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By: Fondation Lazare  09-12-2011

Fondation Lazare » news

As if AIDS, malaria, dysentery and starvation were not trial enough, the people living on the Eastern border of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been suffering the ravages of war for over 10 years now. Death is no respecter of persons, but war is especially hard on the the very old and the very young. This is especially true in the DRC as evidenced by the increasing number of orphans and elderly refugees that are fleeing to the relative safety of the western part of this poor country. Mama Mado, is one such example whose story sums up the pain and hardship that exists half a world away from our safe, comfortable, and abundant lives here in the US/Canada.

Several years ago a grandmother named Mama Mado arrived at the orphanage in Kinshasa run by Fondation Lazare. She was injured so badly, she could hardly walk and was accompanied by half a dozen children. Upon her arrival at the orphanage, she shared the heartbreaking details of her journey. Living in the war torn region of the eastern DRC, Mama Mado’s village was caught up in the middle of the struggle between government and rebel forces in that region. In an unspeakable act of violence, guerrillas attacked her village and began killing men, women and children indiscriminately. Mama Mado watched in horror as her husband was hacked to death in front of her by a mob of machete wielding guerrillas. Once done with her husband, they then turned their brutal attention upon her. Within a few minutes of their merciless assault, they left her for dead along side the body of her husband. After the rebels had left, Mama Mado’s grief was further compounded when she discovered that her daughter and son in law had also been among those killed in the village that day. Their two young children escaped the slaughter but were now orphaned in a country that could offer them little hope for survival. Although horribly wounded, Mama Mado gathered up her four remaining children along with her two orphaned grandchildren and the seven of them began the long trek to safety in the west. Barely able to walk, Mama Mado led her little flock almost a thousand miles across the DRC to the safety of the Fondation Lazare orphanage in Kinshasha. To add to her grief she has since learned her 17 year son was abducted by the rebels and forced to serve their military. She has yet to hear from him and has no idea if he is still alive.

Now permanently disabled, and forever haunted by the horrors of her experience, Mama Mado, her four children and 2 grandchildren have survived thanks to the Grace of God and support provided in HIS name by Fondation Lazare. Unfortunately her story, and the stories of these little ones are not unique in this part of the world. Countless men, women and children in the DRC are dying daily as the result of prolonged war, disease, and starvation. Our goal at Fondation Lazare, is to provide a safe place for these victims to rest, recover and start over. For these children, orphaned by circumstances too horrible for us to even imagine, Fondation Lazare provides a loving home, clean water, food, shelter and an education. Allowing them the opportunity, not just to survive, but TO SUCCEED IN LIFE!

Mother Teresa was once quoted as saying “You can’t save the whole world, but you can start with the face that Jesus has put in front of you” The faces you see in front of you, need your help. When is the last time you saved a life? It’s a lot easier than you think and the reward…well….it lasts a lifetime! Get involved and start making a real difference in the world around you. In your abundance, reach out and touch someone who owns nothing more than a heartbeat and an empty stomach. I promise you will not regret it!