August 1st. The situation in Rugari remains very unstable and dangerous. Passy has reported more fighting and more deaths. At the moment she is searching for any family members of a tiny baby whose mother was killed in the fighting. See photos below.
July 22nd. More fighting today in Rugari. It seems that several civilians were killed and many more injured. Most of the people have fled the town - some to Rumabago (where our orphanage now is), other to Goma and to nearby towns. Passy and the kids are OK, but it has been a very tense day and it's not over yet.
July 18th. There were armed clashes in Rugari where the orphanage was located originally and where the secondary children attended school last year. 11 people were killed; civilians as well as soldiers. We are moving ahead rapidly with our project to set up 2 dormitories in Rutshuru where the older children can go to school next academic year in relative safety.
July 17th. The 1st case of Ebola was identified in the major city of Goma. The victim died a couple of days later. Ebola, which has been raging in the Kivu area for a full year and has claimed the lives of over 1,700 people, has just recently been declared a global health emergency by WHO.
July 8-12. Alberto Corbino, of the Fondazione Cariello Corbino, visited the orphanage to check on the progress of the construction, to discuss with Passy their current and future needs, and of course to spend time with the children. It was a very successful and valuable visit. Together with Passy he inspected two buildings in Rutshuru which we plan to rent and furnish as dormitories for our secondary school children.
July 1st. Closing of our photo exhibition on Passy's Kids at the Teatro Genesio in Rome. The show ran for just over two weeks and received many visitors. Several articles on the exhibition were published on both Italian and English sites and magazines, and interviews were made by Vatican Radio and an Italian TV station.
June 12th. Baby Monica Silvana, aged 2 months, was found under a tree in the orphanage garden. Subsequent investigation revealed that her mother had fled after being beaten by her father, who then abandoned her in the orphanage grounds. She is now happy and healthy in her new family with Passy.
The mother of this tiny baby was killed during the recent fighting in Rugari. He is being looked after by Passy at the moment while she searches for any relatives he may have.
People fleeing the fighting in Rugari.
The discovery of baby Monica Silvana
Inspecting the new dormitory buildings at Rutshuru
Secondary school at Rutshuru