iHeart Africa Goma Congo Volcano Relief Fund

On Saturday, May 22nd after nearly 20 years of silence, Mount Nyiragongo erupted destroying homes, and livelihood in Congo's eastern city of Goma; a city of 2 million Congolese souls just south of the volcano.


Because of the natural resources in the eastern portion of Congo, Goma has been victim of conflict, famine, displacement, use of rape as a weapon of war, and now, a volcano.  As of 2002, the most affected group in Goma in such crisis' are Congolese women, and children.

As of now it is unclear how many have died in the eruption, but houses have been lost and people have gone missing.  UNICEF says that more than 170 children are missing and another 150 children had been separated from their families.

 
At least three large neighborhoods in the north city were completely destroyed, house burnt and some people found dead.  Currently there is no shelter, or place to live.  Entire families have spent the night under the stars.

All drinking water facilities were destroyed and washed away.  The population has no access to drinking water, which is a great danger at this time.  The road linking the city of Goma to territories such as Rutshutu, Butembo, Beni serving as a food supply, has been cut off and blocked by the lava as well, with no access or passage to feed the city.  Hence the risk of famine is felt in the days to come.

The methane gas released by the lava since the day of the eruption constitutes a health hazard for population, which requires assistance and protection.
 

People needs food, sanitary products, clothing, and shelter and to rebuild.

 
Our ground team Sake to see the situation, and frankly is it heartbreaking.  More than 1500 people are crammed into spaces with only one toilet, no kitchen, no food, no drinking water, no clothes.  All of these things have been swept away by the volcanic eruption.

The population that fled went on food to the city of Sake, located (24km) from the city of Goma.  Refugees in churches and schools, they have nothing to eat, no adequate place to sleep, no medical assistance, yet the Sake city has been experiencing a cholera epidemic for some time, which is a great risk to be prevented in advance to avoid contamination, especially for children.

They are all forced to stay in the so-called improvised camps in churches and schools until the lava cools down and the government organizes their return.

The people are all stressed, and deeply anxious.  Most have lost their homes, been separated from their families, and all lost children are currently being kept in a stadium in Goma while waiting for their families to find them.  All refugees have no food to eat, no clothing, no blankets or drinking water.  Children cannot study until everything comes back in order.  This need is felt everywhere at all times. 

The volcano is still erupting underground, and heavy cracks can be seen in the city due to the multiple earthquakes that have been heard every day.

Your donation will cover a wide variety of items:

Food:

Milk powder for children
Sugar
Rice
Semolina for porridge
Fruit
Flour for the foufou
Vegetable oil
Salt
Mineral water
Beans
Concentrated tomatoes
Chlorine (to make the local water safe for consumption)


Hygiene Products:

Laundry soap
Toilet paper rolls
Toilet soap
Toothpaste
Toothbrushes
Cloth nappies for babies
Women's hair bands
Gloves
Blankets
Water containers
Buckets
Washable nose plugs (protects against ash, and harmful gases from washing)
Water storage tanks
Clothing items in all sizes
Shoes

Products for kitchen:

Pots and pans
Plates
Cups
Knives

Once our goal is reached, our plan is to immediately transfer the funds to iHeart Africa. iHeart Africa will then use 100 percent of the funds for all of the items mentioned above, plus medical supplies for the people.  An accounting of all the monies will be closest recorded for accountability as we have always done. 
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In 2016, I decided to support the Masika Center after the Congolese Human Rights campaigner, Rebecca Masika Katsuva (affectionately known as Mama Masika) suddenly passed away from malaria and high blood pressure.  Mama Masika was a trailblazer, survivor,  and healer to many in an area that is ravaged with war, and crimes against women.  I was incredibly inspired by her work, and vowed to help it continue on.
 


Through my organization, iHeart Africa, http://iheartafrica.org/ I and my team went on to rebuild the Meteba Medical Centre which used proceeds from a boxing match iHeart Africa organized.  After seeing the profound need of food, water, shelter, and medical supplies, I went on to create Fruits & Rootz https://fruitsnrootz.com/ which uses a large portion of its proceeds to fund two orphanages in Kinshasa, and the Masika Centre in Goma.  We have been able to pay for the children's school fees for 5 years now.

 

The children are incredibly sweet, funny, joyful and kind. 


We thank you for your help.  We believe in the power of COMEunity coming together to be the change we wish to see, and meeting the needs of the people. 

Bless you.
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Organizer

MelRo Potter 
Organizer
Los Angeles, CA