“I have never known peace in my lifetime.” It is an all too common complaint from people displaced by conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Two million of them are trying to survive after being forced from their homes.
Caritas’ presence in DRC for half a century makes all the difference. It has a strong local network in the diocese, which allows it to deliver assistance in a country known for its difficult operating environment.
In the troubled north east of the country, Caritas staff live with many of the same problems as the people they minister to – the threat of rape and sexual assault, the fear of children being abducted as soldiers, the worry about finding food and clean water.
Caritas Goma runs centres where victims can come for medical care and counseling and Caritas Congo works with former fighters and child soldiers to prevent them taking up arms again.
But aid appeals for DRC often fall on deaf ears. Donors are becoming as tired of the cycle of conflict as its innocent victims are. Caritas works to keep donors engaged and to promote an end to the violence.