Aid for Congolese Refugees

Are you aware of who Congo refugees are and what their situation is in our world today? Global Refuge is responding to the urgent needs of 105,000 Congo refugees that have been forced to take refuge in nearby Uganda. The areas where they have settled make them vulnerable to extreme shortages of clean water, terrible sanitation and deadly diseases. With your support, we are meeting the needs of these people and life-threatening conditions are being improved upon. Global Refuge is serving the DRC refugees in Uganda by carrying out these three main goals:

Eliminating the constant fear of Cholera by providing clean water and proper sanitation to the tens of thousands of refugees huddled in camps.
Providing and growing food, to deal with the extreme malnutrition, especially in the most vulnerable young age groups.
Providing medical education, testing and treatment for Malaria among a population that is extremely vulnerable to mosquito-borne illnesses.

These efforts are possible and effective because of the support and contribution of you and others. Since these areas are difficult for many of us to enter and be in for periods of time, we greatly value your contribution and advocacy. Any contribution you give not only meets immediate needs, but also supports our continued training of the local refugees themselves so they are empowered to carry on the improvements that we have started. We believe that knowledge is power, so we encourage you to read further below to be more aware about the situation and its history. Your contribution and telling others about the DRC refugees and how Global Refuge is serving them, is a priceless and powerful way that they, and we, need your help.

For decades now, Africa and specifically the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has been an on-going war that continues even today. Ask yourself, when you think of Africa, does war come to your mind? It is one of several continents in this world whose identity is characterized by war. The DRC and neighboring countries such as Rwanda and Uganda are probably names known by you for this very reason – they are countries of what seems like endless war. Today, refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, are being forced to flee to the country of Uganda. Global Refuge is meeting the vital humanitarian needs of the DRC refugees in several ways that break the cycle of war and suffering.

We are seeing first-hand how wars produce devastating conditions amongst the people and the land. While the general idea and assumption about war is that it is between soldiers and takes place on a battle field, this is not the nature of today’s war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite the signing of peace accords in 2003, fighting still continues, especially in the east of the country. There, the prevalence of rape and other sexual violence is described as the worst in the world. In 2009, people in the Congo were still dying at a rate of an estimated 45,000 per month. Even now, there have been frequent reports of weapon bearers killing civilians, destroying property, and widespread sexual violence, breaching humanitarian and human rights laws and causing hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. A new study says that more than 400,000 women are raped in the Democratic Republic of Congo every year. In addition, Congo has the world’s second-highest rate of infant mortality. These atrocities are occurring right now!

This war is one of the world’s deadliest conflicts, killing 5.4 million people since its beginning in 1998. More than 90% were not killed in combat. They died from diseases that were both preventable and treatable (malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition) aggravated by displaced populations living in unsanitary and over-crowded conditions that lacked access to shelter, water, food and medicine. Forty seven percent of those deaths were children under five. These are the conditions and weapons of war that perpetuate a cycle of violence being used on a scale of humanitarian devastation.

While violence instigates, ignorance and turning our backs on human needs only leaves the victims of war to die and many that survive suffer in such a way that they resort to carrying out the same atrocities committed against them. One example of this cycle is the leader of the largest rebel group in eastern DRC, Bosco Ntagand. As a teenager he fled to DRC from his native Rwanda when attacks ensued on his own people. Since then, he has become known as “the Terminator” for war crimes of enlisting and conscripting children under the age of fifteen and using them to carry out hostile activities and violent humanitarian atrocities. Just last year, in November 2012, he led troops in the capturing of the DRC provincial capital of Goma. Despite his voluntary surrender of himself to the International Criminal Court in March 2013, these conflicts are still escalating, resulting in the nearly 105,000 refugees that have been forced to take refuge in nearby Uganda.

While the extent of this war can seem overwhelming and far away, we have witnessed the power of providing awareness and resources that enable us all to contribute in our own unique ways. Together we can create an empowering refuge for the Congo refugees in Uganda.