Given the reports of U.N. supported FARDC rapes, desecrations and desertions, perhaps the U.N. working group on peacekeeping could focus more on the use of brain analysis of U.N. commanders rather than drone analysis of eastern Congo.
These trips fly by for me. It seems like I just get acclimated to the schedule, to the food (or lack thereof), to not sleeping (somehow I never sleep in Congo), to 18 hour days, and suddenly it's time to go home. And as I seem to always say, at the end of every trip, I feel sad to leave.
We have spent a week in Congo and my head is spinning. We visited 11 different programs and met with and talked to hundreds of people. Here are a few of my thoughts as we begin the two-day journey to come home
We leave Congo late afternoon today, and I truly will miss Amani and the Congolese people. Not only are they physically attractive with expressive, rounded dark eyes and beautifully shaped lips, but they are equally beautiful inside, full of kindness, sensitivity, and incredible passion about life.
The stories and the numbers of rapes have not abated, and his face reflects the stress of the last many years. But throughout it all, Dr. Mukwege finds hope.
Another woman explains how having access to protein has improved the nutrition for her small children and how she is able to provide her family with better and more plentiful vegetables because of animal by-product use.
The day was emotional, uplifting and inspiring, and made us all very, very proud. Just as they shared their stories with us, we shared ours with them.
With a full heart we continue this journey, knowing that we fulfill our mission as Jews and as human beings to be part of repairing the brokenness in our midst.
We speak a great deal about the atrocities that the women face here and of the desperation of children forced into the militias. But who is talking about these littlest victims? These children devastated by the conflicts are the future of Congo. I cry for them and I cry for Congo.
Dr. Murhabazi Namegabe is one of the many heroes in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He does not stand idly by. Singly handedly, he is "one of the cowboys of Congo" as he rescues victimized children in this haunting, ugly war.
Humanitarian donors must make education a higher priority. Education must be treated and funded as a lifesaving measure that protects children from even greater secondary harm in conflict-affected areas.
This film could have offered a greater service if it would have demonstrated that Congo is a land with no governance and that the fabric of decent society has been completely rendered in the blood of innocents.
"I don't know whether I'm going to live or die," she lamented frantically. By the time this letter reached me, her town had been destroyed. For the next eighteen months, I didn't know if my friend was alive or dead.
The closer we traveled to Uganda and Rwanda, where the majority of the world's mountain gorillas live, the more interested we became in seeing them, and so we did some research on less costly alternatives to the typical tours. What we found saved us hundreds of dollars.
The crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) has deteriorated in recent months with worsening humanitarian conditions, lawlessness and violence between the Christian and Muslim communities.
On May 21st at 10:15 a.m., I had the privilege of standing on top of the world, Mt. Everest.