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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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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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.

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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