HOLD’s 2016 activities started in January with a month of planning.  The whole team of peer educators, HOLD’s administrative and volunteer staff, teachers and counselors came together Monday, February 1st to begin the work of teaching and accompaniment of the new cohort of beneficiaries.  All is focused on HOLD’s mission: to raise the Human Development Index of Congo. 

Health

3 sessions of awareness this week at HOLD for the new cohort to avoid the diseases spread by dirty hands.

  • Hygiene
  • Cleanliness at the Center
  • Good management of latrines

The young women are invited and instructed how to use the potable water available at the center from the bio-sand filters. This is new information and experience for most of them.

The children of the women in the new cohort are weighed and measured to assess their nutritional status.  76 children will be followed closely, 46 of them are babies.  We are identifying the cases of malnutrition; you will hear the numbers soon.  

We lack enough first aid medicines at the center to be able to help with some of the beneficiaries’ basic health needs.

Education

30 children of preschool age are experiencing a school environment for the first time in the Children’s Space. It was a little rough the first week, but now they’re getting used to it and they’re already learning some basic greetings in French.

The literacy program has also begun.  

After a baseline evaluation, the girls were divided into two groups according to their level:  20 in Level 0and  6 in Level 1.  (NB. Level 0 is composed of women who don’t know how to read or write.)  

Community

The Peer Educators met around a map of the city of Goma to plan the strategy that will make it easier for them to spread messages within the community.  After this meeting 20 volunteers were divided into 10 pairs to hold awareness sessions on:

  • Human Rights : equality of the sexes
  • Prevention of Gender-based violence
  • Reproductive Health
  • The Environment

Each month the teams select the themes for the month. 

Environment

28 mothers from this new cohort promised to send their children to join the others in the club for Children Protecting the Environment.

The Children’s Environment club plans to go to the schools of Goma to talk about how to protect the environment. The best ways to do this are being discussed by the leadership. 

Community Development

The new cohort members are starting to save their money in the Association for Human Development, which acts like a micro-credit rotating fund.  26 women of the 7th Cohort are already actively saving, according to the president of the Association (AHD)

Culture

 Festival Amani began in Goma in 2014 and has become a yearly event in DRC. It was begun by Éric de Lamotte with the objective to promote peace and reconciliation in the Great Lakes region;  HOLD-DRC shares Amani Festival goals (living together, entrepreneurship, protection of the environment)  and participates actively in this event. Some of the girls and boys from HOLD will participate in the  EKIDEN marathon.