CHICAGO, IL (October 13, 2015) – A new $100,000 matching grant will make it easier for Covenant congregations to partner with a health clinic in the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of the Paul Carlson Partnership Congo Clinic Initiative.
Through the initiative, churches, groups, or families can sponsor one of the 108 clinics operated by the Covenant Church of Congo. The cost of partnering with a clinic is $10,000 per year for five years.
Over the five years of the initiative, funds will provide solar electricity and clean water to the clinics for the first time in history. Medicines, medical supplies, training, and operational support also will be provided.
The matching grant is meant to encourage churches to pair up together to sponsor a clinic, with each assuming one-third of the cost for a total of $6,667. The matching grant would fund the remaining third for the first year, said Meritt Lohr Sawyer, PCP executive director. The new grant, which was made possible by two individual donors, is available until January 31, 2016.
So far, individual congregations and churches working together have sponsored 87 of the clinics.
“We have to partner with all 108!” Lohr Sawyer said, citing the desperate needs.
One out of every five people in Congo dies before the age of five — most due to preventable diseases. The biggest obstacle to improving conditions for the 1.6 million people living in the region is lack of access to adequate health care. Typically, the closest hospital is a 10-mile walk, and local village clinics lack basic necessities, including electricity and clean water. Medicines and supplies are available only intermittently.
Lohr Sawyer emphasized the ways sponsoring congregations will benefit from participating, which will include experiencing the gospel in fresh ways. Every quarter, churches will receive materials that include devotionals written by Congolese as well as activities meant to educate and inspire ministry by people of all ages. Congregations also will receive information and updates about Congo, the culture, life there, and medical realities.
For more information, visit the initiative website.