Gospel concert organiser Gayi (left) joins World Vision DRC National Director Scott Lout (right) at youth mobilisations for the Global Week of Action in May this year
By Aime Kamuha, CHN Communications, World Vision Democratic Republic of Congo
Since the Global Week of Action, children and young people have continued to take up opportunities to call for better maternal and child health in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC.) In early June, World Vision’s Child Health Now campaign in partnership with the Christian Commitments team and local churches held a special leadership event for Christian youth focusing on the challenges of child survival. Called “Sinzili (Be watchful): Another DRC is possible!”, the event has forged friendships and new confidence for young people to campaign directly.
The event encouraged participants to identify what talents and resources they could bring to the campaign to reduce maternal and child mortality. For one of them, Gayi, the answer was music.
Gayi had taken part in the mobilization activities during the Global Week of Action in May 2014. Two months later, he said that he still wanted to remember and share the fact that every day, every minute in DRC, a child under five dies from preventable causes.He said: “It is becoming a must for me to do something for Child survival. After these activities, my friends and I want to provide gospel music entertainment in order to praise God and mobilize people on the infant mortality issue in DRC.”
Under-five mortality in the DRC is among the highest in the world at 168 per 1,000 live births.
Recognizing the role of youth in the development process, World Vision facilitated the two day event to reinforce the skills of young Christians to promote social justice and child rights, particularly on health. Under-five mortality in the DRC is among the highest in the world at 168 per 1,000 live births. The Child Health Now campaign believes that young people have the power and the motivation not only to share messages but also to influence policies that could protect the next generation from these tragic odds.
Now Gayi is organizing his own followup meetings with some of the participants from the June workshop. He is planning to organize a gospel music concert to promote child survival. “That entertainment will help to mobilize people and can be an opportunity to influence the decision makers to allocate much more budget in health to reduce strong infant mortality in our large country in the center of Africa”.
The group of singers Gayi will bring together number nearly 100. They have now taken ‘Sinzili: Another DRC is possible’ as their name and are hoping to draw large and enthusiastic crowds to their concerts. Among them, they also hope that decision makers will be present, and that the music will touch their hearts and bring new inspiration for acceleration of MDG 4 in DRC.