Bienfait. Patrick. Odette. I am Bienfait. I am fourteen years old. This is my brother Patrick who is 12 and my sister Odette who is 11. This is where I live with my Mum, Dad and other brothers and sisters.
I am Bienfait. I am fourteen years old.This is my brother Patrick who is 12 and my sister Odettewho is 11.
I live in a village called Lushebere in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The DRC as it is commonly known – is in central Africa and it is a massive country.
Democratic Republic of Congo
The same number of people live in the DRC as in the UK.
60.1 million people
The country is rich in natural resources such as gold and diamonds. But these resources have become a curse rather than a blessing for the people of the DRC.
For many years there has been conflict in the DRC with groups fighting for control over resources
Conflict between the many different ethnic groups underpins the violence
Millions of men, women and children were killed or injured as warfare spread. Bienfait, Patrick, Odette and their family fled to escape the fighting.
The war caused damage to homes, property, and livestock causing many people to flee. People no longer had the means to support themselves and many went hungry.
The war ended in 2003. The peace has been fragile but slowly people returned to their homes.Many are living, working or studying alongside those who took part in the violence and looting.
Caritas Goma, funded by CAFOD has helped people live and work together in peace. Ten farmer associations share146 cows and a dairy.
Andre, here is one of the people responsiblefor milking.
This is my mum Jacqueline who works in the dairy. She shakes the gourd back and forth by hand for three hours to turn the milk into butter.
The butter and cheese made in the dairy is sold in the nearby town of Goma. My mum is paid £8.50 a month for her work here.
This money pays for me and my brothers and sisters to go to school. The school was also built by the Caritas Goma project
I enjoy school. Children from different ethnic groups all study together.
This helps everyone live in peace.
We would like to say a massive thank youto all CAFOD supporters but please do not forget us …
There is peace, at present, in Lushebere, but it is fragile, just 30 miles away people are still fighting each other.
CAFOD needs your support to help these people find alasting peace.
Why not try out some of our fundraising ideas this Fast Day?