Bringing News to the Borderlands | World Challenge

Bringing News to the Borderlands

Rachel Chimits
October 13, 2020

As the Congo continues to struggle with COVID, our partners are working to spread helpful information and the gospel message of hope.

World Challenge’s partners in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been planning to educate communities about COVID-19 as one of our community development activities in the Beni region.

As the team did their assessment about how people were being infected, they realized that most of the people testing positive were coming from outside of the area. Some were workers who were on holiday and came back into the country; others were businessmen who crossed borders to hide themselves so they wouldn’t be quarantined.

Armed with this knowledge, the team decided to go to Luburihya, which is on the border with Uganda, and work there to educate people about the danger of this new illness that had come into the Beni region had finally declared free of the Ebola virus.

Sending Out the Team

One of the team members reported their findings when they reached Luburihya on the border. “[W]e discovered that people are still living ignorant, in spite of radio sensitizations and NGOs [non-government organizations] providing water stations.

“The amazing thing is that no church, no NGOs or any other organization have organized a seminar or a training about COVID-19. Our presence and our training were the first one since March 2020, the date when COVID was declared in the Congo. After realizing that the communities were not educated enough on COVID-19, we targeted four groups of people.”

Those groups were the following:

  1. Motorcycle taximen

  2. Teachers

  3. Pastors

  4. Community health volunteers

The educators and volunteers that the team found were selected from hospitals and healthcare centers during the height of the Ebola epidemic, and they were called upon again to help educate people about COVID prevention.

Reaching and Loving Neighbors

One hundred community health workers were commissioned by the team to go out and spread the information about COVID and help people who lived in remote areas and did not fully understand what was happening. Each worker had the responsibility of visiting at least 10 households.

The team firmly believes that this work is part of obeying God’s commands to love their neighbors and extend a merciful hand to others around us. When the pandemic was announced, the Congo closed borders, schools, universities, flights and churches. Now all of those are opening back up, and COVID-19 cases and deaths have begun increasing again.

One team member stated, “The need to continue educating our people is still so high.” They hope to continue helping their region through this practical outpouring of God’s love with COVID education as well as a gospel message of hope.

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).