Idjwi: The Un-Forgotten Island

A dear friend asked me to attend a fundraiser for Amani Global Works. I go to many fundraisers so I was expecting to find another meaningful cause that would prompt me to write a dutiful check, but would not particularly resonate with me. I was wrong. Once I spoke with founders Dr. Jacques Sebisaho and Mimy Mudekereza, R.N. I was hooked.

Amani’s mission is to provide a sustainable health care system to Idjwi, a forgotten island in the Democratic Republic of Congo. While the rest of the DRC has suffered from years of rebel warfare and conflict, Idjwi’s remote location in Lake Kivu has allowed it to remain peaceful. This remoteness has also kept Idjwi from modernizing during the 20th and 21st centuries.

When the abstract discussion of traveling to Idjwi to view the progress of Amani’s Medical Center became a reality, I was mentally ready, but unaware of how emotionally unprepared I was.

On February 2 our group of eight departed NYC. After two days of travel we made our approach to Idjwi in the late afternoon. This mountainous island surrounded by the serenity of Lake Kivu is…

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