This year, a local leader from The Democratic Republic of Congo reached out to Cluster Curator, Robins Odiyo. After a series of conversations, Robins took a trip to the DRC and together, they launched three new Clusters! Here’s the story.
Robins, we’re glad to hear that Arukah Network is growing! Could you tell us how this connection happened? Thank you. Pastor Bertin who is a local leader in Lubumbashi, DRC reached out to me after he found us on the internet. We started having frequent conversations and i got to see his heart for community and his desire to see it improve. I then travelled there and interacted with the local people. In that time, i got to hear about some of the challeges that the community faces and the goals that they had set. We then officially launched the Clusters!
Tell us more about the Clusters. The names of the Clusters are Brique-Ville, Kasungami and Munama. They are located within the region of Lubumbashi and are not far from each other. The Clusters are diverse and consist of men, women and the youth which is a wonderful thing. Most are members of Pastor Bertin’s church which is where they met and decided to come together. The common language spoken there is French and a bit of Swahili.
Great! What did you enjoy during the trip? I enjoyed seeing how much the community members were passionate about growing the community. I also loved how welcoming and hospitable they were. I always felt comfortable and cared for since they were so kind to me.
What are some of the challenges that the people in Lubumbashi face? I noticed that there were some NGOs who had stepped in and financed some community projects for a period of time. After they left, the progress came to a stop and the community struggled to find ways of moving forward. Access to education is difficult since there are only a few public schools around and private schools are expensive. Accessing health care is also hard since the public hospitals are far away and the roads are poor. There is also a high rate of unemployment and teenage pregnancy, and an opportunity for agriculture.
With the Clusters coming together, what are the hopes for the future? In the past, they united and fundraised to build local churches. I believe that when the Clusters come together, they will use their skills and abilities to improve the health and wellbeing of themselves and everyone else in the community. And as Arukah Network, we are happy to come alongside them and encourage, train, and link these local leaders so that they can develop and achieve their goals.
Thank you, Robins! And welcome to the Network, Brique-Ville, Kasungami and Munama!
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