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May 27, 2021 | Mounting Crisis in Goma, DRC - Volcano Eruption Update

Dear Friends of ICA,

You may or may not be aware of the serious and devastating situation occurring right now in the city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The orphanage ICA supports (GUAOA) is located in this city and has been significantly impacted by the devastation.

Mount Nyiragongo, which sits 6 miles from Goma is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Last Saturday in the middle of the night it erupted leaving at least 32 people dead and thousands without homes. On Tuesday, the approximately 670,000 residents of Goma were rattled by a 4.7 magnitude earthquake with more than 200 aftershocks which has destroyed several buildings and left cracks in the ground. Rivers of molten rock streamed from Mount Nyiragongo during its eruption setting fires to homes, forests and local farms located on the edges of Goma. One stream of lava stopped just short of the airport, the main hub for humanitarian aid operation in the east of the country.

Last Saturday, GUAOA Orphanage had to evacuate all 70 children in the middle of the night without the access of transportation. Six children were initially missing, but were all found safely within two days. Currently, they are staying in the homes of volunteers. We have been getting updates and information periodically from the orphanage.

So far, we know that due to looters, the orphanage has unfortunately lost some of the children’s clothing, shoes, mattresses, pots and pans. Everyone is sleeping outside due to the earthquakes. All businesses, stores and banks are closed with the exception of a few small corner stores but they too may soon close. Food is becoming very difficult to come by and so is transportation.

This morning we heard the situation is deteriorating quickly in Goma. The roads where most of the produce is brought into the city has been cut off by the lava. The children and orphanage leaders/volunteers have not eaten since Tuesday.

The government is requiring everyone to evacuate immediately because they have credible information that Mount Nyiragongo might erupt again and soon. The orphanage does not have transportation and it will be difficult for them to move all the children quickly.

We would greatly appreciate your prayers for the children of GUAOA Orphanage and everyone who has been unable to evacuate the city of Goma. Additionally, we welcome any assistance you can provide as we assess how we can keep the children safe, fed and replace what was stolen from the orphanage once they are able to safely return. *Donations can be made on our website: GUAOA Volcano Eruption Relief.

Thank you and have a blessed day!

Evelyn Kessler

Founder | Executive Director

*Please note that ICA maintains full control over donated funds and, in the event the GUAOA Orphanage Volcano Eruption Relief efforts have been fully funded or otherwise satisfied, donated funds will be used where needed in support of ICA's mission.

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