Two young children, one of them holding a third very young child, standing outside

From tragedy grows hope

Diela's story of survival and recovery from malnutrition

Together, we’re keeping vulnerable children nourished

*Warning – this story contains sensitive material. Names have been changed to protect identity.

In an instant, the lives of two-month-old Diela and her family were changed forever.

It was evening in the Binza region of East DRC. Diela’s mum was nursing her when a knock at the door found armed bandits looking for money and the location of Diela’s father, Theophile.

With only beans to offer, they refused, instead mercilessly taking the life of the mother in the doorway of the family home.

The tragedy shook the whole community, and fear grew for Diela’s survival. Theophile desperately searched for a woman in the community willing to continue breastfeeding his two-month-old baby. He found a wet nurse, but she was only willing to nurse Diela if Theophile agreed to cultivate her land. Despite having just lost his wife and a newly single father to three daughters, he had no choice but to accept.

The arrangement was working well. Diela, whilst small, was still growing. Theophile continued his commitment, but at some point Diela’s nursing mother backed away from hers and Diela’s health deteriorated. Unfortunately, her busy father missed the signs.

On returning from the field one day, Theophile arrived to find Diela had fainted. He quickly took her to the local health centre where she was assessed and referred to the hospital for urgent nutritional care.

World Vision Project Co-ordinator and a Senior Doctor in charge of the Binza hospital, sitting at a table, for discussions about the children in the area, the malnutrition programme and regional health centres.
Vianney Ndererimana Sebirayi, Project Co-ordinator, and Dr Isabelle Siyara (Senior doctor in charge of the Binza hospital) meet to discuss the regional health centres.

After two weeks of monitoring and medical care, Diela’s condition improved. Medical staff discharged her and arranged for her to receive on-going supplementary food and to be regularly monitored.

Despite the dangers in the region, with your support , we’re committed to delivering locally run programmes that help save the lives of children by addressing acute malnutrition, through health clinics, therapeutic food distribution , educational workshops and social worker visits.

Vianney Ndererimana Sebirayi
I can testify to the great impact recorded in the area, including the recovery of Diela and many other children

Vianney Ndererimana Sebirayi

Project Manager

Eighteen months on, Diela and her two older sisters are in very good physical health and their father has joined the local Food Security Programme.

Food Security Programmes empower local families to grow and harvest crops, ensuring consistent and nutritious food for children. Over 2,100 farmers in the Binza region have been provided with seeds, training and adopted improved agricultural techniques to improve production.

Thanks to your support, you’ve helped Diela to survive and recover, as well as enabling Theophile to grow and provide nutritious food for his daughters, and begin to generate income. And we can see the impact… Diela is now beginning to stand on her own and one day, she’ll be strong enough to build her own future.

Eighteen month old Diela in a white dress standing, now in recovery and growing strong.
Diela is 18 months old and now in recovery and growing strong. Her growth is monitored by health centre staff who are pleased with her progress.

Childhood Rescue is designed to deliver impact in some of the world’s most dangerous places. Thanks to your ongoing support, you’re helping and giving hope to the most vulnerable children. Together we’ll ensure they can survive, recover from trauma and one day build a future.

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