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KAIROS 'Women of Courage' DR Congo Delegation

KAIROS 'Women of Courage' DR Congo Delegation



From June 16-29, Canadian Church leaders and delegates will participate in a KAIROS-led delegation to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The DRC represents one of the world’s worst human ...

From June 16-29, Canadian Church leaders and delegates will participate in a KAIROS-led delegation to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The DRC represents one of the world’s worst human rights and humanitarian crises, with shocking levels of gender-based violence. Leadership from Canadian churches, through representation on this delegation, is moved to respond, to witness what is happening on the ground in the DRC, to accompany partners and to demonstrate solidarity. The delegation also seeks to deepen the understanding of the human rights and environmental impact of resource extraction on communities in the eastern DRC, in particular the impact on the already appalling reality faced by women. The delegation will not only raise awareness among Canadian church constituencies, the Canadian public and the Canadian government about the human rights situation, violence against women and the impact of resource extraction, it also will make concrete recommendation to Canadians and to the Government of Canada on how to address this egregious situation.



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    KAIROS 'Women of Courage' DR Congo Delegation KAIROS 'Women of Courage' DR Congo Delegation Presentation Transcript

    • Please join us in learning about the work of partners in the DemocraticRepublic of Congo; join us in praying for them and in supporting theirdecades-long commitment to end the terrible violence that has gripped theDRC and its neighbours.Bukavu, on the shores of Lake Kivu in the easternDRC
    • The Democratic Republic ofCongo 5 million war deathssince 1994-the mostin any conflict sinceWWII At least 250,000women and childrenhave survived sexualviolence Enormous mineralwealth that hasfuelled internal
    • Why a delegation? We hear very littleabout the DRC in themainstream media.Communications arepoor. Many Canadianchurches don’t havepartners in thecountry. TheKAIROS delegationwill learn directlyabout conditions inthe country. Hearing frompartners- from thoseliving with theconsequences ofviolence andresource extractionday to day- is one ofthe main goals of thedelegation. They willwitness to thesepartners’ stories ontheir return.
    • Why a delegation? (continued) The DRC is home to oneof the world’s worsthuman rights andhumanitarian crises, withshocking levels ofgender-based violence.Leadership fromCanadian churches,through representationon this delegation, ismoved to respond, towitness what ishappening on theground in the DRC, to The delegation alsowants to deepen theunderstanding of thehuman rights andenvironmental impact ofresource extraction oncommunities in theeastern DRC, inparticular the impact onthe already appallingreality faced by women.
    • Why “Women of Courage”? The delegation is a vitalpart of the Wo m e n o fCo urag e program, whichis rooted in KAIROS’commitment to genderjustice and our history ofworking with women’sorganizations andmovements on issuesrelated to human rightsand violence againstwomen, particularly inthe context of conflict. This program alsoprovides opportunitiesfor partners from theGlobal South to visitCanada to raiseawareness about theirwork with women indefending human rightsand building peace, andto meet with womenleaders and humanrights defenders here,particularly Indigenousand migrant women.
    • What happens after delegatesreturn? Canadian federalpolicy can play ahelpful role in theDRC: IF Canadiansare informed aboutthe day to dayrealities ofCongolese and,guided by thesestories, speak to ourgovernment. Every delegate iscommitted tohearing thesestories andwitnessing to themwhen back inCanada. They willmake presentationsto Canadian groups,Members ofParliament and
    • Meet the delegation membersFromCanada: Danielle Dubuc: Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Mary-Ellen Francoeur, Sisters of Service : Canadian ReligiousConference Peter Lamont: Presbyterian Church in Canada Mungul Made (Marie-Claude) Manga: United Church of Canada Amelia Torrie: United Church of CanadaFrompartners intheregion: Chantal Bilulu: Héritiers de la Justice Monica W. Njoroge: Fellowship of Christian Council and Churches inthe Great Lakes and Horn of Africa (FECCLAHA) Perpétue Kankindi: Burundian Council of ChurchesKAIROSstaff: JimDavis and Ian Thomson
    • The work of KAIROS and our member churchesrelies on global partnerships. Here you’ll meet onesuch partner.
    • Héritiers de la justice office, BukavuHéritiers de lajustice (Heirs ofJustice, or HJ),has been aKAIROSpartner for 8years. Theirfocus: An endto the violencethat hasgripped theirnation; an endto the impunitythat allowsperpetrators toget away withmurder.
    • Maurice Namwira, current director.
    • Pascal Kabungulu, former director-assassinated because of his work.HJ’s workcarries muchrisk. Fromgovernmentforces tomilitias, manygroups do notlike their work.Threats andviolence are aday to dayconcern. Yetthey refuse tofall silent orcease theirwork.
    • Voices of WomenViolence has had aparticularlydevastating impact onwomen. Staff memberChantal Bilulu said toCanadians in 2011:“Until you break thesilence, you can’t stopthe violence.”
    • What does Héritiers do?
    • Héritiers de la justice offers the communitylegal counselling, helping people stand up for theirrights.
    • Family counselling
    • Facing trauma Héritiers de lajustice also offerstrauma counselling.Living with thephysical andspiritual fallout oftrauma is a realityfor manyCongolese.
    • Women who have survived rape- Panzi hospital. HJoffers counselling to survivors and accompaniment ifthey choose to name the perpetrators in court.
    • Training for members of the police force.
    • HJ runs 21 Comités de Mediation et Défense(Outreach posts)
    • ...and Peace Programs in 1000 schools
