Access to Medical Care

The RainShine Foundation has been providing 1st level medicines since 2012 to the Epi Village. A medical package would include things like: various bandages, sterile water vials, various pressure pads, masks, gloves, swabs, panadol, worm treatment, antibotics, and Malaria test kits and treatment. All our medicines are distrituted between two health posts, one in Batuse close to Mamili, and the another in the actual village of Epi.

Medical supplies donated from Australia 2018
Typical medicines supplied annually to Epi and Mamili villages

In 2020 when we visited the Kembesia villages we were confronted with many people wanting medical care. Issues from simple to more complex and also life threaten. After that experience it was blatantly obvious that access to health care for people living in these areas is very poor, and that RainShine needed to direct more funds towards the provision of medical care. At that time we decided to provide a mobile doctor to the area 3 times a year to travel and stay in Mamili and Epi each for 24 hours. While we know this is still not enough, it is all our resources can provide.

Dr Didier – at the Epi Heath Post 2023
RainShine’s First Hernia Patient for the program 2023

On the upside we are slowly extended our medical provisions to these very poor rural communities. In 2023 we commenced our Hernia Program and also our Rural Nurses Training Program. In the last six months this year we have funded 3 Hernia operations and we now have two young people who have started a 4 year nurses training program.

Annualy this program costs $10,000 USD to run, which is approximately $15,000 AUD. If you would like to support this program then you can donate at our safe link below. All donation amounts in AUD.

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Duru Clean Water Project

The village of Duru is approximately 93 kilometers from Dungu where the RainShine office is located. The population in Duru is around 6,000 people. In 2023 RainShine was asked to assist this village to improve their access to clean water. While there is a significant river that flows through this village, people get sick because of water borne diseases. In fact the rate of sickness from water borne diseases in this specific village is recorded as being very high.

Church built during the Belgian Colonalism
The current well. Water is caught in a bucket

This type of project in our experience will deliver real benefits to the whole Duru community. When the local church was built many years ago, a water well was also installed in the court yard of the church. This well is accessed by lowering a bucket into the well. While the well has provided a never ending source of water, it is not easily accessible to the whole community due to its location, and it also does not have the capacity to service 6,000 people.

In February 2023 we did a site visit to Duru and spoke with the 2 chiefs of the village and other key members of the community. We also took a water engineer on this trip who divined for water and took a number of GPS co-ordinates. One location was agreed on by the Project Committee to dig the first water well.

The scope of this project is to construct 1 well and install a hand pump. The estimate to complete this project is $6,500 USD (conversion to AUD $10,000). Once we have established 1 well successfully then we will look at repeating this project in the future because 2 wells are still not sufficient for this village. We will also look at delivering an education program to the village on how to manage and treat clean water.

Duru Clean Water Project Committee

We are looking for a sponsor for this project so we can commence the 1st stage of the project in February 2024, which will be to dig and line the water well. The 2nd part of the project will be to install a hand water pump and to build a top cover and head for the well.

If you would like to support this project then you can donate at our safe link below. All donation amounts in AUD.

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Nurses Scholarship Program

The seeds that start all our programs come about because we identify needs in the rural communities we work in. This program is no different. In the Epi Village where we have been involved for a number of years, it became obvious that at some point in the future we will have no nursing support in our small medical post. The current nurse is a man who was born in the Epi village and he has been undertaking the role of a nurse to the village since he was in his early twenties. He is now in his mid seventies!!

Epi Nurse at the medical post in the village 2017

The Epi village nurse was given very basic training at a small hospital in Amadi about 70 kilometers away. He can do basic medical diagnosis and treatment, deliver babies, and give injections. He also manages and administers all of the medicine that RainShine provides to the Epi village. For more serious medical conditions a person will need to travel to Amadi, or wait for the mobile doctor service, which RainShine provides every 4 months.

