News / Africa

DR Congo Nun Seeks to Expand Efforts to Help Victims

DR Congo Nun Seeks to Expand Efforts to Help Victimsi
X
Pamela Dockins
November 15, 2013 5:30 AM
A nun who has dedicated her life to helping people brutalized by militants in the Democratic Republic of Congo says she will use a United Nations award to help better the lives of those victims. VOA's Pam Dockins explains.
DR Congo Nun Seeks to Expand Efforts to Help Victims
Pamela Dockins
Sister Angelique Namaika, a nun who has dedicated her life to helping people brutalized by militants in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has announced that she will use the $100,000 prize from the U.N. refugee agency's Nansen award to help better the lives of those victims. Sister Angelique said one of her first priorities will be to use some of the money to create a semi-industrial bakery that will become an income source for victimized women.
 
Sister Angelique is a beloved figure in Dungu, a town in northeastern DRC that has been her home since 2003.
 
Here, she has launched a variety of services, many of them designed to help women and girls who have been victimized by militant groups. These services include cooking and catering classes.
 
Many of the women and girls she helps are refugees who were forced to flee from their homes because of violence. Sister Angelique's proposed bakery could give these women a fresh start.
 
"If I can help just one woman restart her life, for me that is already a success,” said Namaika.
 
The United Nations refugee agency estimates the Dungu area hosts more than 300,000 refugees who have been forced from their homes because of violence.
 
It reports that many of those victims are women and girls who suffered horrific abuses at the hand of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The LRA has attacked dozens of villages, converted children into child soldiers and sexually assaulted women.
 
Among the victims is a woman who was kidnapped at age 14. She gave birth to two children while in captivity. She is identified as "Julie."
 
"When we were caught, the girls were immediately put behind their chief and we were given away.  They did not give 'husbands' to those who were 9 or 10 years old, they let them grow older. From 11, 13, 18 years old, we were given to the men," recalled Julie.
 
Another woman, identified as Monique, said the militants forced her and other captives to kill.
 
"Someone had tried to escape and they told us to kill him. They gave us whips and told us to beat him to death. We hit him on the head until he died. Afterwards, they gathered us together and told us that if we tried to escape, they would catch us and kill us the same way we had just killed our brother," said Monique.
 
Sister Angelique says that the women have begun to heal since receiving counseling and training through her office in Dungu.
 
"When I look at them now, they are totally different from the image that I had seen when they had come out of the bush, escaping the atrocities and the displacement," said Namaika.
 
Over the past four years, Sister Angelique's organization, the Center for Reinsertion and Development Support, has helped about 2,000 displaced women and girls recover from their experiences and learn skills so that they can support themselves. It is a mission that Sister Angelique hopes to continue.
 
"I will never give up. I will do my best to give them back hope and the possibility to live again," promised Namaika.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JUSTIN MUSUBAO KAVUGHE from: KAMPALA
December 28, 2013 12:41 PM
Sister Namaika, I also call you to thing about women refugies who are suffering in foreign countries. May God bless you and your organisation!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs