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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More