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Kesho Njema translates as Tomorrow is Better.

One of our favourite projects was  “Kuku yangu, tenga yayi!” which translates to “My chicken, give me eggs!

In that project, a village received 20 chickens. The village elders delivered a male and female to ten young families. The obligation of the recipients was to return two chickens a year later that could be distributed to another young or needy family. Our seed money to acquire the chickens is enabling local wealth accumulation in the form of chickens.

Keshi Njema is designed to repeat this concept with goats.

Under the supervision of James Kataliko, 11 goats were purchased for a Kihunde speaking community on the north-west shores of Lake Kivu, about 15-20 km west of Goma. People here badly suffered from MaiMai attacks but it has become calmer.  BTW, Google Maps says that you would average a pace of 30 km per hour (18.6 mph) to travel and arrive from Butembo.  That sounds about right!

Shasha and BweremanaKivu to Butembo

9 are female and 2 are special male breeding goats. The goats were divided between groups in two villages who gave themselves competing names: The N’tsh (“love between people”) and the Mughole (“the wife of the King”). The females were distributed with the recipients having drawn by lot. The elders retain control of the males and will make them available on a rotation. (Ah, the life of a stud. Produce or you become a stew.)

Goats 6

It was agreed that the recipients should contribute $10 towards their goat. $15 was considered too much for the people to afford. The elders will manage this project that we expect will be sustainable. In return, the elders will provide salt licks that will encourage the goats to fatten up. A local goat costs ~ USD $80 to acquire and deliver.  We would love to repeat this project if funds were available.

Goats 5

Goats 4

A special thank-you to Jack from Peterborough who contributed towards this project. Also a special thank-you to James Kataliko (shown below) who once again demonstrated his strong commitment to help make these projects happen. We couldn’t possibly do this from Canada without local help!

James Kataliko after delivering goats

This video was shot in the same location. Enjoy!

In 2018, we started a resell business in the Butembo market from the liquidation of the water filter business.   The business employs two women full time with a fair wage and has been able to grow their stock of inventory by almost 100% from re-invested profits.  The business continues to flourish due to the commitment and good efforts of the women involved.

Butembo market Jan 2020Butembo inventory 1

10% of earnings are directed monthly to support Dieula, an orphan who is now 5 years old.  Her father died as an indirect result of Maimai intrusions and her mother then died while 3 months pregnant.  Dieula is now living with a grandmother of limited means.  I’m told that Dieula (Dieu Est là which translates to God is there) is in 3rd kindergarten, so they must start school young, yet from the photo mature quickly!  Over the past two years, the Butembo market business has been able to take care of her schooling (school fees, uniforms, school bags and textbooks).  I’m told that she is doing well at school with a promising future.

Dieula aged 5

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Riots have broken out in all major eastern Congo cities, protesting against the ineffective MONUSCO (U.N.) soldiers who have been able to stop the rash of violence against citizens.  The result has been the deaths of many protesters in Beni, Butembo and Goma.

Confronting MONUSCO Beni 2019 Nov

Confronting MONUSCO in Beni

The recent wave of attacks on innocent civilians has resulted in a tipping point anger at the DRC security forces but especially the MONUSCO forces who have been there for years.  The U.N. has long treated peacekeeping missions as an employment program for soldiers from developing world countries with soldiers unwilling to take any risks on behalf of the civilians they are supposed to protect.

Civilians have clearly had enough.  I have been sent the following photograph of an unarmed protester facing off against MONUSCO soldiers.

Beni MONUSCO protester

Ebola remains a serious complication of this turmoil.  Medical workers are evacuating their clinics.

Tension with the U.N. has existed for a long time.  Back in our 2011 Healing Streams seminar, attendees learning to help rape victims were being taught “all or nothing thinking”.  In the context of a woman having been raped, a woman could think that because a man raped me, all men are bad.  The seminar leader, Dawn Penner, had used the example that just because a U.N. soldier does a bad thing, it doesn’t mean that all U.N. soldiers are bad.  The seminar burst out and claimed that yes, all U.N. soldiers are bad!  The video picks up the conversation from there.

A plane with 17 passengers and 2 crew members crashed into a crowded residential area in Goma shortly after take off.  The Dornier 228-200 was at full capacity and was headed for the city of Beni, 350 km (220 miles) to the north when it went down.  There are at least 9 casualties on the ground.

Goma was given the title of the World’s Most Dangerous City (as per this 2011 post that is a recommended read – we were going to fly this route) for reasons this didn’t include the poor safety record of their airlines.

Goma to Beni by air

Busy Bee Dorner 228 200

Dornier 228-200

Turmoil near Beni and Butembo has been increasing lately. Mama Dorcas reports a significant increase in young orphans being brought to her.

There are virtually no government support services in eastern Congo. Extended families try to help but in many situations they just can’t.

No matter where you are in the world, can you help with a donation of any amount?   If you would like Dorcas to personally acknowledge your donation, please provide us with your contact information by messaging michael.ben @

New orphan 2

New orphan 1

New orphan 3

Slaughter in Beni 2019 Nov 3

** Can you believe that YouTube took down the video of Dorcas bathing a new born baby for violating Community Standards? **


Support for Pascal

BensInCongo will send 100% of your support directly to Pascal in Goma that will him and his family and additionally match the first $500. Please edit for your PayPal donation of any amount, from wherever you are in the world.


Uganda and DRC have signed an agreement that should dramatically improve commercial activity between the two countries.  President Tshisekedi and President Museveni agreed to improve three key road corridors as well as to remove certain regulatory barriers and other trade impediments.

Felix Tshisekedi (L) shakes hands with Yoweri Museveni in Entebbe, Uganda. (Photo by Sumy Sadurni / AFP)

The three key corridors slated for road improvements to access Ugandan border towns will include:

  • Bunia north to Goli
  • Beni east to Mpondwe
  • Goma north to Rutshuru and then east to Bunagana

It would appear that this will leave the commercial city of Butembo at a relatively disadvantage until internal Congo roads are improved.  The countries will likely focus first on the northern access road to Bunia, despite being by far the longest section, because the terrain would be easiest for construction and the two southern options are still threatened by rebel groups.

Trade between the countries is currently very lopsided. For the first few months of 2019, Uganda exported $532 million to DRC while Congo exported only $30 million to Uganda. The population of DRC is roughly double that of Uganda (81 million to 42 million).  I haven’t studied the trade statistic, but it should be noted that much trade from Uganda is likely just passing through from a Kenyan ocean port, especially Mombasa.

Congo is not a member of the East African Community, but has applied for membership.  South Sudan was accepted into the EAC in 2016, joining the founding countries of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania plus Rwanda and Burundi.  The East African Community is currently a free trade bloc but has designs on having a common currency and greater political integration.


According to Kijiji Cha Amani:

8 civilians brutally shot last night in Mbau by the alleged ADF, there would be 6 bodies of the pygmies, killed this Saturday morning in Mambalasa by the same alleged ADF. Mambalasa is located a few 2 km from Mbau

The photos that were forwarded have not been verified as being from the same incident.

Here is an audio discussion (en français et Swahili):


Slaughter in Beni 2019 Nov 2

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