Heart for the Congo

Febe Karlsson with her daugther Sara Esbjörnsson

About 75 people, with a common interest in the Congo, were gathered at the Mösseberg center on Saturday. Many were former missionaries. Organizer was the Missionary and Scholarship Fund of Västra Götaland.

Sister churches

We took turns to talk about our cooperation with the Congolese churches. Different ways to be a sister church to a Congolese church were highlighted. First, Sara Esbjörnsson from Asklanda- Ornunga, told us about their contacts with Kikenge. Visits takes place from both countries and exchange of experiences goes in both directions. Both sides share and meet each other’s needs. Contacts enrich both parties.

Projects

Kristina Lindström from Falköping told us about her congregation supporting Emy Miantezila’s work with children and families. Emy’s activities have achieved lots of good results. Children who had no chance on the street, now have been able to study and get an education and a future.

Håkan Lilja from Gothenburg gave us insights into the health care of the Congo countries. In Congo Brazzaville, the state is investing 59 USD per citizen a year. In Congo Kinshasa, the figure is 7 USD. This should be compared to Sweden, where is the sum is 4 300 USD per person and year. Equmenia Church in Sweden is running a project called Health for all – in the Congo. The needs are enormous, but every effort makes a difference.

Business

Anders Stenström explains how his pharmaceutical company Pharma Campus in Gothenburg collaborates with a private contractor in Muanda, located on the coast of Congo Kinshasa. His congolese partner has build a small hospital and conducts successful healthcare. Campus Pharma is trying in various ways to support the hospital in Muanda with equipment and knowledge.

We also had the opportunity to talk about Matadi Support Group. Since 2010, we have organized 10 courses on entrepreneurship with a total of 150 participants from Matadi, Kimpese, Luozi and neighboring Brazzaville. We have given 1.2 million SEK in variously sized business loans. 900 000: – SEK has been repaid. Lending activities have been difficult to manage from Sweden. They will from now on be administered locally.

During August, we invited four Congolese, see previous blogs. The aim was to show how Swedish entrepreneurs are working and how they manage to create successful businesses. Our mission is to show what conditions and opportunities there may be in entrepreneurship. We want to show entrepreneurial thinking and skills, which means: take the initiative, take responsibility, translate ideas into action, be curious, self-reliant and creative, have courage to take risks, make decisions, communicate, collaborate, seize opportunities, develop and create value.

Our strategy

Any aid must lead to sustainable development. Development is when people through work and sacrifice generate resources and build a society that can meet different needs.

Sustainable development is to satisfy the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own.

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