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The Pygmies Story of Adversity.

Pathways To Hope Africa's humanitarian efforts in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in the pygmy communities.

The story of the Pygmies, the indigenous people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is one of anguish and frustration. Having lived peacefully and led a nomadic subsistence lifestyle for centuries in the forests of Congo. The recent conflicts in the region brought with them the need to flee their ancestral homes for safety and seek refuge in nearby towns and cities. As conflicts took their turns to ravage the region, the continued cycle of displacement from one community and resettlement to another for the past few decades and a worn-out government grappling with the task of bringing stability to the region and past regime policies that have left many inadequately supported among many other challenges, have left many in search of hope for help from anywhere they can find it.

The forced abandonment of their way of life, the assimilation into mainstream society and a transition many had hoped would ease their plight have not gone down as most of them had imagined or anticipated. They have had to endure long struggles to establish communities and build critical infrastructures and frameworks needed for themselves to live comfortably and feel at home in places far from home.

In 2019, Pathways To Hope Africa journeyed into the forests of eastern DRC Congo with the sole purpose of helping these communities begin to realize their aspirations of achieving modesty and dignity in their newfound lives and communities. The daunting task of getting started on this mandate was faced with many challenges and sobering experiences such as little to no or awful access to these communities due to poor road networks throughout the region, which forced us to utilize Motorcycles among other means. Due to poor accessibility to these communities, goods, and vital commodities hardly find their way to these people. So to that effect, we started by providing them with donated clothes, Match sticks for lighting fires, and some hand tools to help their efforts in community building.

We also helped to build makeshift classrooms out of tarps, which had difficulty withstanding the heavy rainfall in the region. But with slight progress, we were able to improve the conditions of these classrooms to protect the kids from the elements. We made it one of our priorities to focus on the youth, but the adults did not shy away from coming to classes, desperate to learn how to read and write. We also looked to partner with local native doctors to try and give health care access to these communities as it happened to be an area of urgent need for them. Conditions such as these and many more we possibly could not exhaust writing made us reconsider and reevaluate our efforts in helping truly positively impact these communities.

From that moment on, Pathways to Hope Africa has made significant strides in its efforts to help bring to light the severity of the pygmy communities' plight. We have also gone back to the drawing board and looked to partner with various stakeholders and well-wishers to draw up comprehensive plans to help these communities in their efforts to build critical community infrastructures and functional frameworks in areas such as healthcare access, community Agriculture initiatives for food security and Education, skills training programs and infrastructure to improve the quality of their lives and inspire community initiatives to address poverty and marginalization.

Our work in the pygmy communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo is crucial in alleviating the suffering and struggle these communities have endured. That is why we are committed to helping these communities rewrite their stories and turn a leaf in their new chapter of life as a people. And we would like to invite all stakeholders and partners out there who resonate with the heart behind our work to join us, for only by working together are we able to make a difference in the lives of the marginalized and discriminated pygmy communities in the DRC.


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