Kajiji Health Zone
Kajiji Health Zone Development
MMH Hope has chosen to focus its rural development work on one health zone. Health zones are a dominant form of organization in the DRC. By focusing on one health zone, the hope is to create a model of health zone development which other health zones may duplicate.
The initial work will involve mapping the Kajiji Health Zone which is located in southwest DR Congo near the Angolan border. MMH Hope will work in partnership with the National Institute of Geography to develop a general map of the Kulindji region where the Kajiji Health Zone is located. The map will show all the villages, churches, schools, health centers, hospital, roads, rivers, bridges, etc. We will also collect information from the latest census that will be superimposed on each village site.
Promoting Seven Pillars
Kajiji Health Zone Development
Pillar 1: Communication
The vision is to explore ways of implementing or improving accessibility to currently available communication technologies including radio, TV, internet, etc.
Pillar 2: Community Development, Entrepreneurship, and Agriculture
The region needs other support systems that contribute to individual and community transformation and well-being. Other forms of income generation could also be created with existing local resources. In the area of agriculture, it should be noted that this region is rich in agricultural production that needs a little incentive to move it to a higher production level. It requires a development of good strategies of food chains – from production, storage, marketing, and family consumption.
Pillar 3: Education, Youth & Leisure
Improving the quality of education will not only prepare future leaders, but it will also help to attract and maintain in the community those with professional degrees who usually leave when their children reach school age. It should be noted that Kajiji Health Zone is located in a newly established province in Congo that does not have a single university. The nearest university is located at 460 Km and the following option at more than 1,000 Km. Programs in Kajiji Health Zone might include development of an integrated K-12 school with trade training, Youth Center, and a Plateau of Lunda University to serve both the Congolese and Angolan borders’ population.
Pillar 4: Energy and Water
Regarding Energy: The sun shines almost all year around making it possible to develop alternative energy sources. In addition to the sun, the wind is abundant for a possibility of windmill technology that already exists. Furthermore, there are also small to large size waterfalls that could also be explored for generating electricity for the whole region.
Regarding Water: The main goal of the water part of this pillar is to make safe and clean water accessible to the majority of the population of Kajiji Health Zone by drilling water wells for health centers, primary and secondary schools, the hospital, villages within each Health Center and school. With time, we dream of extending the program to two additional and neighboring Health Zones, Kahemba and Panzi, each serving more than 100,000 people.
Pillar 5: Peacebuilding and Leadership Development
This region has never been the object of major conflicts with subsequent loss of life. However, during election time or each time leaders must be selected for positions in schools, churches, hospital, there always seems to be low level tension. These are usually controlled by leaders who know the different relationships that exist among the two tribal groups residing in the area as well among the different clans of the region.
As many of these leaders are dying, the region is losing its libraries and encyclopedias typically located in the memories of elders in dominant oral cultures. The seemingly peaceful nature of this region should not be taken for granted. Preventive measures are very necessary for the region. Planting seeds for a culture of peace is a critical part of this pillar.
Pillar 6: Primary Health Care
Improving the quality of health care delivery will have an impact on all the other local indicators of community and individual development among others, children’s health status, agricultural production, education, women’s health, etc. There are simple approaches that could be taken to accomplish it. Mama Makeka House of Hope could lobby for any of the following:? Improving the quality of health care delivery will have an impact on all the other local indicators of community and individual development among others, children’s health status, agricultural production, education, women’s health, etc. There are simple approaches that could be taken to accomplish it. Mama Makeka House of Hope could lobby for any of the following:
- Implement a comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment program that integrates Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision for AIDS Prevention.
- Develop a Regional Pharmaceutical Depot with the capacity of serving a population of 300,000 from three Health Zones (Kajiji, Kahemba, and Panzi) with additional health clinics and hospital from Angola.
- Facilitate discussions on the possibility of developing a Plateau de Lunda University with a medical and public health school among its priority schools. The university once established shall serve the Lunda Plateau population which extends from southwest Congo to Northern Angola. This is a region thus far neglected by both countries.
Pillar 7: Transportation, Roads and Bridges
Traveling within the Kajiji Health Zone is challenging because roads have been neglected. One does not need paved road to travel by land in this region. Several kilometers of roads could easily be maintained through manual work which can quickly promote economic development and wellbeing of the population. Several kilometers of road would not take a long time to repair followed by regular maintenance. Fewer than ten bridges could be built to make the health zone accessible and connected with the two neighboring health zones.
Kajiji, a small village and once thriving mission station, lies in the southwest portion of DRC near the Angolan border. Although the capital city of Kinshasa is only hours away as the bird flies, it is days distant due to lack of infrastructure. While seemingly inconsequential to the world at large, a village like Kajiji was also affected by the 30 years of dictatorship and seven years of civil war. Since the democratic elections in 2006, Kajiji, like the rest of DR Congo is seeking to rebuild
From the 1950’s through 1980’s, Kajiji played a key role in education and health care in the region. With the support of the Mennonite Brethren church, US International Development Agency, and Canadian International Development Agency, Kajiji maintained a nursing school, 150 bed hospital, two high schools, and a model primary school. Kajiji served not only its own people but those of the surrounding villages and communities, with a total population of more than 150,000, as well as many patients from other regions of the country as well as neighboring Angola.
House of Hope
“Where there’s always room for one more…”