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

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL 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.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid