I was recently in Beni with a colleague from the UK where I was translating the testimonies of young girls who had suffered sexual abuse and in some cases forced to flee their homes. Since then I can’t stop thinking about the horrors suffered by so many children in the DRC and about how their fate could so easily have been my own.
“They came in the night. They encircled our homes. Anyone who ran was shot dead. They bound up my husband… then they raped me. Three men. I was eight months pregnant.” So began the brave tale of a resilient woman as she shared how the horror of war in the Congo has blighted her life, as it has done for thousands of women and girls like her.
During the recent conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, I was evacuated along with other World Vision colleagues to Gisenyi, Rwanda a town just two kilometers across the border.
Darfur and the DRC are two of the most dangerous places on earth, with armed factions fighting for control of territory and regular violent clashes. But far more dangerous than bullets is the silent killer of disease and malnutrition that has claimed many thousands of children’s lives. Emily Cooper, a nutrition expert for the international children’s charity World Vision, recently visited South Sudan and heard people’s stories.
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