[Anglican Communion News Service] A new Anglican center in the Democratic Republic of Congo is encouraging the use of nonviolent means for reconciliation and lasting peace in a country plagued by years of war and conflict.
The Centre of Non Violence for Reconciliation and Peace (CNVRP) in the eastern part of DRC is located at the Anglican University of Congo campus in the town of Bunia.
The founder of the center, the Rev. Kahwa Njojo ,told ACNS: “The wars that we have had in the past grew worse because of the desire for revenge. That desire of vengeance negatively affects all sectors of the human life, society and even the church.
“The presence of the Centre of Non Violence for Reconciliation and Peace proves to be indispensable in helping people promote peace instead of vengeance that brings other forms of violence,” he said. “Therefore, it is vital that Congolese people be trained in nonviolence to reduce violence in the world.”
The center was established in 2012 to explore different methods and strategies that Jesus used to respond “effectively to different types of violence thereby restoring the culture of nonviolence and peace in our societies.”
The center also realizes that in times of war and conflict, it is the women and children who suffer the most. Therefore, it also promotes women through education because “most of them are victims of violence due to their uneducated status.”
“Women need to be trained so as to be well represented at all levels of society,” said Njojo. “We have registered many cases of violence and most of them are women and children who are unable to take care of themselves because of cultural stereotypes.”
Since its establishment the center has been able to organize seminars and workshops to help people deal with violence and has also developed university level courses on peace and nonviolence to help students understand violence and how to address it using nonviolence in their respective regions.
Despite the various positive works that the center is involved in, it still has major financial constraints to effectively implement its programs. “The problem with trying to build capacity of victims of violence is that you not only have to train them, but in the case of women, equip them with machines to enable them do profit-making activities such as tailoring and embroidery.
“It for this reason that we are looking for partners to help us carry out these activities,” he said. “A project proposal is ready for anyone who are willing to make contributions.”