Support Educational Programs for Families in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Project Code: 115-08-49
The people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have in recent years been subjected to an ongoing genocide that has been largely ignored by the international community. Since 1996, following an initial civil war which overthrew the former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, there has been a succession of violent conflicts in the country. The exact number of direct and indirect victims of this violence is impossible to precisely determine, for lack of accurate information. However, most estimates speak of over 5 million deaths.
The endless cycle of violence has devastated the country – and with far reaching consequences. The atrocities that were committed – and continue to be committed – have led to immeasurable suffering. Families have been torn apart, while children have been abducted and forced to train as rebels and killers themselves.
For the Catholic Church, the work of reconciliation is and will continue to be at the heart of her apostolate here in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Peace begins in the family, as they say. "Education for life" is the name of the program initiated by the Archdiocese of Kinshasa, which seeks to help young people, married couples and families to live responsibly.
In the schools and parishes of the archdiocese no fewer than 10,000 lay helpers are engaged in conveying the Christian understanding of marriage, family, love and sexuality. The most recent campaign, "Peace in Families" was a resounding success. Some 55,000 young people and adults were reached by the program and the responses bear testimony to the positive impact of the seminars.
One father of a family praises the campaign and regrets the fact that it did not exist much earlier. Another man acknowledged that "everyone is himself an active part of the peace." One woman realized that "we ourselves are responsible for the upbringing of our children." Indeed, 320 people actually contacted the pastoral team and asked to be actively involved in the next campaign.
The program was widely reported on radio and TV and the archdiocese, encouraged by this positive response, now wishes to continue with the program. This means that, among other things, the texts and books now have to be updated and reprinted. ACN is proposing to help with a contribution of $9,100. Will you join in supporting these education programs for families in the Democratic Republic of the Congo?
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