Hello from Kindu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. I apologize for the slow rate in updating my blog, but communication here is almost non-existent.
Kindu is the center of United Nations Security Forces fighting the ongoing insurgency and the basic lack of government in this region. Women and children are the object of attack for so many of the insurgent forces and it is overwhelming to see the horrible impact of these atrocities.
The DRC is the rape capital of the world. So many of the women have had their husbands murdered in front of them and their children. Then the women and some of the children have been raped and sexually exploited. Once this happens, they are considered outcasts by both sides of this conflict. We hope through this trip to further support building a center for those affected by this violence to once again enter society and live a fruitful life.
We have had much difficulty getting here. Travel in the Congo is a challenge at best. It seems that at every corner, the government challenges the attempts to provide the necessary information to make this project "work." Nevertheless, we are making progress.
Yesterday upon our arrival, we were greeted by more than 2,000 children singing and dancing while lining the road to the proposed center. The ladies walked with us around the road of the area singing songs of joy and praise for our presence. It was most humbling.
Today we worshipped with the leadership of the church community, walked the proposed center site and will be interviewing the brick makers who are already at work. Tomorrow we will interview many of the victims and leadership for the effort before going to West Congo to meet with leadership there.
The proposed center will allow for training, counseling and support of victims for up to three months. It is desperately needed and will cost approximately $350,000 to complete. I believe we can do it together. Please come back for more as we are able.