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    Congo bishop urges peace: “In the name of God, let us live!”

Congo bishop urges peace: “In the name of God, let us live!”

By |28 August 2013|

Bishop Theophile Kaboy of Goma has condemned the violence sweeping the troubled east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In a pastoral letter, Bishop Kaboy says called for an end to “the vicious circle of violence” and pleaded “in the name of God , let us live!”

Goma sees yet more fighting in troubled Congo

By |23 August 2013|

Goma in the troubled east of the Democratic Republic of Congo was shelled again this week despite the UN peacekeeping force (MONSUCO) putting a security perimeter around the city.

Caritas helping those forced to flee in Congo

By |23 May 2013|

Fighting near Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo's largest city, has killed at least 20 people since Monday and ended an uneasy six-month calm between the army and fighters from the M23 rebel group.

Fighting returns to Nord-Kivu in Congo

By |22 May 2013|

By Guy-Marin Kamandji After about six months of a truce, fighting has resumed around the eastern Congolese city of Goma, in North Kivu. An offensive by M23 rebels started on Monday 20 May at dawn in Mutaho. Eye-witnesses, speaking  on Radio Okapi, said, “We heard heavy arms fire on the hills around our homes from about 4 in the morning. We left immediately without taking anything. It is under these conditions that we arrived at Mugunga...  we were scattered. There are people who have not found their children." Caritas says it registered 132 families in Mugunga III camp on Monday from Mutaho. “M23 troops resumed fighting in the early hours of Monday. These clashes have caused a panic among the population of several villages and many people have moved to a neighborhood in the north east of Goma,” said Caritas Goma. “Our last information is that 3000 people have arrived at the St.Francis Xavier [...]

Congo’s women dream of water

By |14 May 2013|

By Guy-Marin Kamandji, Caritas Congo Musawu walks with a firm step, carrying 20 litres of water on her head with great agility. The water must be equivalent to about half the 10 year old girl’s weight. It’s Monday morning in Bukwa Mulumba, a town in Kasai Central in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Musawu still has to make the 2.5 km trip from her home to the water point and back two more times today.   “When there is enough water at home, then my mother lets me go to school.  Tomorrow I will be able to go to school,” she says. She is not the only one making the walk on the slippery slope. Mrs Kanyeba, a young woman,  doesn’t have the 250 to 300 Congolese Francs (about 20 cents) to buy 20 litres of water in her village, so she must make the journey herself. “After four trips with 20 […]

Taking Congo’s message to the United Nations

By |30 April 2013|

Caritas has been a profound partner assisting us at every level with courage and compassion as well as their capacity to make differences in the lives of people and communities.

From child soldier to top student in Congo

By |12 April 2013|

By Taylor Toeka, Caritas Goma Francais Germain Muhindo comes top of his class almost always, yet a few months ago the eight year old first grader had never even seen a chalkboard. But he had seen war. He was forced into being a child soldier for three months in September 2012 by fighters in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s ravaged east. "We were working to the fields when we met the rebels,” said Germain. “They ordered my older brother, who is thirteen, to carry their bags. He refused so they hit him and made him do it. As there were only two of us, they made me come along too.” Half a million people were driven from their homes in North Kivu last year and thousands of children were taken to be used as soldiers, cooks, messengers, porters or the girls as sex slaves by government and rebel forces. “Every day I thought of [...]
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    Urgent need of assistance for displaced Congolese suffering from mental disorders

Urgent need of assistance for displaced Congolese suffering from mental disorders

By |14 February 2013|

Read in French The end of a Caritas Goma project last December has meant that many patients suffering from severe mental disorders are completely vulnerable and left without care and support. The Mapendo health centre, 4 km from Rutshuru, is filled with busy men and women. Some look  healthy, others who are accompanied by their brother, sister, father or mother look less so. In fact, they appear lost and helpless . All these people suffer from mental disorders and for years have been left behind. But in July 2012, thanks to an initiative by Luxembourg Pharmacists Without Borders, these particularly vulnerable people have finally received the support and care they deserve. Through this project, Caritas Goma  was the only organisation to support  and care for  people with epilepsy and mental disorders  and cater for them  in this part of the Democratic Republic of Congo where health facilities are too often […]
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    Rebel repatriation goes wrong in Congo leading to new crisis

