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Mother and daughter behind fresh bread in DRC
3 November 2023

Transforming lives in DRC

Children are coping with so much but we’re making a difference

Pictured above: Benedicte and her mother

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is experiencing one of the largest hunger crises in the world, with 62% of the population (about 60 million people) living on less than $2.15 per day. The combination of conflict and natural disasters continue to complicate the food situation as food prices — particularly in conflict-affected areas — have tripled.

Over 25 million people in DRC have been living with acute food insecurity in 2023. The country ranks as one of the highest in need of humanitarian assistance amid the global hunger crisis.

How World Vision is helping children in DRC

Our teams have been working in the DRC since 1984. We focus on transformational development and humanitarian relief programmes, in the areas of healthcare, education, clean water, protecting children, income generation, food aid, and psychosocial support.

World Vision partners with the World Food Programme to support more than 1.9 million people - 67% of whom are children - with food assistance. We also partner with communities, faith leaders, governments, and others to tackle the root causes of social, economic, and safety-related issues.

DRC family with bread stall
Benedicte's family now have enough money to live on as they sell the bread they make

Stories about how Child Sponsorship is helping families in DRC

World Vision Child Sponsorship helps families earn a living, like Benedicte and Esther’s.

Benedicte's mother started a new business

Benedicte is nine years old and a sponsored child. She tells her story: “I live with my parents, my three sisters and one brother. [Before, my parents] didn't have enough money to take care of us. I was often sickly, and as my parents were unable to pay the health centre for me to be treated, they used traditional medicines. What's more, as my health was not good, this prevented me from [going to school] regularly and getting good marks. One day, when World Vision's community volunteer visited me at home, he noticed that I was unwell, then reported the news to the World Vision office, and the same day I was treated at the health centre that World Vision had recommended.”

Benedicte's mother, Kona, 38, continues: "After Benedicte's recovery, World Vision supported us with a bag of wheat flour to start an income-generating activity to ensure my children's health and education. That's how I started making and selling bread. From this sale, I was able to solve many of my family's problems. I paid my children's school fees, bought them clothes, shoes and respond to household needs. Now I have started raising goats, of which we now have four."

Benedicte added: “I'm very happy to see our mother become the bread seller in our community. From her new job, we saw a big change in the way we ate, dressed and studied. Now that my mother has become the bread seller, I'm sure I'll finish my studies and become a teacher. I bless our God for sending World Vision to our community to work for the wellbeing of children.”

DRC teen girl smiling as she gardens
Esther is delighted with their vegetable growing

Esther's grandmother developed new skills

Esther, 16, is a sponsored child from the DRC as well. Her life has also been transformed thanks to World Vision income generation support.

She lives with her grandmother, whose attempts to grow and sell vegetables failed. This meant they couldn’t afford school fees. Esther explains, “I was always kicked out of school because my grandmother didn't have any money. The manner in which the school treated me for non-payment of school fees affected me, and I took the decision to stop studying. I couldn't stand the humiliation in front of my friends.

World Vision trained the family in market gardening techniques, and provided watering cans, hoes and seeds, to help them grow vegetables. The tools and knowledge meant they were able to steadily increase their income and business.

Grandmother Pascaline says, “This new knowledge enabled me to expand my market garden and increase my household income. I went from five beds with an income of $15 to 10 beds with an income of over $75.”

DRC teen and grandmother smiling in their garden
Esther and her grandmother

"World Vision's support has transformed us"

Esther adds, “Now I'm very happy with my grandmother's knowledge of the new market gardening technique. This new knowledge has enabled her to earn more than before, and she knows how to pay my school fees on time. Now I'm no longer expelled from school. The solution is here. My dream is to become a teacher to improve the quality of education in our country.

Thank you to World Vision for the knowledge it gave my grandmother about market gardening, which enabled her to expand her market garden and earn a lot of money to meet our needs and support my studies. World Vision's support has transformed us and made a difference to our lives.”

You can make a difference

Child sponsorship can change the lives of children living in the world’s hardest places. From £26 a month, you can a child access nutritious food, quality education, protection, healthcare, and income generating techniques. And thanks to our community-led approach, for every child you sponsor, four more will benefit too.

If you're not already sponsoring a child, learn more about how child sponsorship works and what it feels like to be a child sponsor.

Learn more