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Reference : V-P-CD-E-02466
Date : 09/2017
Caption : Kasai region. Véronique is a displaced woman whose legs are paralyzed as a result of polio. She receives hot meals from the ICRC and the Red Cross Society of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Photographer : LUMINGU, Carol
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : ICRC website, photo gallery “Violence in Congo’s Kasai Region even harder on disabled people”, 1 December 2017
"[…] When the violence began, Véronique was living in Tshikapa, a town in Kasai. She didn't expect to survive alone in the middle of the fierce fighting: "I thought it was the end. Because I couldn't move like everybody else, I stayed at home waiting to die with my daughter. I couldn't stop crying as I saw people fleeing without us."
A stroke of luck saved Véronique's life. She saw some friends of her husband pass by her house on their way out of town, and told them about her situation. "They put my daughter and me in their car and we left straight away. In my panic, I left everything behind."
The next day, Véronique and her daughter were in Kikwit, in the province of Kwilu, 300 kilometres away. They'd never been there, and they didn't know what to do. They had no possessions and no food. They had to beg to survive.
The authorities in Kikwit made some arrangements for people who'd been displaced from Kasai, and Véronique was placed with a host family. But the challenges were still too great. Her daughter fell ill several times and she couldn't afford proper treatment. And the host family couldn't afford to feed them every day.
It was thanks to the hot meals distributed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Red Cross Society of the Democratic Republic of the Congo that Véronique and her daughter stopped going hungry. Other displaced people helped her and her daughter to get to the closest distribution centre at lunchtime.
Véronique has received money as well as food from the ICRC. The aim of this financial support, provided in cooperation with a bank in Kikwit, is to give displaced people cash to cover many of their essential needs and, if possible, help them set up a small business to generate revenue and give them a degree of autonomy. As she left the bank, Véronique said: "First and foremost I will use the money to treat my sick daughter. Then I think I'll buy biscuits and soap to resell. I might sell packets of peanuts too, because that works well here." […]”
Original material : digital
Resolution : 4302x2768
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour