"Tomorrow will be worse than today

DR Congo
November 2015

Assignment for Oxfam Novib

"Looting, rapes, murders and robberies; in my village there was war,. When I fled I was shot at. I witnessed my friend, who was running behind me, getting killed," says Jambo Timoty. When after some months he goed back, little is left of the village. The houses were looted and set on fire.

Jean Bosco also fled the violence with his family. "We fled from Ufamada to Kaguli. There we were welcomed in a host family. I can’t go back to Ufamada and I also don’t want to anymore. The area has a long history of tribal conflicts and it is not safe."

Oxfam's local partner organisation Action d'Espoir selected over two thousand households from villages where the fighting had taken place. Households that urgently needed help in rebuilding their lives. Elderly and disabled people were given 75 dollars to provide for themselves. Those who were able to farm were given agricultural kits containing ten kilo of maize seeds, a machete and a hoe. They were trained in new agricultural techniques to increase the yield of their land and they received an additional 50 US dollars.

Mark Bonane of Action d'Espoir explains the importance of not only giving them the agricultural kits but also 50 US dollars. "These are poor and vulnerable families. With the money we give them, they are able to rent a plot of land, but also to buy food to feed their families. We wanted to prevent them from eating the maize seeds instead of planting them. And to avoid crop failure due to landslides, a common problem in the area, we planted trees around the fields to prevent this from happening."

For Jambo Timoty the support from Oxfam and Action d'Espoir meant a chance for him and his family to start afresh. "Before, I was a farmer and I had cattle. But I lost everything in the war. With the 50 US dollars from Action d'Espoir my wife could start a small business and I was able to rent a plot of land. Everything went well and we were able to send our children to school again. But then, at the end of October 2015 fighting broke out. Again and we had to flee and leave everything behind. When we came back after three days many houses had been looted. Now we have nothing left. Our future? Tomorrow will be worse than today."

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Jambo Timoty: "Looting, rapes, murders and robberies; in my village there was war.”

Jambo Timoty: "Looting, rapes, murders and robberies; in my village there was war.”