This type scenario for medical services is reasonably typical for villages in Bas-Uele, some villages are lucky to have a nurse and some others aren’t. In another village called Mamili about 40 kilometers from Epi, that village does not have a resident nurse and people have to travel approximately 6 kilometers to a medical post located at Bautse. RainShine also provides 1st level medical supplies to the Bautse medical post and a mobile doctor service every 4 months.

RainShine saw the need to provide support to train future nurses for small villages like Epi and Mamili. This was discussed extensively with the Epi medical commitee and in 2023 we started the Nurses Scholarship program. Dr Didier the resident doctor in Amadi selected two candidates for the program. These two young men have moved from their villages to live in the medical institute in Poko to study for 4 years. In their school breaks they will go to their respective villages of Epi and Mamili and will help in the medical posts.

Meet the two students of our Nurses Scholarship program.

Kayeye – Epi Village
Maloyi – Mamili Village

RainShine launched the program by sponsoring the 1st year of study for both students. If you would like to sponsor a year of study for one student then $750 USD ($1,178 AUD) will support one of our students to complete their Nurses Program of Study. All donation amounts are in AUD.

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Herina Program

People are regularly seen driving on motor bikes with loads heavier than their own body weight, which can cause intense physical strain on the body due to the combination of trying to balance a loaded bike to drive it over very rough roads.

The purpose of this program is to provide medical assistance to identified inguinal hernia patients in the rural communities of Epi, Mamili, Kembisa and Mangoro in DR Congo.

Hernia is a most common pathology in general surgery, especially in Africa where it affects about 4.6% of the population. The treatment of inguinal hernias is essentially surgical. In the Kembisa, Mamili, and Epi communities, in the territory of Poko in DR Congo, the majority of patients affected by the hernia are 90% male.

People doing intense physical activities (farmer, housewife, worker) have mainly inguinal swelling and pain. The shapes encountered are either right or left. Some patients also have bilateral inguinal hernia. Contributing factors are often intense exertion, increased pressure within the abdomen, straining during urination, constipation and obesity. The types of preoperative complication are hernia strangulation, followed by hernia recurrence and swelling.

The people who are impacted by hernia do not have access to hospital care because of their inability to pay hospital fees, and sometimes will access traditional healers (bush doctors) mainly because it is cheaper. The treatments done by bush doctors in many cases exacerbate the condition and/or the condition is not fixed.

This is a self-funding program where donors are matched to recipient hernia patients who need operations. For a patient your donation will fund the necessary surgery to repair the hernia, antibiotics, and after care. Our first patient for our hernia program was a lady who was suffering from a complicated hernia and she would not have recovered without an operation. RainShine funded her hernia repair in February 2023 and she has now returned to Epi and resumed her life with her family. In October 2023 we funded our 2nd Hernia patient and are now making arrangements for our 3rd reciprient for the program.

When a person suffers from a hernia they are unable to go to work in the fields and a woman is not able to effectively look after her family. Becoming a sponsor to a person so they can have a hernia operation will change the direction of their life as it will enable that person to resume their life to its full potential.

You can read more about this program as this link: English version Or click on this link for the French version: French version

A donation of $250 USD (all donations are shown in AUD) will fund a hernia operation that will change the direction of a person’s life. You can donate here to support our Hernia Program.

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Honey Bee Program

Image created by Epi Primary School student 2023

The purpose of this program is to conduct two trial projects in the Epi and Mamili villages to train people on how to establish, raise, care, and to farm honey.

Following the training six families and/or individuals in each village, under agreement with the Amadi Saint Augustin Mission these people will establish, care for, farm honey and transport honey to Amadi for sale to the Amadi Mission.

This project has been initiated to provide people in these villages with a source of income from the sale of honey. This project will also provide an income producing activity that is supportive to the Epi forest, reduce destructive harvesting of forest hives, and provide pollination to agricultural plants in the villages.

A healthy hive after six months has the potential to produce approximately 15 litres of honey every three months. Financial income will be produced for each bee hive keeper by the sale of honey according to current market prices. Five litres of honey can be sold for approximately $45 USD.

