COVID-19 DRC Update20th May 2020

The situation of Covid-19 reached a critical point in the Democratic Republic of Congo starting around March 2020. This resulted in the country enforcing protective measures including a ban on gatherings of more than 20 people. For those able to gather in small numbers it was expected that they maintain 1 meter distance between them.

As a result, the regular activities with young people from TCT were also hindered and it became difficult to be fully aware of the different ways in which the pandemic was affecting each person.

However, we had adopted the strategy of contacting each young person individually in order to find out they were each being affected by the lockdown, asking them the state of their physical and emotional health; also to know their involvement in raising awareness against the coronavirus pandemic.

We would like you to know that our young people are doing well, they understand the situation the world is going through, and rigorously observe the measures instructed by the government. They are all healthy, both physically and emotionally. There is one member who sadly lost his biological father in the area of Butembo but he was already aware of this before the imposed restrictions and is coming to terms with it bit by bit. There are also 5 young people who are not based in the city of Goma and decided to follow their parents, who decided to leave the city and go as far as possible from the city of Goma, as a result of the new guidance from the government. Some left the city for their native villages, others sought after different environments for the period of lockdown, hoping to return to the city after this phase of the pandemic.

Each week there are phases of positivity in the way that our young people update us and their feedback is very good.

We are also happy to note that this time of pandemic has enabled us to discover the different levels of problem solving that our young people have. Several of them are experiencing financial challenges which affect the balance of their families at times. For the young people who support their families in providing for certain basic needs, they find it easier to survive by the comfort received.

As the young people express themselves we hear a lot of them saying the same thing: I always remain grateful for what The Congo Tree is for us, especially in this period of crisis, there are decisions that must be made and the confidence required to make them for different categories of people, to solve specific problems and ensure that resources are manged well.

Here we share the words of Phineas:

“I didn’t know that these lessons could be useful to me up to this level. I planned containment and found that the Maslow pyramid is very necessary to me. I did a drawing of a large pyramid and in that I placed all my needs proportionally with my assets. The lesson of stewardship also helps me a lot because I consider my expenses before spending my money. Me and my family are in good health.”

Young people from TCT DRC are involved in the fight against Covid-19 in different ways. You can follow us on social media @thecongotree to see the #CampagneAntiCovid19 or #CampaignAgainstCovid19.

As well as that we have those who write blogs such as Patience, then there is Katumbi Ndamuso a girl who makes good face masks which help the population while there is a shortage on the market, ELISHA who does Slam Poetry to inspire fellow young people, Dan Wakadu who works with online awareness campaigns and all the other young people mostly communicate with their families as well as take part in social media. We are seeing a lot of great work being done by our young people. The DRC team works a lot by giving practical advice every week to all young people to ensure that they are staying safe during the pandemic. We are increasingly aware that TCT has a lot of influence, in the city of Goma, in the fight against Covid-19.

We feel encouraged by the work we do because in this critical situation our young people find support from the sessions we have with them and are grateful for what The Congo Tree is doing with them.

Sage, Mentoring Officer (DRC)