Posts tagged goma
Posts tagged goma
We have seen the women, and we have heard their stories. At times it has been enough to simply feel the depth of pain in their eyes, and as I share these moments with them, I wonder – “ Who are these men who have so little regard for the life of a woman? For the life of a child? What would I feel if I were to look into their eyes, and what would I see…? These questions were frightening to me until the moment when my answers came…
We’ve entered Goma Prison, gone on site visits to programs in villages outside the city, interviewed a former child soldier and a young woman who was a victim of sexual violence when her village was attacked, taken the fast boat to Bukavu, done site visits at 3 different villages in the hills surrounding this city on the southern end of Lake Kivu, visited the General Hospital and seen 2 different programs within the city confines. It’s exhausting and heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time. Take a few minutes to read some of the posts here that further describe where we’ve been and what we’ve been doing. Every one of them is elegantly written and deeply touching. This is one amazing JWW team…
It is 8AM as we enter the men’s prison in Goma, a massive concrete
structure towering over the stone and cardboard huts that make up the
city. The stench is overpowering as we cross the threshold. We are
ushered into the courtyard and led to a row of seats in the middle of
1200 prisoners. The scene is virtually indescribable. We are surrounded
by men, many of whom perpetrate the sexual violence about which we have heard so much.
During a discussion when we first met, my beloved girlfriend referred to me as “cross-armed kangaroo”, her way of describing a habit I’ve harbored of closing myself off to certain ideas and potential truths.
Each time I arrive in Africa, I’m forced to wrestle with the fact that humanity here feels different from what I know of it. The kinks of being, at first seem more apparent here.
Here I am again sitting on beautiful Lake Kivu staring out at the water. It is our last day in Goma and tomorrow morning we take a fast boat to Bukavu. It rained hard last night, roads are flooded, but all seems still and peaceful now, at least from where I sit. Not the case all around me. Trying to make sense of it all. The surrounding pain, suffering and loss exists on a scale that is hard to comprehend. Years of war, neglect, sexual violence, corruption, even destruction by volcano…when does it stop?
CAMME - Training and Refuge for forgotten children