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      Emergency in DRC #CourageGoma
      06/16/21
      With your donation, we are reuniting families and distributing water and food

      Dear friends, 


      Imagine that the volcano that has been dormant for years close to your house suddenly erupts. What do you grab as you run for safety? How would you make sure your children stay safely by you? On May 22, when the Nyiragongo volcano erupted, parents in Goma, a city of two million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, had to think fast and be creative. Some tied ropes around their children's bellies, while others carried them on their backs or held their little hands so tight they hurt.

      "Dad couldn't always carry me on his shoulder; sometimes he had to carry my siblings too, so sometimes he would ask me to walk fast, and mom would hold my hand," remembers six-year-old Louis. "She would never let go. It was weird because she never takes my hand for that long, but I was happy. It was nice!"
       
      Sadly, there is not always time to come up with strategies or to plan ahead. Hundreds of children in DRC are still looking for their families. Rachel, eight years old, is one of them. She lost her parents in the crowd and is now living in one of the seven emergency shelters created by AVSI. Rachel and many others have no idea where their families are, or even if they are still in the country. Others have already been reunited but now struggle to cope with what they have just experienced.
       
      With your donation, we are helping Louis and Rachel overcome this tragedy that has already displaced 500,000 people and destroyed 4,500 houses and 12 schools.
       
      AVSI is here, helping the victims, but we need your support to provide shelter, food, clean water, and psychosocial support.
       
      Our deepest thanks to all who have already donated to help the victims.

      Thanks for being with us.


      Jackie Aldrette

      AVSI-USA Managing Director