In the Congo, ROW works in three different areas – around Lusambo, and in the Kasai Province (see ROW Congo-Kasai), and we have also begun work in the capital, Kinshasa.
In the Lusambo area, ROW provides vitamins and treatment for leprosy, tuberculoses, and river blindness, and accomplishes a 96% immunization rate for the health zone! Rotary Clubs provide the polio vaccines each year. ROW also provides school supplies for the schools in the Lusambo territory – over 60 schools. There is no one else who provides supplies in this area. The Coordinator of Schools said that ROW is “contributing to the development of children to be the important people in the future.”
ROW also distributes Bibles, and preaches in over 9 different languages. ROW provides food for orphans, the blind, the widowed, and for the poorest of the poor.
In January of 2007, ROW launched a new ship, called the Mama Mickie. Mama Mickie is a steel-bottomed ship, and can push 500 tons upriver, and 800 tons downriver. She was built in Kinshasa, but we couldn’t get a motor for her – motors were in great demand because of a typhoon that hit. We finally found a motor, but she was finished during the dry season, so we had to wait until there was enough water in the river to launch her. She is now in the water, though, and has made her way to Lusambo with supplies for the villages there. Supplies include school supplies, supplies for the hospital, and zodiac boats, which will make it possible for our staff to go up some of the smaller rivers, to the more remote villages. Mama Mickie will enable our staff to raise funds for projects in the Congo, through their own shipping business. It will also give them the means to travel the Sankuru River to reach the villages where they serve.
In 2003, ROW staff and friends built and launched a brand new ship, called the Miss Angie Anderson. Our staff spent 7 months away from their families and traveled over 1,000 miles from Kinshasa to Lusambo to bring supplies to a sandbar in the middle of the Sankuru River. The ship enabled our staff to reach 150,000 people each year along the Sankuru River, carrying the Gospel, health care, education, and hope. Unfortunately, Miss Angie fell victim to the jungle – her bottom rotted out. So she is now serving as pews in a church!
In Kinshasa, ROW is involved in an orphanage. In June of 2007, Ben and our ROW team visited the orphanage, and found out their needs. The roof of the orphanage had been destroyed by a storm, so ROW is re-building it! The kids spend much of their day hauling water, so we are building them a well! See the pictures and the video! (link to the video)
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