KANSAS CITY, MO (June 27, 2018) — Meritt Lohr Sawyer, executive director of Paul Carlson Partnership, told delegates to the 130th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church that 74 of 108 health clinics in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been fully sponsored as part of the Congo Clinic Initiative.
She celebrated the participation and exhorted delegates to encourage their congregations to support a clinic by the end of the fiscal year.
Through the initiative churches, groups, or families can partner with one of the 108 clinics operated by the Covenant Church of Congo. The cost of supporting a clinic is $10,000 per year for five years. None of the clinics has electricity, so $5,000 pays for solar panels in the first year to provide electricity, which is a top priority.
Each of the following years will focus on a different project in developing the clinics. The remaining $5,000 each year will help pay for medicines, salaries, and other operational costs.
Lohr Sawyer told the gathering that one out of five children die before the age of five in the Congo—most of those deaths occur from preventable causes. Improving the clinics and strengthening the coordinated system can reduce the number of deaths dramatically, she said.
The initiative was announced last year to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Paul Carlson, who was martyred in Congo in 1964.