Who is my neighbour?

Furaha’s story reads like a modern day Congolese version of the gospel’s Good Samaritan, says Connie Smith, HPIC representative in Goma, DRC.

“One day I was headed to the market in Masisi, my baby on my back. I was struck down by a vehicle which came out of nowhere. It was a hit and run. As I lay injured by the side of the road I heard, then saw, a jeep with Peacekeeping soldiers come along. I was sure that we were saved. I cried out for them to stop and help me. I know the soldiers saw me. But to my astonishment they just kept on driving.

“Some time after, a motorcycle taxi came down the road, already carrying two passengers. I thought that maybe the driver could at least get someone to help us. What happened next was amazing. The taxi man stopped and saw that both my baby and I were hurt and bleeding. He came right over to us and saw that we needed help. He excused himself to his clients saying, ‘Sorry, but these people need to get to a doctor. You’ll have to wait for another motorcycle, here’s your money back.'”

The taxi driver wanted to take Furaha to the local hospital which was very close by. She would have nothing of it. “Please take us to HEAL Africa,” she asked.

It took more than an hour on the back of the bike to get there, but Furaha and her baby made it to HEAL Africa. Riding on the back of a motorcycle over hopeless roads is not the best example of ambulance transport. Whatever her original injuries were, by the time she got to the hospital she had a number of fractured and compressed vertebrae, leaving her partially paralyzed.

Supplies from HPIC have helped Furaha, who has had to have dressing changes regularly as well as use a urinary catheter. She needs a lot of care and what her future holds is still not sure.

It is a long way from Canada to the DR Congo, from Winnipeg to Goma. It is a long time since Jesus answered the question, “Who is my neighbour?” Furaha and other Congolese, left by the sides of roads, still wait for a compassionate response.

“If I could go to Canada I would thank the people who have sent these things to our hospital so they can care for us here. May God bless them.”