An Indigenous Garden in DCR
Our work in Bukavu last year involved facilitating healing support for women who are mothers, community leaders and survivors of intergenerational trauma.
In partnership with Peace Conflict and Resolution, a grassroots organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo founded by Pastor Samuel Muderhwa and his wife Faida, we are creating a community-driven action project to strengthen resilience. It is our belief that we are all whole, capable and resilient people, and with necessary supports, can self determine the healthy transformation of our communities. We have been restoring connections with traditional medicines, and our goal this year is to purchase land. This land will become a place for cultivating further leadership, hope and self sufficiency.
By providing trauma counselling training for local women who have been affected by poverty and sexual violence, we offer an opportunity for our sisters to carry these teachings forward. 16 participants in the original program were empowered to share healing circles tailored to the needs of their own communities in South Kivu with over 400 people.
Our collaborative, community-based model focuses on nature, storytelling, song, art and ceremony to celebrate the relationship between self, spirit and community. in January 2016, Kim Haxton & Meaghan Farquharson will be returning for the third phase of this project.
We want to purchase land in the village of Kalagane in South Kivu. One of the requests that has emerged is around traditional health pratices and reconnecting to the knowledge that comes from the plant world, Our goal is to buy land this year, with it being the foundation for food security and revitalization of medicinal plants.
This program is solely funded by private donations, and we are grateful to have received air miles for our flights from Schools without Borders. Together, we can self-determine the healthy transformation of our communities. We welcome your contribution to building new alliances for deep healing- supported, acknowledged and delivered by local Congolese women. Thank you for your support. Your generosity makes a difference.
I can't thank you enough for you donations of medicines. People have been so excited on using your "pommade"that is what they are calling it. Our next project is to use local plants to make the similar combinations.
With deep love and respect!
Last week we had a great training with 19 women. We shared teachings around plant medicines, at first the women with each other, and then knowledge that I learned a number of years ago while in Latin America and Haiti. Its pretty inspiring to see the seeds of these trainings take root, especially with having access to land.
When we arrived in Kalegane to meet the Doctor, he was busy with a patient who was have a miscarriage. After when we went to go for a walk I pointed to a Hybiscus tree and said that the Mayans used this for hemmoraging and miscarriages. He looked around and said "how many other plants could we be using?"
He also attended the training and is comitted to help create an traditional medicinal center for learning.
Our adventure of the week (amoung many) was driving into Kalegane. It was actually on the way out of there, as it had poured with rain. The road in the best of times is full of ruts, and made of clay. With the rain you can imagine we had to go up hill all the way out (perhaps 2-3 kms) At first we had about 30 young children running and pushing us in exchange for soccer balls, Meaghan and I got with all the children were covered in red mud. on the final strech, We heard the engine go boom. The driver got out and opened the hood only to find the radiator smoking and cracked wide open. I said if only we had duck tape we may have a chance. thank god for Meaghans guiding background because she pulled out her water bottle and had a decent amount of duct tape wrapped around it. We fixed the radiator enough to get back to town. The replacement cost 42$. Everyone was so apologetic, but in t ruth it was so much fun!
The plant medicinal path seems to be the most desired information. A couple of the women said they realized the importance of learning this knowledge. They had believed that tradtional medicine was negative (associated with witches)
Pastor Samuel assured them that their are passages in the Bible that support the use of traditional medicines.
We went to church again. I've been recognized offcially as a member of the Pentacostal congregation, and they have invited me to be here for a year....
The military neighbour from Belgian described his training for security for Dr Mukwege like have a group from the Bad News Bears. Oh Congo!!
I think we know where the land will be, it has access to water, It is close to the Hospital and seems like a healthy piece of land.
There is so much more to write about. My swahili needs a lot of work. It seems to make people laugh a lot, I just need to persevere!