“Our doctors found Princess lying on the floor of a group hospital room in Lwiro, DR Congo,” explains Kristy Scott, director of Children’s Food Fund/World Emergency Relief (CFF/WER). “She was severely malnourished, so weak she could barely stand.”
The doctors immediately admitted 7-year-old Princess to the hospital to receive IV fluids and therapeutic milk – the first life-saving step in CFF/WER’s malnutrition program. Princess was so tiny she fit in a baby’s bed in the ICU.
After two months of milk, medicine and treatments for various ailments including TB, Princess entered into CFF/WER's malnutrition program. We arranged for Momma Flo, a friend who lives near the hospital, to care for Princess for six months – nursing her back to the now healthy, happy 8-year old girl she is today. Princess now lives with her mother and 10 siblings and is enrolled in school for the first time.
Princess is just one of the estimated five million malnourished children in DR Congo who are also at high risk of contracting malaria, tuberculosis, cholera and the measles.
“The extraordinary scale of suffering in this country is horrifying,” Scott says. “Violence, hunger and disease are ever present. It breaks my heart to have to admit that we can’t save all the children.”
But CFF/WER (CFC #10984) does what it can, working with local partners in Lwiro and Kaziba to provide enough food to feed 100 children at a cost of just $28 a day.
This is how CFF/WER works across Africa and Asia, using trustworthy partners as its everyday “boots on the ground” to help people in need, especially children. And CFF/WER provides not just food, but also life-saving medicine, water filters and agricultural supplies, with an overhead of less than 4% of donated resources.
“I wish we had the means to do more,” Scott says. “Seeing the impact of our efforts on children like Princess is what keeps me going. It can be heart-breaking work, but also incredibly rewarding to know you’ve made a difference.”