Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The porous borders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

map of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Nine countries border the Democratic Republic of Congo: Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, The Republic of Congo (not to be confused with the DRC), Central African Republic, Angola, Zambia, and Burundi.
It is difficult to defend a border like that. Imagine, every time one of those border countries has an internal conflict, it ends up spilling into your country (literally),  imagine that there are violent rogue armies such as the “lord’s resistance army” (from Uganda) that steal children for soldiers, and by the time your army gets there to defend you, the LRA are long gone back across the border. Imagine another country such as Rwanda decides to set up shop in your country, mine your minerals and sell them (Rwanda has no Coltan, they are stealing it from the DRC), on top of that they have their own troops patrolling inside your country!
Can you feel the outrage yet? I am just scratching the surface here.
Imagine you are a child, who should be happy go lucky and full of life, eager to learn in school, but you do not know whether it is safe to go to school because of raiders. Imagine your biggest concern as a parent is not your next paycheck, but your next meal. The poorest homeless in the United States are kings compared to those in that region of the world.
If we become serious about providing and education for these students, many other things fall into place because we would have to build the infrastructure, we would have to have stability, and we would have processes in place where learning can happen.
The world is not serious about this issue, at least not yet, and this needs to be a global effort of all of us saying “enough”!
There are many ways to help educate children; this would be a good place to start.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

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