Tag Archives: victim

Goma, DRC Day 3

2pm on a Saturday afternoon in Goma.  Sitting at the Hotel Nyira with one of the city’s most reliable internet connection and a decent cappuccino listening to Barbara Streisand.  The rain and the generator simultaneously begin.  Rain drops pelting on the leaves of my luscious surroundings, a low hum of a motor, a lone chirping bird and occasional roar of a UN plane flying overhead.

I’m on a short break between meetings.  The days are busy, hardly a spare moment to breathe, let alone write.  Phone calls, meetings, women leaders, international NGOs, journalists, activists, MONUC (the highly debated UN peacekeeping force in Eastern Congo), the momentum grows.

On the surface, screening a film in Eastern DRC is logistically challenging, but relatively straightforward and innocent.  This film, however, is the uplifting and inspirational story of a broad-based civil movement.  If it has the impact I think it might, it could provide the catalyst for one here.

The timing is good.  Women in the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic are tired.  After 15 years of civil war, over 6 million dead and hundreds of thousands of women raped.  They are tired.  Tired of the rape, abuse, torture, murder.  Tired of being unable to provide food for their children.  Tired of the violence.  Tired of the war.  And ready for change.

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The Displaced

Young IDP from Swat.  Living conditions are difficult in Yar Hussein Camp, Swabi, Pakistan

Pakistan’s crisis – 1.7 million people displaced.  In a three week period, over 1.7 million people fled bombing and shelling in their homeland.  By car, bus or foot, they moved south, to safety. Most of these Pakistanis from the Swat Valley have found lodging with friends, relatives or in community shelters made primarily of schools.  An estimated 20% however, had no where to go.

This 20% of the displaced are living in camps.

The largest of which is Yar Hussein in Swabi where the population surpasses 25,000.  The camps are hot and dry, put up makeshift in agricultural land outside of Peshawar.  They huddle under canvas UNHCR tents in 110+ degree heat; wait in long lines, three times a day, for food; share latrines; and bathe in an irrigation canal.  There are no schools yet, no clinics or running water, and they have no idea how long they will be there.

Living conditions are hot and crowded in Yar Hussein Camp.  Temperatures are over 100 degrees daily. Swabi, Pakistan

Young IDPs from Swat waiting in food line at Yar Hussein Camp. Some wait for hours to find no food left. Swabi, Pakistan

Young girls from Swat washing in an irrigation canal. Yar Hussein Camp, Swabi, Pakistan

A mother holds her sick 3-year old child. His severe diarrhea can be lethal in the soaring heat.  Yar Hussein Camp, Swabi, Pakistan

Men fight for the remaining pieces of bread (roti) being handed out at 11pm. Many have been waiting since 7pm for food. Yar Hussein Camp, Swabi, Pakistan

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