ZAMBIA: Health Services for Congolese Refugees

For nearly a decade, the Democratic Republic of Congo has been ripped apart by a conflict that has taken the lives of an estimated 5 million people. This deadly unrest has resulted in massive forced migrations, abductions, and child inductions while sexual violence against women has been taken to new and grotesque heights. In 2008, as a fresh wave of violence erupted in the Eastern part of the country, terrified civilians were once again being forced from their homes and seeking shelter from the fighting.

In response to the deepening humanitarian crisis, Operation USA partnered with FORGE, a grass roots organization dedicated to improving the health and well being of Congolese civilians caught in this seemingly endless cycle of violence and despair.

With assistance from OpUSA, FORGE has implemented a health services program for members of the Kala Refugee Camp in neighboring Zambia. Through this program, refugees are educated about disease prevention, women’s and children’s health, human anatomy and healthy living. With the knowledge and skills they learn through Kala Health Services, participating refugees have a better sense of how to care for themselves and their families, and those returning to Congo can arrive home with an improved ability to care for themselves, their families, and the communities they will work to rebuild.