Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The International Rescue Committee

Many thanks to Rick for bringing my attention to The IRC's campaign against sexual violence in DR Congo. The IRC is a respected international NGO working here in South Kivu and other areas of the DRC. Several of the IRC expatriate staff here are good friends of mine, so I have no hesitation in recommending their work and also in recommending that you, dear reader, go as soon as possible to www.ircuk.org, under the title "Stop the Violence" click on "Add Your Voice" to send a message to the EU about the violence in eastern DRC.

International Peace Day celebrations went well, although the VIPs from Kinshasa never made it - something wrong with the plane (typical!); somehow I don't think they were missed.

"Girls demand peace and say no to sexual violence!"

There was some terrific drumming and traditional dance by teenagers from a local NGO called ASO. The kids are all marginalised from society in some way, either they're former child soldiers, rape victims, orphans... they are doubly victimised, first they are raped or forced to fight or their parents are killed, and then society rejects them because of what has happened to them. Local organisations are able to help a few such children get an education and get back on their feet - but far too many kids still end up on the street.

And of course a whole contingent of riot police was needed just in case all the children decided to attack the visitors!!

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