Medecins Sans Frontieres

Democratic Republic of Congo, January 2004

One in four babies born in Eastern Congo will die before they are ten. Nearly 4.5 million people have so far died since the war in began. An area rich in natural resources, the soil is extremely fertile yet thousands of children die each month from malnutrition.

These images looks at the treatment children who arrived at an MSF feeding centre in North Kivu, DRC. Nearly all their mothers had experienced some form of sexual violence at the hands of various militias in their villages. This in turn had led to them being too scared to cultivate land to grow food, or go into the forest to harvest fruit. All had endured the effects of the collapse of the healthcare system; two were widowed; one had a son kidnapped and conscripted to the military; another tragically lost her son to Aids, which has been spread throughout the country by invading military forces.

  • La Vie on her first day at the Medecins Sans Frontier Feeding Centre in Kabati. Kate Holt.
  • La Vie on her first day at the Medecins Sans Frontier Feeding Centre in Kabati. Kate Holt.
  • After four weeks on an intensive feeding program La Vie now weighs 10.1 kgs and will soon be discharged. Kate Holt.
  • After four weeks on an intensive feeding program La Vie now weighs 10.1 kgs and will soon be discharged. Kate Holt.
  • Olivier is severely malnourished and also has TB. He was admitted with his mother. Kate Holt.
  • Olivier with his mother during treatment. For many of the children and mothers, this is first time. Kate Holt.
  • After four weeks on treatment for his TB and following an intensive nutritional program. Kate Holt.
  • Grace was 9 years old and admitted weighing 9.7 kgs. His target weight was set at 11 Kgs. Kate Holt.
  • Grace's mother stands next to his body shortly after he died. Kate Holt.
  • Grace died shortly after arriving at the center and was buried in a box. Kate Holt.