Rebel repatriation goes wrong in Congo leading to new crisis

By |18 January 2013|

An effort to repatriate Rwanda rebels currently in the Democratic Republic of Congo has ended in violence that’s forced thousands to flee. 250 rebels from Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) plus 500 of their dependents gave themselves up for repatriation to Congolese government troops and local militias in Walungu, South Kivu in eastern Congo on 2 January. But the plan went wrong and ended in heavy fighting between the Rwandan rebels and the Congolese forces. Further fighting has ensued and the rebels have now escaped into the forest. Over 5,800 families have been forced to flee because of the fighting. Caritas Bukavu is working in the area to provide emergency food rations for one or two weeks, thanks to funds received from Caritas members. Read the full story in French

Rescuing child soldiers in Congo’s war

By |13 December 2012|

Although international law has called for an end the recruitment of children into armed forces for over a decade, in the Democratic Republic of Congo the practice is widespread.

Hungry and homeless in Congo’s East

By |10 December 2012|

By Taylor Toeka Kakala As a result  of the fighting between the Congolese army and the rebels group M23 in the  north of Goma, many displaced  have sought refuge in the schools of Goma. “We wake up very early to leave the classes  for the  students to use,” said Beatrice Rukundo, a  squatter of Ushindi primary school, in north of Goma. Beatrice, mother of seven,  fled the camp of Kanyaruchinya last November during the  fighting between the army and the M23 rebels over the  control of town of Goma. “We are really hungry, and  need help,” she said. To respond to the needs of many in her situation, the local diocesan Caritas, Caritas Goma, conducted a food distribution for 785 households registered  in three schools north of Goma . Thanks to the funding from CAFOD (Caritas England and Wales), each family received 25 kg of maize flour, 5 kg of […]

Congo bishops decry chaos in East

By |6 December 2012|

The Catholic bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo are urging for an end to the conflict in the east of the country. They condemn rebel militia for seizing the city of Goma last month and the foreign powers who support them. They also urge their government and politicians to address the root causes of the war and the lack of governance, infrastructure and services in the East. The Church leaders are urging the international community to look again at the mandate for UN peacekeepers based in Eastern Congo, who took no action during the fall of Goma. Read the full text: Read the message in French Read the message in English

Debout femme de Mugunga!

By |5 December 2012|

″C’est juste mon corps, devenu insensible, qui était allongé là.  Je ne pouvais plus sentir leurs mains, leurs peaux et leurs odeurs″, témoigne une jeune fille de 12 ans, violée au début de ce mois par quatre hommes armés au camp de Mugunga 3, à la périphérie ouest de Goma. Caritas Goma a enregistré, entre le 20 et le 30 novembre , dix-sept cas de viols perpétrés sur les femmes et jeunes filles déplacées du Mugunga 3. Selon les victimes, tous ces actes portent la signature de miliciens armés non-identifiés qui opèrent dans la région de Goma. “Je renouvelle mon appel au dialogue et à la réconciliation”, a déclaré le pape Benoît aujourd’hui   lors de l’audience générale, soulignant le sort tragique de milliers d’habitants de la région du Kivu “contraints d’abandonner leurs maisons” ou qui sont “privés des biens de première nécessité”, après des “mois d’affrontements armés et de violences”. […]
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    Democratic Republic of Congo: thousands take refuge in Church buildings

Democratic Republic of Congo: thousands take refuge in Church buildings

By |30 November 2012|

From our Caritas member in England and Wales on the situation in Congo

Caritas aid gets through to Congo camps

By |29 November 2012|

By Taylor Toeka Kakala , Caritas Goma The sun begins to break as a long line of tired women and anxious men forms in front of the Caritas Goma food distribution point. In the middle of the line, Marceline Dusabimana, 36, a mother of six children, waits in turn to receive oil, maize flour, beans and salt. As most of the beneficiaries present, Marceline fled the fighting between the Congolese army and rebels of the M23 that started six months ago. “I have witnessed war for the past 15 years. I moved from one camp to another. We are completely dependent on humanitarian aid, because we lack the means to buy food,” she said. Caritas has started the distribution of food from the World Food Programme (WFP) for 9,983 displaced families in Mugunga camp. These initial distributions consist of a three-day ration. Conflict in North Kivu has exacerbated an already […]

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