Rebuild a Society Ravaged By War and Re-establish Its Values, Yaka-Yaka in Congo Brazzaville

Empowering Women

The Situation

Ten long years of ethnic-based and politically-motivated Civil War completely ravaged the people in the village of Yaka-Yaka in Congo Brazaville. By December, 1999, schools, health centers, buildings, and society itself were destroyed. Today, women and children live in abject poverty. Most girls have no access to education and are given in marriage at an early age. The number of young girls raising children without husbands is high.

“The area has been devastated by Civil wars for years. All schools, health clinics destroyed as well as the dwellings and possessions of the inhabitants. We are beginning from scratch and hope to build up the people’s self-esteem and hope in the future.” Sr. Ailbe

Sisters’ Response

Sisters moved into the area and are doing what they can in the impoverished village. They built a multi-purpose room for children and adults to have a safe place to come and talk about how they hope to see their lives improve. They teach young women dressmaking, hygiene and other needed skills. The Sisters believe that the war destroyed so much of their basic living knowledge, that educating girls in the basics of family life and civil life are essential. The ultimate goal is to form families capable of re-building society and re-establishing its values.

“We aim to foster from the beginning good collaboration. We do not want to create and give people the mentality of ‘handouts’. We want to help them grow in dignity and reclaim their values and heritage.”  Sr. Agnes

Funds Are Needed

Sewing machine and educational materials are needed to expand the Sisters outreach to 20 to 30 young women and girls at a time. The Sisters teach vocational skills and basic education while inculcating values of earning a living, encouraging healthy families and good parenting, and encouraging consciousness of human rights in the family and in society. Although the vocational skills are essential for the women, the war destroyed so much of their knowledge of basic living, that educating them in the basics of family life and civil life are equally important.  The following list of goods would make a big difference for this area.

  • tables and chairs,
  • sewing machines,
  • teaching materials,
  • paper, pens,
  • seeds for sowing some fruit and vegetables,
  • a computer.
  • play equipment for the children

“From 2002 again there was a war in the south of Brazzaville, many more died, and people continued to find refuge in forest areas. It caused many disorders in the country, like violence to Women and Girls, many were raped, most houses were destroyed, and all belongings taken. All this caused total chaos in the area that still exists today.” Sr. Tessy

Immediate Charitable Response

$6,350.00 to purchase the above mentioned supplies

Systemic Goal

Families of Yaka-Yaka in Congo Brazzaville, re-build society so all can flourish.  The long-term goal is to establish a K-12 School. Currently if girls are able attend school they must walk two hours each way to reach the nearest one.

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