African proverb:

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go further, go together.


IMG_00042015 team – Maureen Burdynski, Chris Coombes, Lucy Hobgood-Brown, Dr Grace Maano [not pictured] and Dr Vera Sistenich.

A team of Australian volunteers, including two Rotarians and two doctors, made a 600 km river journey in August 2015. The team focused on providing medical training to a remote community of 6000 people, accessible only by canoe. They navigated three mighty rivers in a motorized dugout canoe to work side by side with Congolese community leaders on projects HandUp Congo helped build since 2005.

Training included:
• Neonatal emergency care
• Ebola prevention
• Family planning
• Trauma management


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SBS Africa program spoke with Dr Vera Sistenich on October 6 2015. Vera took part in the 600 km roundtrip journey in a dugout canoe as part of Congo Canoe Challenge, organized by HandUp Congo with the support of Rotary Australia World Community Service. The Congo Canoe Challenge was led by Lucy Hobgood-Brown, who is also the co-founder and co-director of HandUp Congo. The goal of the challenge was to provide medical training and capacity building support in four locations.

Listen to the interview here (at 25 minutes into the 1 -2 pm program)


CongoCanoeChallenge‬ 2015 has been completed!

Come on board for the ‪#‎CongoCanoeChallenge‬. Dr. Vera Sistenich talks about the journey the CCC group from Australia is about to embark on.

Email us to receive more information and updates on HandUp Congo initiatives at handupcongo@gmail.com. Stay informed on our efforts by subscribing to www.handupcongo.org.

Download pdf here

Champions of the Congo Canoe Challenge 2015

August 22 2015
From CCC2015 Team member Maureen Burdynski