Author Archives: caryscalvert

*The World Behind and Home Ahead…

Today is my last day in Bukavu and I am looking forward to spending Christmas and New Year in the warmth of my home and hearth with my family and friends in Belgium. To everyone who has helped me along the way and made this journey so special for me…THANKYOU!! I couldn’t have done it without you… It is not easy to say […]

The Tao of Leadership

The Tao of Leadership… “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand” (Confucius). Taoism evolved in response to changing times and has been continually revised and refined. It promotes harmony with nature, spiritual immortality, being ‘virtuous’ and self-development. I recently came across Lao Tzu’s “Tao of Leadership” poem […]

The Road Less Travelled…

My work colleague and me proudly showing off our new attire at the start of the polio and measles vaccination campaign in the Province of South Kivu, 9th to 13th December, 2013 Creativity, resourcefulness, energy, focus, support, sacrifice and an unwavering commitment are just a few of the necessities for a journey on the “road less travelled”. My […]

Kangaroo Care…

Every year, 15 million babies are born before or around 37 weeks of gestation. One million of these premature babies die and up to 7% of the babies who survive will suffer some kind of impairment. In low-income countries, up to 40% of women giving birth do so without the help of a trained medical professional, and complications […]

Afya ya Mama na Mtoto in Action!

Local midwife (with her six month old son) attending vital training for the  “Afya ya Mama na Mtoto” (“Healthy Mother and Baby”) project, DRC This month, the team has focussed on training health care providers from the 18 new health facilities joining our “healthy mother and baby” project (AFYA). Following two 5-day interactive workshops, a total of 36 midwives and 4 supervisors have been trained […]

Adventure in the Albertine Rift…

On the road to the small health centre in Kalunga at the top of the Ngomo escarpment in the Albertine Rift Mountains The exciting news this month is that our healthy mother and baby project, “Afya ya Mama na Mtoto”, is now in its second phase with the initial evaluation of an additional 18 health facilities, bringing the total up to 38. […]

Beautiful Bukavu!

  Me and the local kids from my neighbourhood in front of Lake Kivu (Muhumba, Bukavu) Through my earlier blogs I have given my first impressions life here in the Democratic Republic of Congo and touched on the many challenges of daily life. Despite enormous humanitarian efforts to improve people’s lives (and successful programmes!), it can sometimes feel like a sticking plaster for a mortal wound. But for this blog I would like […]

October 25

Co-Ordination Saves Lives*

“Co-Ordination Saves Lives”* *United Nations Office for the Co-Ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) Sub-Office in Bukavu ( Once a week, I attend a humanitarian meeting at the United Nations Office for the Co-Ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). OCHA plays a key role in the co-ordination of humanitarian action to alleviate human suffering and ensures a […]

October 21

Gorillas in the Mist…

Lowland Silverback Gorilla in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) The volcanoes that border Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are the last places in the world to see mountain gorillas. However, the Democratic Republic of Congo is the world’s last remaining place on the planet to see the huge, majestic Eastern lowland […]

October 21

Renewed Polio Mass Vaccination Campaign in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

                        “Wellbee” Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (please see attribution below) This image comes from a 1963 poster featuring “Wellbee” – the national symbol of public health used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC used Wellbee in its comprehensive marketing campaign and is depicted here encouraging the public to receive oral […]

International Day of the Girl…

On December 19th, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11th as the “International Day of the Girl Child” as a recognition of the challenges girls face around the world. Every day, girls face discrimination and violence.  The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address these challenges and to promote […]

October 09

Life in the Field

                        Premature baby born in the Health Centre in Nyangezi, South Kivu, DRC This last month has been busy! We are rapidly approaching the end of our first year of our mother and baby programme (Afya ya Mama na Mtoto), and there is much to do to finalise the annual report by mid-October. DRC is […]

September 02

Afya Mama na Mtoto*

Afya Mama na Mtoto (Healthy Mother and Baby Programme)             “Mama Kerys” with a three day old baby boy at the maternity ward in Bideka, South Kivu, DRC The week started well with the good news that the global eradication of polio vaccination campaign* was in full swing in South Kivu, […]

August 11

Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink*

“Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink…”                                     August 11th, 2013 The road out from Bukavu towards Walungu It is the end of the dry season in Bukavu…thick orange dust is everywhere, collecting in heaps along the sides of the roads where every passing vehicle throws up an enveloping cloud of choking dust. Water is a […]

August 01

Karibu Kwa Bukavu

“Karibu Kwa Bukavu…”                                                                                                           August 1, 2013                          Local fishermen returning home as the sun begins to set across Lake Kivu. Photo by Carys Calvert After just one week in Kinshasa, it was all too soon for me to travel to the far East of the Democratic Republic of Congo – to Bukavu, […]