democratic republic of congo
Angélique Namaika, a Roman Catholic nun, rides a bicycle on the rutted roads of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s northeastern province of Orientale, which is plagued by rebel violence.
On these same roads, the Lord’s Resistance Army, a Christian rebel group led by Joseph Kony, a self-proclaimed prophet of God, has been killing, abducting, and mutilating women and children.
But none of that has deterred Sister Namaika from helping displaced women learn trades, start small businesses, and go to school.
If we look at what is happening this week – elections in Egypt and the Democratic Republic of Congo, an aid effectiveness conference in South Korea, the continuing Arab Spring in Syria and beyond, World Aids Day Thursday – and in the coming weeks -- the U.N. climate change conference, COP17 -- we cannot pretend that these events have no impact on our lives here and now.
Every one of these events is a matter of justice. The citizens of Egypt and the Democratic Republic of Congo deserve the opportunity to express freely, without fear of intimidation or violence, how they believe their country should be governed. Having spent some time in the region, I believe that the people of the DRC deserve more than any other to live in a country where they are safe and secure.
How we assist other countries in their development is an issue of justice.
It was hard to miss me on the lava-rocked streets of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, while I was working for a locally led organization, HEAL Africa. I lacked the grace of Congolese women who glided across the tumultuous terrain in high heels while I tripped over the ubiquitous black rocks.