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The Congo And The Consequences Of War

Sister Francine tells us about the hard life of the war-scarred population and the efforts of her Congregation

In recent decades, the Democratic Republic of Congo has gone through a period of intense hardship that has affected the lives of almost all Congolese, either directly or indirectly. Continued war, regular massacres, and political mismanagement have all contributed to Congo’s crisis.

As a result, many children have been orphaned, while others have been left to their own devices and have been unable to study due to lack of money to pay school fees. As for the parents, many lost their jobs and were no longer able to care for their families, falling into despair.

The Risen Christ is present in our midst

It is in the midst of this world that Jesus continues to make his appeal, to challenge each of us on how we live love, and we are also reminded of this by St. Augustine when he says that at the evening of our lives, we will all be judged on love and nothing else.
As we Christians all know, since his Resurrection, Christ is no longer physically visible. However, Jesus is with us in every moment of our lives. In St. Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 28:20), Jesus reassures us of his closeness, “And I am with you all days, until the end of time.”

From then on, he takes on the face of each one of us, but most of all he is present through the most destitute people around us: the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the foreigners, the prisoners, the sick, the war displaced, the street children, etc.

The East of the Democratic Republic of Congo is overflowing with these categories of people Jesus spoke of. Christians, all people of good will, are committed to living the works of mercy and coming to their aid, each according to his or her ability, but this aid cannot cover all needs. Reports show that at least one person a month dies due to insecurity, hunger or lack of medical care. In addition, there are dozens and hundreds of IDP camps in North Kivu and Ituri provinces.

How can we really live the works of mercy in the Democratic Republic of Congo?

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, people are not just physically and materially hungry. This is a people so scarred by war that they are hungry to be heard, to have their dignity restored. People are hungry to return to their homes and to meet their families.
Many are hungry to live their past life, their joy, their life of communion with others. These are people who feel cut off from their roots.

They long to find joy and deep peace, to live in safety, but alas they are still waiting.
They need to be clothed, both physically and morally. Many have lost their dignity, exposed to violence of all kinds, to direct or indirect trauma. There are also those who have not been able to bury their dead.

The commitment of the Sisters of Christian Instruction

With the aim of contributing in some way to the welfare of those most affected, together with the population, our community visited the orphanage.
This orphanage houses children from the outlying areas of Goma. Many of them lost their parents at birth due to the difficult living conditions.
For all of us, this visit was a moment of joy and brotherly encounter. After the moment of prayer made by themselves, we shared the little we had.

Sister Francine Mave Ditsove


  • Sister Francine Mave Ditsove


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