AFRICA/CONGO DR - "To help child soldiers we need to build schools"
Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "We found that children who voluntarily enter into armed groups are those who do not go to school. This is why it is important that in North Kivu there are always more schools and educated youth. In class, students learn to live together peacefully: we train them so that tomorrow they are the builders of peace in Congo," said Esperance Nsengimana, a teacher of general education in secondary schools in Kanyangohe in Mweso, built by the JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service) in 2012.
Just yesterday, as every February 12th, we celebrated the Day of the Red Hands, dedicated to the plight of child soldiers in conflict countries. On this occasion the Jesuit Service for Refugees Africa Great Lakes wanted to emphasize the importance of education and access to school as a privileged instrument to prevent the entry of minors among the rebels.
According to the experience of JRS staff in North Kivu, where today there are more than 900 000 displaced due to constant insecurity, going to school helps keep alive the hope for the future of children and young people. Education is also essential because the adults of tomorrow will not take up arms and to form future leaders dedicated to peace and development of the Country. But the difficult economic conditions of different families prevents them from sending their children to school. That is why, when the JRS builds a school in a village, the headmaster of the institute commits himself to receiving a free number of displaced students. In the area of Mweso, in 2012, JRS built four schools.
The continuing violence perpetrated by rebel groups still represent a major obstacle to the access to education by children. Following the actions of the rebels of the Movement of March 23 (M23), which on November 20 had seized the provincial capital, Goma, at least 240,000 children lost several weeks of lessons. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 13/02/2013)
- 2015-07-31 - “Yes to dialogue, but with respect for the law”, local Catholic Church on political dialogue
- 2015-07-17 - New assaults of the ADF/MDI in the territory of Beni: fires, looting, pillaging
- 2015-07-13 - New attacks of the Muslim Defense International (MDI) in North Kivu
- 2015-06-30 - Bishops denounce insecurity and threats to family
- 2015-06-25 - "We respect the Constitution, no to Kabila’s third term", says civil society in South Kivu
- 2015-06-17 - "One votes on the basis of the existing electoral rolls" says the archdiocese of Kisangani
- 2015-06-12 - The UN representative offers himself as a mediator in the national dialogue
- 2015-06-09 - After the Bishops also civil society denounces the massacres committed by jihadists in Beni, "the world must intervene"
- 2015-06-05 - International ecumenical initiative launched to accompany the 2016 elections
- 2015-06-02 - The Bishops’ request to the President: "A national dialogue in accordance with the Constitution"