Two of my Associates, Kim Haxton and Meaghan Farqurharson have just arrived in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They will be there for the rest of January 2016.
For those of you who are not familiar with the DRC I have included a Wikipedia link for your reference.
Kim has been organizing the trauma recovery training in Bukovu with Peace and Conflict Resolution from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and has run programs on her own with the help of Pastor Samuel and his wife Faida. This year Meaghan is joining her in the work.
As Kim so concisely puts it in her blog post, “The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the poorest countries in the world. With a GDP listing of 324$ per year, many people live on less than a dollar a day. It is one of the most underreported countries continuing to live in civil unrest – with political turmoil resulting from resource exploitation. This situation has created the deadliest conflict in the world since WWII, and the highest rates of sexual violence. According to a recent study (American Public Health Association, 2011), “four women are raped every five minutes”. Under constant threat of violence, displacement and hunger, it is a dangerous place to be a woman or a girl.”
Over the past couple of years, Kim has received donations that allowed her to buy two sewing machines which has created a small income for widowed women living in Bukavu. She trained 45 women in trauma recovery, and like a pebble in a pond, these women have extended their learning and touched over 500 women in the province of South Kivu – with requests for more training. This is a drop in the bucket, in a vast ocean of needs. That is why Kim and her team is so committed to creating sustainable support by training trainers and starting social enterprise projects, instead of only offering charitable aid.
As some of you know Kim and Meaghan have been teaching trauma training through an Indigenous lens the past couple of years. One of the teachings that has emerged has been around health and reconnecting to traditional medicines that come from the plant world. This time, Kim and Meaghan are going to the DRC with the intent to create sustainable community support that includes purchasing land as a foundation for food, security and revitalization of medicinal plants.
Schools without Borders have given Kim and Meaghan two return plane tickets. While they are ‘on the ground’, Kim will be sharing their experiences through her blog. I in turn will be sharing this with you here on my blog.
If you would like to read more about Kim and Meaghan Visit their gofundme website.
Details and information on Peace and Conflict Resolution from the Democratic Republic of Congo are attached.