Melinda Kerr

Melbourne, Australia

G’day all, my name is Melinda but my mates call me Mel, so feel free. I live by the beach in Elwood, Victoria, Australia. I...

Ok Ladies, here's your chance to hear the head of HEAL Africa speak.

Hi everyone,

Most of you will know I sell my work to help HEAL Africa. A place I and fellow RB photographer Rebecca Zachariah visited last year.

Well the (joint) head & founder of HEAL Africa is coming to Melbourne to give a talk and a charity lunch is being put on. Bookings are now open and it’d be unreal if we could get some RB chicks there. It’s a ladies lunch (before you blokes complain – it’s not my idea – just the way it is).

$55 for lunch and the talk. $10 goes to HA (unfortunately the rest has to go to the restaurant.) This is a rare opportunity to hear from the founder of one of Africa’s and certainly DR Congo’s most respected charities. Who knows you might feel like visiting it one day!

I have tried to include some info here but I’m not sure if it will be legible.

You can find out more at healafrica.org

Or just read my relevant journal posts (and Rebecca’s of course :)

Would love you to come if you are able :)

For more info about what’s happening in DR Congo you can check an earlier journal entry I wrote late last year here

And here

It says-HEAL Africa Ladies’ Lunch with co-founder Lyn Lusi
Date: Thurs 14th Feb
Time: 12-2.30pm
Cost: $55 per head (2 course meal).
Venue: Fenix Restaurant, 680 Victoria Street, Richmond.
RSVP: Feb 7th.

HEAL Africa’s mission is to provide holistic care for
the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo: training health professionals, strengthening social activists and providing physical, spiritual and social
healing. CNEC/PI, through its Australian supporters, is providing sponsorships for doctors to specialise in obstetrics, ophthalmology, surgery, dentistry and
orthopedics, and for nurses to specialise in HIV care and community medicine. In Goma and the surrounding territories, although the war is over, conflict continues.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been driven away from their homes,
fields and livelihoods, causing them to depend on outside assistance where it is available. Orthopedic surgery as a result of injuries from conflict and
widespread birth defects such as club feet are also a great need. HEAL Africa medical and pastoral staff work tirelessly and often in great personal danger, to
serve these suffering people.

Spiritual Ministry – Living Stones & Nehemiah

Community outreach is very important to see that patients who are healed physically can also settle back into community life.
The Nehemiah program mobilises churches to rebuild community spirit by caring for the most vulnerable (disabled children, widows, orphans, victims of violence). A key component of the Nehemiah program is Mawe Hai (Living Stones), an agricultural development program with extension into the surrounding villages. Living Stones provides plants, seeds, tools, pairs of small
animals, and training. Three agronomists teach new techniques in the volcanic
rock. Of these agronomists, one is a woman who works specifically with the widows.

What makes HEAL Africa different ?

Equips emerging leaders: HEAL Africa’s primary focus is to train and enable healthcare providers and activists who are engaged in community-based
healing in the context of community. This strategic focus is a multiplier! Not
only are others equipped in new approaches, the impact is multiplied.
Leadership development is a key ingredient.
Inclusive: When one works through the faith-based community in DR Congo, one reaches 95% of the population. All faith communities in the areas where
HEAL Africa has programs, are actively involved (Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, Kimbanguist)
as are local and national governments and international organisations. The result is that HEAL Africa is highly respected.

Orthopaedic Patients and Victims of War

HEAL Africa Fistula Surgery for Women who have been gang raped.

Rape as a weapon of war is the grim reality in Eastern DR Congo. HEAL Africa provides important surgical and pastoral care for women who have suffered this
terrible experience.
Heal My People began in 2003 in response to the high rate of sexual violence being committed against women and girls. The objective is to identify women
and girls who have been raped or who have fistulae, and offer treatment. A network of local counsellors refer them to appropriate care. The goal of the
program is to enable the women and girls to enter into a healing process,
and accompany them to re-enter society as productive and healed people.
HEAL Africa recognises that people not only require physical, but also spiritual and psychological healing. By activating the local churches beyond
denominational boundaries, whole communities come together to make development possible.
HEAL Africa’s spiritual ministry provides chaplains and Bible courses, working
in the community and in the hospitals, amongst AIDS patients, women who
have been raped, and other victims of trauma.
Australians support the costs of these valuable chaplains.

Child Sponsorship – Choisir La Vie
Choisir La Vie (Choose Life) program operates under the umbrella of HEAL Africa. It is a support program for families affected by HIV/AIDS.
CLV has a focus on trauma counselling, income generation, medical support (provision on ARVs and nutritional education), and schooling, which is
supported by child sponsorship programs. There is much emphasis placed upon micro-loans and savings mobilisation, actively motivating these broken and burdened families to create savings groups to improve financial security.
The Sponsor a Child program is headed by Noella Katembo. The children can be living with a parent who is suffering from the disease, orphaned and
living with extended family, or perhaps HIV positive themselves.
You can help the work of CLV by sponsoring a child. Phone us on 02 9745 2840 or sponsor on-line at www.cnecpi.com.au.

Could I go to Africa ?

Yes! Explore further the possibility of visiting Goma, to volunteer your time and skills with HEAL Africa. Teams will be travelling from Australia in 2008.
Go to our website: www.cnecpi.com.au to register your interest through the Contact Us tab or email phila@cnecpi.com.au.

Journal Comments

  • Cathryn Swanson
  • silveraya
  • shanghaiwu