A bomb explosion ripped through the congregation at a baptismal service last Sunday evening (15 January 2023). Just after the baptisms had been performed, and while a blind pastor was expounding some Bible verses, the improvised explosive device detonated, severing limbs and killing at least 17 people.
This attack, on a church in Kasindi town, North Kivu province, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is just the latest terrorist outrage in the region. Responsibility was claimed by Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh); their affiliate the Allied Democratic Forces is one of the most dangerous of dozens of armed groups in eastern DRC.
Trauma healing urgently needed
Violence causes more than just physical injuries. Minds and emotions are also hurt and need healing.
“I am traumatised by seeing people die around me,” said 25-year-old Masika, whose sister-in-law, sitting a few metres from Masika, died instantly in the bomb attack last Sunday. Kiza, a 50-year-old farmer whose brother died in the attack, described how he was struggling to cope with the loss of a “loved one who went to church to pray”.
One of our project partners has pleaded with Barnabas Aid for help to deal with the trauma caused by DRC’s violence. While a certain amount of food is being supplied, they say no one is attempting to heal the trauma of the survivors. They want to train 50 local DRC church leaders in trauma healing. Will you help make this possible?
Food, school and self-sufficiency
Other project partners are seeking to increase the food available. They also want to provide suitable classrooms so that displaced children can continue their education. Another goal is to help victims of violence towards economic self-sufficiency. Will you help make these possible?
Prices in DRC are constantly rising, but please give what you can.
10 kg maize flour £4 ($5; €4.60)
20kg beans £11.30 ($14; €12.90)
School building materials
1 metal roofing sheet £7.30 ($9; €8.30)
1 window £28 ($35; €32)
1 truck of sand £73 ($90; €83)
1 sewing machine £97 ($120; €110)
1 set of training materials (manual and text book) £25 ($30; €28)