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24th February 2020

Basankusu, DR Congo: Rampant Infant Malnutrition

Two to five out of ten children, or 20 to 50%, from zero to five years suffer from chronic malnutrition, said experts from the National Nutrition Program (PRONANUT). These figures were released Tuesday, February 18, after a two-day workshop on the Revitalized Pre-School Consultation (PSC), which is being held in Mbandaka, Equator Province. According to experts, children who suffer from chronic malnutrition exhibit abnormal growth. … Read more

Contradictions of the Congo Seen through the Eyes of a Poet

You describe scenes in which a mother and her daughter have to trek for several days through the forest, fleeing fighting. Is this something you have lived and what are the threats to their existence as they run for their lives? I have not lived through this. My own experience of growing up orphaned at age one, being poor, suffering sexual abuse and beatings as … Read more

DR Congo: Music from the Margins

Staff Benda Bilili are a group of Congolese street musicians. They live around the grounds of the zoo in Kinshasa, and play music which is rooted in rumba, with elements of old-school rhythm’n’blues and reggae. The core of the band consists of four senior singers/guitarist, who are all disabled (they suffered from poliomyelitis when they were young) and move around in spectacularly customized tricycles. They … Read more

Basankusu, DR Congo: Mama Mimi Visits the Dentist

“The church bell rings at 5 a.m.” Mama Mimi explained. “I’ll be at your house by half past.” In Basankusu, dentistry is normally do-it-yourself. The conservation group for bonobos, (which are like chimpanzees, only better), had invited a dentist to come along. The conservation village is about half an hour upriver. Although the dentist would be checking-up on the bonobos, she would provide a free … Read more

DR Congo – Holy See Agreement: A New Beginning in Relationships

“With this agreement, we have a legal framework that will henceforth regulate relations between the Catholic Church and the Congolese State, because a legal framework gives rise to the recognition of reciprocal rights and reciprocal obligations and it is in this spirit that we will work to promote the well-being of the Congolese people and also the common good of the Democratic Republic of the … Read more

DR Congo: Cardinal Ambongo Meets President Tshisekedi After Visit to Conflict-Ridden East

“I witnessed a traumatised population” the Cardinal said, adding that “it’s impossible to comprehend how human beings can behave like this towards their own brothers and sisters. As a pastor, this affected me profoundly.” Flashpoint of military conflict The region has been one of the more politically unstable parts of the country, with ongoing conflicts going back to the end of the 90s. Facing each … Read more

DR Congo: Cardinal Ambongo Warns Against Danger of Balkanisation

In his address to journalists at the press conference, Cardinal Ambongo revealed, “There is a balkanization plan that is already underway.” According to the Congolese Church leader, the balkanization plan “concerns the eastern part of the country. There is even a mode of operation in Ituri-Bunia, Butembo-Beni and Rutshuru-Minembwe.” As a way forward, the Archbishop of Kinshasa appealed to the Government to assume its constitutional … Read more

DR Congo: Access to Free Basic Education Irreversible – Bishops

For nearly 30 years, it has been the duty of parents to contribute to the salaries of teachers in the DRC, a policy that made it difficult for many parents to keep their children in school. Speaking on behalf of the Bishops of CENCO, Fr. Nshole recalled, “In their message of June 2019, the Bishops members of CENCO, who had already in 2004 exercised the … Read more

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