If we at The Braided Cord Foundation endeavor to bring change to the darkest places, Goma has to be on that list.
Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo is a city of roughly 600,000 where only 30% of the population has access to clean water and electricity. Once you stray from the few paved roads, you are driving or walking over volcanic rock. That makes movement about not only uncomfortable, but difficult as well. Currently the major roads in and out of Goma are not safe for transport due to activity from the rebel group M23.
There is very little formal commerce, there is very little industrial activity. There are few options for people. But there is hope.
Our partners at Un Jour Nouveau (Africa New Day) are among the most inspiring and resilient our world has to offer. Into a place that lends itself to despair, UJN injects hope. They offer programs for the Sons of Congo, the Women of Congo, and street kids.
Professional counselors are available to members of all of these groups. There is a program called Generation Hope, there is a leadership academy, a church, a school, and an incubator and accelerator for aspiring entrepreneurs.
We see change coming through supporting the growth of small and medium enterprise. Jobs can change lives. Since 2005 UJN has been working to address the needs of the community in Goma.
Remarkable change is underway, and The Braided Cord Foundation is honored to be a small part of it.