A baby born on the day of JWW leader's visit to the Chambucha Center, delivered via c-section. Both mother and baby are healthy. (May 2014)
Irvin Kintaudi is traveling with Jewish World Watch (JWW), a leading organization in the fight against genocide and mass atrocities worldwide. JWW's work is currently focused on the crises in Sudan and Congo. Irvin and five other delegates traveled to Congo's eastern provinces to work with survivors of the country’s decades-long conflict, which has claimed nearly six millions lives. They will meet with JWW's partners on the ground, with whom JWW works to create innovative programs and projects that change lives and transform communities. To learn more, please visit: jewishworldwatch.org
The day is May 30th, 2014. As we all approach our fourth day out of our nine day mission, the objectives that we have accomplished and achieved are unbelievable, yet there is still so much more to do. Yesterday was one of the most fulfilling days that our group has had thus far. It began at around 7:30 AM where we embarked an adventure that defined our trip's true purpose. Completely filling up three International Medical Corps SUV's, the IMC staff-- Serigne Loum and Tamara-- took us on a voyage to tour the Chambucha Rape and Crisis Center. We met all of their key medical and program staff, including doctors, nurses and other medical assistants. From women suffering from the traumas of rape to pregnant women who were ready to give birth, the health center is occupied and operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, treating these women in dire need of medical assistance.
The most personally physically arduous part of this trip was the fact that it took almost 12 hours to get to the Center and back to where we were staying in Bukavu-- though it is less than 100 miles. The roads on the way to the health facility were in the worst possible condition. I was warned about the instability and rockiness of the path that we were taking, but nothing could have prepared me for the trek that we took to get there. I had motion sickness the entire time heading towards the health facility, praying and wishing that the long drive would end soon; that time couldn't come quick enough for me.
As depleted and as drained as I was, I kept myself motivated by reminding myself of the purpose of the mission. I began thinking about all of mothers, fathers, boys and girls who had to make this unbelievable trip back and forth on foot. I hoped that there were women who would be heartened by our presence, knowing that we are not just sending aid and funds to them, but actually enduring the same trip that they have had to make. Once I came to that conclusion, we arrived at the Chambucha Center.
I was so thrilled and blown away by the work that was done at the Chambucha Center. During our tour, a framed picture of Dillon Henry high up on the wall caught my attention. Seeing his picture in that place motivated me to share a few words on behalf of the Dillon Henry Foundation and Dillon himself, whose personal mission was to bring equality amongst humanity and inspire those with little or no hope. I felt so proud to represent the Dillon Henry Foundation, Jewish World Watch and my family who is of Congolese decent. It was truly an honor and I thank Janice, Naama, Harriet Zaretsky, Steve Henry and everyone else that helped make this dream come true for me and support a better life for everyone in my home country of Congo.