The Saint Augustin Mission located 30 kilometres from Mamili already has a bee program operating which is maintaining a number of bee hives, and harvesting and process honey for sale. The Saint Augustins have agreed to buy honey from the bee keepers in the RainShine program. Because of this arrangement there is no requirement for the bee keepers in Mamili to buy additional equipment to heat treat and bottle honey, and to also have technical skills to know how to process honey, this program is viewed as an ideal approach for people in these rural villages to begin working with bees and to earn some income for their efforts. If you would like to read more about this program then click on this link:English version Or click on this link for the French version: French version

Please support our Honey Bee Program to provide the education and equipment to people in rural villages to establish a bee keeping program that will support the forest and improve the local economy. You can donate at our secure payment gateway below. For Australian residents your donation $2 and over is tax deductable. All donation amounts are in AUD.

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Dekpe Primary School – Ngilima

The Dekpe Primary School in the village of Ngilima was closed for about five years due to the occupation of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the area, and it was reopened in early 2018

The RainShine Foundation commenced a project in 2021 to replace the 6 grass hut classrooms with a comfortable and safe learning environment made of bricks, hardwood and tin. We planned the construction around raising funds for the 1st building with 3 classrooms, and then at the completion of the 1st school building we will start a follow on project to construct the 2nd school building.

A Ngilma classroom 2020

The first stage of the project successfully produced 21,000 bricks manufactered by workers in the local community. These bricks were used in the construction of one school block, which now contains 3 classrooms. Both school blocks on completion will house in total 6 classrooms and accommodate around 300 students.

Here are some photos showing progress of the building during 2022. The walls of the building have been completed and we are now ready to raise the roof onto the building.

Here are some photos showing progress that has been made since April 2022. In September 2022 at the start of the school year, the 1st of 2 planned school buildings was functional enough to be used by 200 students at Ngilima. RainShine during 2023 – 2024 will continue to finish the ceiling linning, plastering, and cement floors for this building. Here are some pictures of the new school building, which contains 3 classrooms.

Students are using the new classrooms. I fact we cant keep them out of the classrooms so we can finished the remaining jobs. Also as you can see we need to provide new desks for the 3 classrooms. If you would like to donate to the Ngilima Primary School Desk Program, then you will find a donation page on this website.

The 3 new classrooms are full to the top with students
We need to provide about 100 new student desks
There are still a significant number of students who cant fit into the new school building

Please donate to the Ngilima 2nd school building project and help our children have a comfortable learning environment for improved educational outcomes at Ngilima primary school by entering your donation below. Our plan is to build a 2nd school building with 3 classrooms because we still have another 200 students who cannot fit into the new school building and so they are still taking lessons in grass huts – see photo above. To do this we need to raise approximately $25, 000 USD (or conversion to AUD $39,000.

For Australian residents your donation of $2 and over is tax deductable. This is what your contribution will give towards building the Ngilima primary school in durable materials. All amounts are in AUD.

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Kembisa Wildlife and Forest Conservation

What does a conservation program have to do with improving access to education? Programs that focus on preserving endangered species, managing forest resources, and protecting wildlife can generate positive economic activity in communities, which in term reduces poverty and improves living conditions. Better management of wildlife and forest resources also supports sustainable land-use planning. The flow on effect is a stronger economy and the development of future resource security in communities.

The objective of this program in collaboration with DRCongo partners is to reclassify the Epi forest (which was a Hunting Reserve 20 years ago) into multi-faceted areas to support, for example, community foresty, a protected area for the passage of large migrating animals, and zones to manageTranshumance Pastoralism.

Currently the Epi forest is identified as a hunting reserve and is accessed by local communities in Kembisa Sector, which includes Epi, Mamili and Amadi. It also borders on the sector of Abarambo and the Madi and Mabanga chiefdoms. The reserve is approximately 9,000 Km2. Around 30 years ago trophy hunting was conducted in this reserve for a number of years by two local entrepreneurs running a Safari company Uéré-Safari, which brought international hunters to the area to specifically hunt the rare Bongo Antelope.

