War Victims in North Kivu, DR Congo, Benefit from Salesians’ “improved” Facilities

Credit: Salesian Missions

At least 1,800 victims of violent conflicts in North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have benefited from the medical care provided by the U.S.-based development arm of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), Salesian Missions.

The war between the Armed Forces of DRC (FARDC) and the M23 rebels, the latter a largely Congolese Tutsi militia, that has raged for years intensified in November 2021 when the rebels increased attacks targeting armed forces in the Eastern DRC that covers North Kivu Province.

In a Monday, February 27 report, Salesian Missions officials say that thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Rutshuru Territory in North Kivu Province have camped at the playground of Don Bosco Ngangi Youth Center in the Catholic Diocese of Goma since October last year.

“Already Salesians have improved the physical situation by providing more access to water from the Don Bosco Center to improve sanitation and hygiene, installing lighting at the site, and creating a 12-person security team,” SDB officials say.

With the support of International Volunteering for Development (VIS), the Salesian officials say that they have been able to reach a large portion of the 28,000 IDPs who arrived at the center seeking help.


“So far, 1,844 people have received medical care including 84 hospitalized and 32 transferred to other medical facilities. There have been 14 births,” officials of Salesians Missions say.

Besides medical assistance, the officials of the Salesian entity say that food supplies including soybean and corn gruel have been distributed to 365 displaced children and 357 adults.

They add that Salesian Missions has also facilitated the distribution of additional food and cooking utensils to 300 families, and given tarpaulins to 120 families.

Salesian officials report that the situation in North Kivu Province “deteriorated significantly” following the advancement of the rebel military in January that led to the cut off of the second main link that supplied the city of Goma with various products.

They say that the advancement of the rebel military has resulted in “massacres, sexual abuse, organ trafficking, enlistment of minors in the conflict, kidnappings for ransom, and more unspeakable acts of violence.”

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In the February 27 report, Fr. Piero Gavioli, a member of SDB who has served in the country for about 50 years, explains the situation in the Congolese Province, saying, “This latest wave of violence has prompted tens of thousands of people to leave their homes in search of relative safety in several areas of North Kivu Province, including Goma.”

“This has caused the three soccer fields at the Don Bosco Ngangi Center to fill with those displaced. The latest figures speak of some 3,530 households, including more than 19,000 minors,” Fr. Gavioli is quoted as saying.

The Italian-born Salesian Missionary in DRC further says, “It is an emergency situation that calls all humanitarian workers and members of society to assist a community in distress.”

SDB members pledge to continue reaching out to the victims of violent conflicts “with more support” as long as it takes.

“Given the violence does not seem to be de-escalating, Salesians with the help of VIS are working on a more long-term solution and are launching a project to provide people with more support,” officials of Salesian Missions say.


The goal of the long-term solution, they add, “is to provide more provisions and psychological support to the people including education for minors.”

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.