ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CNS) -- Archbishop Francois Maroy Rusengo of Bukavu, Congo, visited the U.S. to raise awareness of the desperate and dangerous living situations the Congolese people are facing. In late September, the archbishop met with leaders from several charities that deal with improving the situation in Congo, a country that has been ravaged by war, disease and extreme poverty. He focused on the health issues of the Congolese people and stressed that peace is the most important thing the country needs. The World Health Organization reports that 21 percent of Congolese children under age 5 are acutely malnourished while 44 percent are chronically malnourished. He acknowledged how difficult it is for Americans to understand the levels of poverty in Congo and invited people to visit and see the situation for themselves. The meeting at St. Mary Church in Alexandria was organized by Great Lakes Restoration and Jatukik Providence Foundation, two groups dedicated to improving the lives of the Congolese people.