Thanksgiving Day is traditionally a time for American families and friends to get together for a special meal. The meal often includes a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, pumpkin pie, and vegetables. Thanksgiving Day is a time for many people to give thanks for what they have. In Congo, tasty treats include grubs and flying ants. Whatever the culture, having such treats on our plate is worthy of thanks.
This year, HandUp Congo also celebrates the fact that Sub-Saharan Africa has made huge leaps in the last decade. According to The Economist’s November 23 issue, malaria deaths in some of the worst-affected countries have declined by 30% and HIV infections by up to 74%. Life expectancy across Africa has increased by about 10% and child mortality rates in most countries have been falling steeply. A booming economy has made a big difference. Real income per person has increased by more than 30%, whereas in the previous 20 years it shrank by nearly 10%.
Africa is the world’s fastest-growing continent just now. Over the next decade its GDP is expected to rise by an average of 6% a year, not least thanks to foreign direct investment, which has risen from $15 billion in 2002 to $37 billion in 2006 and $46 billion in 2012.
Join us in celebrating more positive growth for Africa, and to begin the countdown for a HandUp Congo team’s visit to Congo next February. Led by Australian-based HandUp Congo co-directors Jacky Gendre and Lucy Hobgood-Brown, the group is made up of three other Australians – a nurse, a photographer, and a community development specialist. More details to come!