Democractic Republic of Congo
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Australia and Southern Pacific
DR Congo is a vast country - the third largest country by area in the whole of Africa and borders 10 countries. Since gaining its independence in 1960, the country has been marred with trouble, unrest and corruption culminating in a civil war. Tension still remains high in many areas and civil unrest is still rife in certain areas, particularly in the north-eastern area of the country. Mothers’ Union also has some members in neighbouring Congo, in and around the capital Brazzaville.
In the east of DR Congo, there have recently been renewed bouts of insecurity with increased tensions in Katanga Diocese in the south east. Mothers' Union continues to deal with the present insecurites and the consequences of the 18 years of conflict that the country has faced.
Individual dioceses are trying to reach out and assist those who they meet. They are supporting women who have been violated and are suffering from fear, as well as children who have lost their parents - members provide clothes , food and money to cover school fees and healthcare costs. Where possible they are seeking to live up to the biblical call to speak up for widows and those who cannot speak for themselves.
Across the country, Mothers' Union is actively involved in literacy circles , educating women and young people who have missed out on formal education. Many mothers have not had the chance to go to school because their skills have been marginalised or passed over by their families. Literacy is a vital tool to help those who are disadvantaged by conflict, discover their own resources and start to find local solutions to the poverty that they face.
As a consequence of conflict, Mothers' Union also works to support effots on gender-based violence. In addition, members are working with couples in local churches to help them understand the value of women and girls in the family. Members have taken their efforts to the Ministry of Gender and have lobbied the British Ambassador. In collaboration with the Anglican Church, tehy have started strategic planning with other religious leaders in order to make a difference to this problem.
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