Assignment for Oxfam Novib
"Looting, rapes, murders and robberies; in my village there was war.” says Jambo Timoty. "When I fled I was shot at. I witnessed my neighbour, who was running behind me, getting killed." When he returned to his village after the war in 2014, little was left. Houses were looted and set on fire.
Jean Bosco also fled from the violence with his family. "We fled from Ufamada to Kaguli where we were welcomed in a host family. But also here we were not safe and we had to flee again. Luckily we were able to return. Together with my wife and children I still live with the host family. I can’t go back to Ufamada and I also don’t want to. It has a long history of tribal conflicts. It’s not safe there."
Oxfam's local partner organization Action d'Espoir selected over two thousand households from villages in and around Lumbishi 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. Furthermore they were trained in the latest agricultural techniques to increase the yield of their land. And they received an additional 50 dollars.
Mark Bonane of Action d'Espoir explains the importance of not only giving them the agricultural kits but also 50 dollars. "These are poor and vulnerable families. With the money we gave them, they were 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 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 dollars from Action d'Espoir my wife could start a small business and I was able to rent a field. 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. 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."