Source: UNHCR map 2018

The Epi Reserve has been abandoned for approximately 15 years and during this period we know the area is threatened by:

  • Poaching, local and international;
  • Illegal fishing;
  • Deforestation;
  • Fragmentation of habitats for emblematic protected species;
  • Armed groups.

In addition the Epi Reserve is strategically placed between two other reserves Bili-Uéré to the north and Rubi-Tele to the south, which provides a corridor to support large animals to pass from north to south.

To launch this program a historic meeting was held on August 24/25 2020 between the local Chiefs and leaders of the area, his Excellency the Provincial Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Sustainable Development of Bas-Uélé, Mr Floribert INGA BEBU; Principle of the l’Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) and Chief Curator Bili- Uéré Reserve, Mr Romain DYANDOGHERE; Administrator of Poko Terrority, Mr Kambili SEBE Jr; and DRCongo RainShine Administrator, Abbé Jean de dieu MIMBUGBE. The outcome of the meeting was the signing of a Free Informed Act of Consent outling a framework for future co-operation for this program.

We are now seeking to conduct a fauna and flora survey of the Epi forest. While we have a broad scope for the survey, the Red Colobus monkey (Piliocolobus oustaleti) and the Bongo (Forest Antelope – Tragelaphus eurycerus) are special targets for the survey. Both animals are iconic to the Kembisa area and they are both on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Data from the survey will be used to guide our programs and projects and to provide information to the Bas-Uele Provincial Government so that we can work together to establish the conservation program and to implement strategies to manage the threats to the Epi forest.

Desks for Learning

Memili Primary school students, teachers, and RainShine field workers 2020.

The Memili Primary school in DRCongo was closed for a couple of years prior to 2019 due to lack of funds in the village to support a school. In 2018 RainShine was approached by the Chief of Memili who asked our foundation to help their school to start again. RainShine volunteers visited the Memili primary school in 2020. There are 158 students enrolled at this primary school. Our current involvement with this school is funding teacher’s salaries and school equipment.

On our recent visit to the school we were shocked to find only two almost functional student desk in the six classrooms. The students sit in the dirt to attend class and we sat in the dirt while we met with some of the teachers.

Classroom at Memili Primary School DRCongo 2020

In life there are a lot of things a person can walk away from, but after seeing this we decided to commence the “Desks for Learning” project.

Mamili Primary school classroom 2020

79 hardwood student desks were ordered and built by carpenters at the the local Amadi St Augustine Monastery in DRCongo. 79 desks will sit 2 students per desk – this is a good start.

This project was successfully completed in early 2021 – thank you to all our supporters who donated to this project..

Access to Education

Primary school children 2011

Education teaches us to write, read, think, and achieve. 3.5 million school age children do not attend school in DRCongo. 2.75 million of those children live in rural areas. And 41% of Congolese girls aged 5 -17 years old are working and only 36% of girls are enrolled in High School.

RainShine Australia’s mission is to improve access to primary and secondary school education for children living in rural areas of Democratic Republic of Congo. The majority of Non-Government Organisations operating in DRCongo currently are doing their work in the larger towns and villages, so there is a need for organisations like RainShine to operate and implement projects in remote areas to improve opportunities for education, health and to build future resource security in communities.

In both the Epi and Mamili villages there is no secondary school. Children can travel to Amadi, which is 70 kms away to attend secondary school classes and there is also a secondary school located approximately 400 kms away from Epi in Isiro. However, the majority of families in Epi and Mamili are not be able to afford to send their children to these schools. One of RainShine’s long-term projects is to build a secondary school that can be attended by both Epi and Mamili children.

While we have not achieved the construction of brick, hardwood timber, and tin school builings for the secondary school, in 2023 we registered a secondary school with the DR Congo Government in the Epi village, which has 4 teachers. While it would be nice to have comfortable and secure school buildings, it was decided that providing secondary school education was more important then waiting for funding for a school building. We are eternal optimists and believe that secondary school buildings for these students will follow in the future.

