Sunday, December 1, 2013

URGENT: Imara needs help

Friends, we are in the middle of pulling together the loose ends for our big fundraising event tomorrow, but over the weekend we learned of more tragedy in Congo, and I must share the info with you NOW in order to hopefully save her life.

A 3-year-old orphan girl, Imara, who was staying with extended family was beaten, burned and whipped (possibly even poisoned) by that family until she admitted to being a witch, at which time she was shunned by the community and taken to social services to be placed in an orphanage.

You can read about her whole story here (WARNING: IT'S GRAPHIC), but here's a quick and detailed description of the incomprehensible abuse she suffered:
Imara was beaten with a whip on her arms, legs, stomach, buttocks, and back, hit with many objects, punched in the face and kicked all over her body.  She is assumed to have been forced to eat a poison, but was not otherwise fed or given anything to drink for three days.  She was tied up during this time, now having rope burns on her arms and legs and her hand was crushed with a hammer-like object.  She was burned with a candle that was held onto her leg and then up to and inside her mouth until she finally admitted she was a witch, although she has no understanding of anything that happened to her or what she was confessing to.
Please DO go to the link above to read the full details about the horrible abuse this child--whose name fittingly means, "strong"--has suffered. The post has more pictures, as well as information about the strange phenomenon of witchcraft accusation in DRC. The pictures are some of the most horrifying visuals you will ever see, but you do need to see them to understand what has happened here. 

I can't help but notice Imara (above) is holding a baby doll in this picture. She is snuggling a baby doll the way she needs SO BADLY to be snuggled and loved. It's just so hard to understand why this has to happen to innocent children.

BUT...there is good news for Imara: The adoption agency we are adopting through has again stepped in to offer help to this precious girl. DRC does not have the resources needed to treat all of her conditions. (Did I mention she also has double black eyes, which means there is a possibility of a skull fracture requiring immediate medical care and possible intervention to prevent severe long-term effects on her brain, hearing, vision, or neurological functioning. ) BUT the US does have the resources, equipment and expertise she needs. In order to get to the State, Imara needs $100,000 of promised medical care coverage in order to help her qualify for a medical visa or humanitarian parole authorization. This will require two aspects of medical care assistance: 

1 -- A hospital that will agree to care for Imara and provide free- or low-cost care for her. If you know of a hospital that could potentially help with free- or reduced-care, please contact them and, after their initial agreement to evaluate her case, contact me at

2 -- Proof that the potential $100,000 is available to cover her expenses. One organization has already committed $10,000, but we need other organizations to join in to help with this feat. Insurance may (or may not) be able to cover some costs, BUT insurance does not come into consideration in the DRC officials' consideration of issuing her a medical visa or humanitarian parole authorization. Only commitments from organizations will be held in consideration for her assistance and hopeful visa issuance. Therefore, (taken from the ABI Congo blog) "We would need a letter on the organization's letterhead (hopefully by Monday evening) that says the organization will cover a particular dollar amount of Imara's medical care if she is granted a visa to come to the U.S. The funding will be run through All Blessings International, Inc. which is a 501(c)3 and will be tax deductible."

If you would like full details, including a detailed update on Imara and specifics regarding the quest to provide her with medical care, please read this blog post.

And if you are able to help in ANY WAY, please contact me as soon as possible at, as I am helping ABI gather resources for Imara. 

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