    • And a legal clinic. The project goal:To help womento combat sexualviolence. “If youhave been raped,to remain silent isto kill you slowlyfrom the inside.” –Chantal Bilulu
    • Speaking out despite therisksPlanning, flipcharts, workshops=
    • Maurice Namwira at workCanadiandonations helpHJ witheverything fromthe day to daystaffing of theoffice tocommunitycounselling anda health clinic.Your supporthas helpedaddress thegovernment’scessation ofCIDA funding in2009.
    • Located directly across Lake Kivu from densely-populated Rwanda,the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide washed up in EasternCongo in the form of armed groups fleeing retribution- or deciding tokeep fighting.
    • The DRC could be wealthy. 70% of the world’s coltan isfound here. Coltan is used as a signal booster in virtuallyevery cellphone in the world. Mineral sales fuel armedgroups.
    • The DRC is vast and has long struggled to recover fromlong and vicious colonization under the Belgians. Herepeople are waiting to vote in the 2005 elections.
    • An election observer at work.
    • Women walking to the polls in 2005, to vote for a nationalgovernment for the first time in their lives.
    • Men displaying the inked fingers and thumbswhich prove they voted.
    • Women are bearing the brunt of violence thatdehumanizes everyone- men, women and children alike.Sexualviolence is adeadly tacticused bymany armedgroups, bothofficial andparamilitary,CongoleseandRwandan,amongothers. Yetwomen arerefusing tobe silent.
    • Street children in Bukavu. Violence breeds trauma andpoverty, and all three pull apart families and communities.Many street kids are orphans.
    • Bukavu. Poverty and poor infrastructure are constantrealities. There is no land route between the eastern andwestern Congo. Transportation is scarce and difficult.
    • The DRC is beautiful, its people resilient and skilled, andits potential enormous. But violence, impunity and povertyare equally enormous barriers. What does solidarity looklike for us?
    • Principles which guide KAIROS’ partnerships: We m ust fo llo w the le ad o f o ur partne rs. We canand sho uld suppo rt lo caland re g io nalpartne rswho wo rk fro m the ir live d e xpe rie nce . Tho se partne rs willthe n de ve lo p the ir o wn wo rko n the g ro und. The ir analysis sho uld shape ho wwe the n addre ss o ur o wn co nte xt.
    • What can we do? Canadians, o ur co m panie s and o ur g o ve rnm e ntm ust be aware o f the ne g ative im pact o f re so urcee xtractio n o pe ratio ns o n co m m unitie s and a co untryde aling with traum a, m any arm e d g ro ups, po liticalinstability, and po ve rty. And we m ust actacco rding ly. O ve rse as aid thro ug h CIDAand acco untability fo rm ining co m panie s o pe rating in a co nflict zo ne aretwo paths fo r Canada to take . Lo cally, we can le arn abo ut the curre nt situatio n inthe DR Co ng o , which unfo lds far fro m thehe adline s. We can pray. We can suppo rt partne rsthro ug h o ur churche s and KAIRO S.
    • Thank you Your support has enabled both HJ’s work andKAIROS’ public witness. For example: In October 2011, HJ staff memberChantal Bilulu crossed Canada, speaking at publicevents and advocacy meetings, and connecting withother communities facing high rates of genderviolence, including Indigenous and migrant workercommunities. Together they shared their storiesand strategies and included hundreds of people inthe conversation.
    • Chantal and Penelakut First Nation member andactivist Jill Harris on Jill’s traditional territory, October2011.
    • Chantal to Canadians: “… . it’s vitalthat wo m e n no t stay inactive , no t subm itday afte r day, no r (just) cro ss o ur arm s. O n the co ntrary,we m ust stand up, act, and de no unce . Le t’s bre ak thesile nce , claim ing back fro m tho se who ho ld po we r theuse o f dive rse le g alinstrum e nts that pro te ct the rig hts o fwo m e n. In so do ing , we can chang e the situatio n o fwo m e n thro ug ho ut the wo rld. Le t allwo m e n o f allthe wo rld take the ir co urag e in handto co ntinue the strug g le , this strug g le that include s allo fus. To ke e p o urse lve s sile nt is to killo urse lve s little bylittle . May we be co urag e o us. ”CHANTAL MAYANGA BILULU, Women and children’sprogram coordinator, Héritiers de la Justice
    • In Vancouver, Chantal was graciously presented with a BCCitizen’s Award to honour her work. HJ needs the supportand solidarity of Canadian decision-makers and citizens.
    • Chantal being interviewed by Radio-Canada about her workwhile at the Montreal Lake First Nation health centre during theWomen of Courage visit, October 2011.
    • Montreal Lk, SK: Chantal with Women of Courage Cree participants Yolanda(L), Theresa (R) and KAIROS staff Rachel (middle) who went to Colombia toparticipate in anti-violence work with KAIROS’ partner the Organizacionfemenina popular.SupportingSouth toSouthconnectionsandrelationshipsbetweenmarginalisedcommunitiesare majorpriorities forKAIROS.
    • With thanks for your support and hope forcontinued collaboration.... More information is always available atwww.kairoscanada.org, on our Facebook page andat info@kairoscanada.org We welcome your participation in workshops andevents. Let us know what interests you. Our Women of Courage and resource extractionwork will continue to include the DR Congo and ourpartners. KAIROS no longer receives government funding, andyour support makes a difference to our partners.
    • We invite your prayers for our partners, for thedelegates and for the peoples of the D.R. CongoPleasedownloadour prayerpowerpointand use itin worshipor personalreflections.
    • The Anglican Church of Canada, the Canadian CatholicOrganization for Development and Peace, theCanadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, theCanadian Religious Conference, Christian ReformedChurch in North America (Canada Corporation), theEvangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the MennoniteCentral Committee Canada, the Presbyterian Church inCanada, the Primate’s World Relief and DevelopmentFund, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), and theUnited Church of Canada.KAIROS founding memberswww.kairoscanada.org