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The Planning Continues

While Tammy and I gather supplies, raise money and determine the content of the training, Flory Zozo is working in DR Congo to ensure the success of the project. In his latest email, he sent me the following list of projects he is working on for the training:

  1. Meet the provincial minister of Health to finalize and give him dates of the training
  2. Get the minister’s approval to make the provincial health logo to our certificate
  3. Design the certificates and put the 4 logos on them
  4. Go and meet UNICEF organization to convince them to be part of the training and see if they can help in some ways with may be the training hall.
  5. Go and look for the accommodation that can fit all including you two to cut down some expenses, and book in advance to secure the accommodation.
  6. Try to get also the training hall included at the place where we can be staying, if it is possible. If not possible then arrange another really cheaper hall not far from the sleeping place to avoid people to be late. I will also book it in advance to secure it.
  7. Send the money to women who will come from far places. Some will do two weeks on the road before reaching us here. The sooner, the better.
  8. Travel for Goma to get the CD. (The CD he is referring to is an electronic version of A Book for Midwives in Swahili. It isn’t as extensive as the English Version, but we want to make copies for all the women we are training.)

As much work as it as been for Tammy and I to prepare to go to DR Congo, I cannot imagine the preparations these volunteers have needed to make. I also cannot imagine it taking me two weeks to travel to anywhere. I am not sure I appreciate the blessings of transportation we have in developed countries.

Transportation is one of the unique burdens of many parts of the African Continent. When the countries were governed by European powers, roads and rail were built not to connect the countries, but to get the resources to shipping lanes. I will not debate the “good or bad” of this development, but simply say that dealing with inadequate transportation systems now is still an issue. There are no railroads to connect major cities, few roads between countries and the roads that do exist are dirt roads with many potholes. Not only will the volunteers have to deal with this to attend the training, but the families in their communities face this reality if and when they need medical care. This is one of the reasons skilled birth attendants are so needed–traveling to a hospital is usually out of the question.


Jennifer Vanderlaan (Author)