A Gem in the Rough: A New Hospital for DRC’s most Vulnerable

KilomoniHospital DRC 260x190 063014Kilomoni, Uvira in the Democratic Republic of Congo – On May 10th AVSI inaugurated the Mario Vannucci hospital in Kilomoni, a border town marked by insecurity and a chronic deficit of infrastructure. The hospital aims at promoting human dignity and development in a community devastated by decades of conflict.

This “gem”, as it was described by local political authorities and H.E. Sébastien-Joseph Muyengo Mulombe, bishop of the Diocese of Uvira, will serve the most vulnerable people living in the region of Uvira, located 2 kilometers from the border with Burundi. Thanks to the generosity of Italian donor Mario Maiani, AVSI has been working since 2012 on the construction of the hospital. It is the collaboartive work of a community of people hailing from both near and far,  eacjomh coming together, along with their separate histories, in order to build a hospital with the same desire in mind: to help those most in need. It will offer a number of pediatric, maternal, and basic health care services that include general screening and check ups. The hospital also houses an operating room for emergencies.

The health center will be managed with the support of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Turin and the Xaverian Fathers. The idea to build a health care center in Kilomoni, Uvira was first proposed by Maiani who wanted to share his good fortune and material wealth with the less fortunate, just as in the parable of the Good Samaritan. During the inauguration, H.E. Sébastien-Joseph Muyengo Mulombe referenced the parable with the hospital there as a concrete example for all to see.  In the very beginning of its ministry, the contribution of the community and local health authorities will be essential to ensure the proper management and future sustainability of the hospital.

The opening ceremony was representative of AVSI’s work throughout the world during these years. Gathering local authorities, community members, religious orders and other significant stake holders with an invested interest in the development of Uvira, the inauguration witnessed to AVSI’s insistence on the importance of “last mile” of development. Without the continued involvement and investment of the entire community in the hospital’s future, it will not be able to meet or properly respond to the needs of those it hopes to serve. The inauguration of the project is only the beginning of the community’s empowerment and journey toward development. With time, they too must discover Mario Maini’s desire to share the need of the most vulnerable as their own. 

Read more:

AVSI in the DRC

UNESCO and AVSI: Together for Quality Education in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

UNICEF and WFP visit AVSI in the Democratic Republic of Congo

UNICEF and AVSI, strengthening education and health in DRC

Recognition by UNICEF of AVSI's Education Programs in DR Congo