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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid