DR Congo V

Congolese Miracle; Congolese Tragedy, December 2008

Wimana and her five children were displaced seven times in fifteen months as fighting continued between rebels loyal to renegade General Laurent Nkunda and government soldiers in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Her one year old son Emanuel, had to be taken from a health center where he was receiving treatment when fighting broke out in the camp where they had taken refuge. He died two days later from malnutrition, his mother unable to find treatment for him in the chaos of the conflict. 1.6m people remain displaced throughout the region and the humanitarian situation deteriorates daily as fighting continues.

Chance was forced to flee her home with her baby son when fighting broke out in their village near last June. She was separated from her husband and thinks that he is now dead because there has been no news of him. Now living in a disused shop kiosk, she went to a poorly equipped health center in Goma to give birth to her baby daughter.

One in eighty mothers dies in Congo during childbirth, and one in five children die before they are five years old.

  • Wimana Ruhuwreru holds her son Emmanuel where they sleep in the open air. Kate Holt.
  • Wimana and her daughter look over the coffin containing Emmanuel shortly after he died. Kate Holt.
  • Wimana Ruhuwreru waits for the coffin of her son Emmanuel to be unloaded for burial in Goma. Kate Holt.
  • Wimana Ruhuwreru and her daughter watch the burial of her son Emmanuel. Kate Holt.
  • 5-KHOLTSTORYCONGO5A crude cross made of a banana leaf and a stick mark the grave of Emmanuel. Kate Holt.
  • Chance sits on a bed in a health centre after the birth of her second child. Kate Holt.
  • A nurse listens to Chances womb in preparation for the birth of her second child. Kate Holt.
  • Chance is screams in pain during the birth of her second child. Kate Holt.
  • A nurse delivers Chance's baby over a bucket in a poorly equipped health center. Kate Holt.
  • Chance is assisted by a nurse following the birth of her second child. Kate Holt.
  • Chance breast feeds Noella for the first time after giving birth. Kate Holt.
  • Noella is photographed shortly after birth in a poorly equipped health center. Kate Holt.