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Solidarity activity of lay Marists

08/09/2012: Dem. Rep. of the Congo

« Cœur sans frontières » (CSF-RDC), is a Marist fraternity of the Province of Central East Africa (PACE), composed of five countries : Tanzania, the Central African Republic, Rwanda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its social base is in DRC in the town of Goma, in the east of the country. This fraternity saw the light of day in June 2007, on the initiative of the Belgian missionary Br Marcel BOSSUYT, Br Valentin Djawu, Br Justin Masandi and other former students of the schools of the Marist Brothers.

Thus named, « CSF-RDC » has as aim to work at participation in the universal  vision of the Church, in integral development of the whole man, at participation in the evangelical work of the Church, in promotion of human rights, assistance of deprived children and vulnerable persons,  formation of young people in the schools in the spirit of the charism of the Marist Brothers, at change of behaviour in view of protecting health and personal development.

From 2007 down to today,our fraternity has covered the school expenses of 195 pupils surviving in the group MUVUNYI SHANGA of the territory of Masisi (South).

On 06 June 2009, the fraternity took charge of the organisation of the fiftieth anniversary of the presence of the Marist Brothers in the parish of Bobandana (Diocese of Goma), a celebration in which around 7 thousand persons took part (pupils, parents, former students of the Marist Brothers, and political and religious  personalities). On Tuesday 16 june 2009, the fraternity « CSFRDC » rejoiced with some 350 children in the camp for displaced persons at BUHIMBA (9 km from Goma) in honour of the commemoration of the Day of the African Child. This event took place in joy and the children were very happy to share some sweets with us. We celebrated the same day with around 92 children of the camp of MUGUNGA 2.

In 2010, in partnership with the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), the fraternity took on training in personal responsibility of 166 mothers from homes at risk.

In 2011, realisation of the project « Space for children » on the site of accomodation for the displaced, in the territory of Masisi-Kichanga (province of North-kivu)

In 2012, realisation of the project of awareness leading to the eradication of sexual abuse of  under-age girls working in the houses of tolerance in the town of Minova and its surrounding (first phase).

Project on the non recruitment of children by armed groups and their demobilisation in the territories of Rutchuru and Masisi (province of North Kivu)

War wounded and handicapped children, emerging from forced conscription by the armed groups of rebels in the East of the RDC, are looked after by the fraternity « Coeur sans frontières-RDC ».

After being persuaded to leave the armed groups, they accept warning others before they are wounded or handicapped at the front : « We are always placed in the front ranks during confrontations. We risk dying or being taken hostage, for we are not trained after recruitment», they say.

Projects for the future

1. Continuation of the programme « Space for the children » in the camps of the displaced (2013).

2. Continuation of the 2nd phase of the programme oferadication of the sexual  abuse of under-age girls working in the houses of tolerance in the town of Minova and its surroundings (in 2013, if a sponsor is found to finance the programme).

3. Socio-economic reinsertion of the demobilised children coming from the armed groups and the militias.

4. Launching of a project for street children.

For the fraternity « Cœur sans frontieres-RDC »

Sylvain TSIRIRE NDEHYA, President

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