26September2018

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Where is the village Mushapo located actually? What is special in Mushapo? How do the people live there? Here is a little insight.

Mushapo - A Portrait of the Village

The village

Two villages- Muyeji and Shapongo who grew together in the process of time, together are called Mushapo. Mushapo lies50 km south of Tshikapa, in directionto Angola and about 1000 km southeast of Kinshasa in the Provinz West Kasai. The village is led by two different Chiefs, traditional heads of village - Chief Muyeji is responsable for a part of Muyeji, Chief Mbumba Thumba for the part Shapongo. When we came to Mushapo in 2011, there was no school in the village. The children had to go about 5 kilometers to one of the neighbour villages, that is if their parents were able to afford the tuition at all.

Livelihood of the Village People

The residents of Mushapo live in simple mud huts with wood structure and thatched roofs. On the side of the mud street, that leads through the village, there are sporadic booths which are selling dried fish and sometimes some vegetable and fruit. The commodities which are not planted or produced there come from the city Tshikapa, which is 55 km away. This distance is covered circa one time a week on foot. About half the families of Mushapo get their livelihood, digging for diamonds. The other half is doing agriculture for self-support to survive. Many people there do not have a solid regular job, to earn money on a permanent basis. There are not many big entrepreneurs in the region. However our project in Mushapo creates important jobs. Let alone there often have to be supported more than 10 family members.

Topography and Farming

With "outback or bush" not only the intermingled area is meant, characterized through wild shrubbery, dispersed trees and grass two or three meters high. "Outback" also depicts the underdeveloped rural interior, remote from the big cities. A lot of folk in Mushapo speaks only their local dialects, Tshiluba (in the Conga they have more than 450 languages and dialects), so that often translators, translating into French are needed. In the Kasai-Occidental region, many people only eat once a day - sometimes only every other day - and that is to say, mostly root tuber and leaves of the manioc-plant, which is the principal food in the Congo. Depending on the harvest, there may be peanuts, mais, soy, bananas, papaya, mangos, oranges and perhaps once a month a chicken or dried meat to eat.

Medical Supply

In Mushapo they don't have a water purification plant. For drink-water they only have one fountain, about 80 meters altitude difference below the village. Containers are used to transport the water to the village. The people wash themselves or their clothes in the river, which is in 2 kilometers distance. The sanitary condition is not good and clean toilets are lacking. These kind of sanitary conditions, mosquitos and other things are a health risk. For the approximately 1000 inhabitants of Mushapo - more than half of them are children- there is only one simple skilled doctor and not many can pay him. Many sicknesses, mostly malaria, are deadly and need immediate treatment. Therefore we supply medicine for people who cannot afford it for free, mostly to keep children from dying.

School project in Mushapo

The school is being build outside the village, place on a central positioned place, so that the children in the surrounding villages can profit from the school. For one thing, with or project, we want to establish a solid situation in Mushapo. Therefore we are using solid building material for the school building (corrugated sheet iron for the roof, burnt bricks for the walls, concrete and solid bricks for the foundation, etc.). This is a contrast to the mud huts with thatched roofs, which have to be renewed every other year. On the other hand, with our pilot scheme we desire to challenge other organizations and rich Congolese, to engage themselves in the rural areas. Because one thing is sure – everybody wants a school in Mushapo. Buildup and current enlargement are very urgently needed. We work together with the village people and are in charge together - for their school.

Recent Video to the school project

Image Gallery
Mushapo from air.Only existing map of MushapoKids in front of a typical houseBroken down houseLocal food selling storeJust a few sources in the near regionGras around is about 2 meters highConstruction of usual housesKids from Mushapo

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