While some of RainShine team members were involved with the Epi Primary school for a number of years prior to 2016, in that year RainShine took over full responsibility for the Epi Primary school. This school is located in a remote part of northern Democratic Republic of Congo. Currently there are 157 children attending the school with one headmaster and six teachers.

In 2018 RainShine started supporting the Primary school in Mamili, which is about 40 kms from Epi. There are 158 children enrolled at this school. The Mamili village is fortunate to have a brick school building to hold classes, however it was closed down for a number of years due to not having enough money in the village to pay teachers. Through donations to RainShine, we now provide teachers salaries and school equipment, and some basic medicines eg Malaria test kits and treatment to the Mamili school.

Mamili children with tooth brushes from RainShine supplies

Our annual budget to operate both schools costs $6,600 USD (approximate conversion to AUD $10,000). If you would like to assist this ongoing program then please donate to this specific project below.

While both Epi and Mamili primary schools are private, non-Government schools, RainShine supports our children to sit the Government test each year to determine how they are performing with their education within the province and, we also engage Government Administrators to review our education techniques and school environment to identify improvements.

Children of Epi Primary School with their exercise books

Help our children get access to education and health care. Please enter your contribution below. For Australian residents your donation $2 and over is tax deductable. This is what your contribution will give. All amounts are in AUD.

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A Place to Land

How do we currently travel to the Epi and Mamili primary schools? The answer is by car, plane, and motobike. The last 70 kilometers between Amadi and the schools must be done by motorbike as the roads are very difficult to transverse by a 4 x 4 vehicle for 9 months out of 12 months due to the rains in Africa, and secondly finding a 4 x 4 vehicle in the area of the schools is almost impossible. The local chief of the Epi Village provided land to RainShine to build an airstrip similar to the one currently located at Amadi. This project commenced in January 2022. Local people worked very hard for most of 2022 to clear all of the trees to provide 1,200 x 30 meter airstrip.

Closest airstrip to Epi and Mamili Primary schools is at Amadi 70 kms away
Using motorbikes is the most efficient way to travel if one does not have access to an airstrip / plane.
Loading the plane in Dungu to take our solar equipment to the Epi village 2018

And airstrip will make it easier in many ways. For example, it will reduce the inherient risks to, and effort required for Rainshine volunteers, workers, donors to travel to the Epi village, and it will simplify the transportation of equipment to the Epi village. An airstrip will also make it easier for officials to visit Epi and for these villages to be better equiped to respond to medical emergencies.

In 2020 when RainShine field workers were visiting Epi and Mamili they were involved in a couple of medical emergencies. Good fortune was upon us and our intervenion save two people’s lives. Currenly once you go into Epi and Mamili you need to be healthy enough to get out of these areas to get assistance.

Project Launch conducted by the area chief
Some of the airstrip workers

A project launch event was held on the commence of the project in early 2022, which was attended by the area chief and Epi people. The area chosen for the airstrip is about 1 km from the main village and it had many trees, which needed to be cleared. All this work was done manually and was very challenging physically for the people involved. This project was also important to the Epi community as it also provided funds in the local economy.

We started with many trees, anthills, and a lot of savana
With a lot of hard work along the way
We finished with this, but there are still a lot large pot holes and anthill mounds to deal with.

We inspected the status of the construction of the airstrip in February 2023 and decided to put this project on hold for awhile. We are looking whether it is possible to use heavy equipment to remove the last of the anthills and to level the ground. While this sounds like a simple thing to do, but because roads are either non-existent and/or in very poor condition in DR Congo, to haul a large bulldozer about 500 kms through the forest does presents a few challenges for this project.

While we will not give up on this project, it will take awhile to plan the logistics and to secure additional funds so we can complete the remainder of this work.

Help us build an airstrip for emergency evacuations, wildlife Surveillance, and transporting equipment and people safely. Please enter your contribution below. For Australian residents your donation $2 and over is tax deductable. This is what your contribution will give. All amounts are in AUD.

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