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news | April 04, 2016 | Rep. Congo | Emergency

“For two weeks, I ate enough.”

@ ACTED DRC: Food fair in Benze, February 2016

Henriette, a beneficiary from the food fair in Benze, in the territory of Kalemie, shares her experience.

Henriette’s daily life

Ethnical conflicts that arise in the Est of DRC are pushing whole families to flee their home and seek refuge in other villages, temporarily safer. In April 2015, Henriette, a widow of 65, had to leave her house to take refuge in the camp of Ngoy with two other family members. Henriette is the head of household and she has the responsibility of her family. She is a farmer but she wasn’t able to cultivate her own field, as she lacked of seeds.

Henriette now cultivates small local landowners’ crops to bring food to her family: for the work she does, she receives cassava that she can cook for three days. When a family member is sick, Henriette has recourse to traditional medicine because she can’t afford modern doctors.

The food fair in Benze

Henriette and her household are part of the beneficiaries of the fair of Benze, organized by ACTED. It is the third time since July 2015 that the very vulnerable family is receiving assistance from an international NGO.

As the head of the household, she walked to the fair which was close. There, she received half a monthly ration of food items, enabling her to have a diversified diet and a sufficient amount of food for two weeks. During the fair, Henriette chose among other things, beans, cassava flour, and salt.

A way towards resilience

The assistance provided by ACTED allowed Henriette’s household to eat sufficiently for two weeks. The NGO’s intervention had another impact: as she did not have to work to feed her family for a while, Henriette could focus on her own harvest and seeded 2,500 square meter. She said that her next harvest will allow her to feed her household during 4 or 5 months without relying on any external aid.