'Orphan' Mamaan Jeanne's orphanage, Democratic Republic of Congo

Melinda Kerr

Melbourne, Australia

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Artist's Description

300 million in sub-Saharan Africa, live on less than $2/day, more than double the level 20 years ago, and having gone up by around 100 million over the last 10 years.

Nearly two-thirds of people who have AIDS live in sub-Saharan Africa.

90 percent of the world’s daily 3,000 malaria deaths occur here.

One-third of boys and one-half of girls do not complete high school on the subcontinent.

Two-thirds of the poorest countries in the world are in Africa.

34 of the 35 states with the lowest life expectancy are in Africa.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is twice the size of Britain, France and Germany, but with only 500 km of paved roads. Over 4 million people were killed during the war of 1998-2003, but the conflict had actually begun even earlier.

Maman Jeanne Banyere and her husband, Prosper Mulengetsi, began their mercy mission in Masisi (in the mountains northwest of Goma) in 1996. Prosper directed a secondary school at the time, where Jeanne taught.

Their ministry of compassion began with one four-month old orphan. People noticed and began dropping off other war orphans. Their centre of compassion grew. In 1998 while Maman Jeanne attended a national women’s conference in Kinshasa, Rwandan soldiers attacked Masisi. Prosper fled with 60 orphans.

As fighting intensified, Prosper and the children slipped deeper into the forest. He happened across a band of pygmies, outcasts in the Congo. The pygmies fed and cared for Prosper and his orphans for six months.

Maman Jeanne and Prosper then relocated their orphanage to Goma in 1999 and were adopted by HEAL Africa. They have successfully placed 70 orphans with foster families. Eighty orphans still remain under their care. Even in 2007 in DR Congo, 1,200 people still die every day from hunger, disease or violence. Over 50% of them are children.

You can support Maman Jeanne’s through their child sponsorship program or by supporting the ministry directly.



Artwork Comments

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