DRC

Medair's impact on the Congolese health system.

Restoring Health and Hope in Somalia

Medair provides free health services and Child-Friendly Spaces in Somalia, restoring hope and health to vulnerable communities.

Essential services in an overlooked tragedy

Bringing Hope and Aid to Sudan's Forgotten Communities