Conférence Épiscopale Nationale du Congo – Commission Justice et Paix (CEJP-CENCO)
The CEJP-CENCO is the justice and peace commission of the Conference of Bishops in the Congo. It is working diligently to bring peace to the restive province of South Kivu, an isolated area of the country that has been the scene of several outbreaks of violence between various groups.
The CEJP-CENCO has launched a program in the region that aims to promote peace and reconciliation, the rights of women and re-launch economic activities that will generate a sustainable income for villagers. The program includes activities such as literacy workshops, micro-credit programs, agricultural training and the rehabilitation of roads to improve movement.
The program is particularly geared towards women and youth, as they have suffered enormously as a consequence of the ongoing conflict. Many of the youth had been recruited into combat and are not trying to leave their violent past behind. The CEJP-CENCO has not given up on these youth. "We believe that young people are now the builders of our society. The future of the Congo is being created; an entire nation is being created," explains Sister Marie Bernard Alima, Executive Secretary of the CEJP-CENCO.
Listen to Sister Marie Bernard explains some of the positive effects of the CEJP-CENCO’s program:
Radio communautaire Katanga (RCK)
Access to information is not easy for rural communities in the Congo. Few villagers have electricity, let alone internet access. A daily newspaper costs approximately $1, which is the equivalent to the average daily salary of most Congolese.
On the other hand, a working radio receiver with batteries costs approximately $15 and may be used by several people at once. Community radios are therefore the most economical source of information available.
Therefore community radio stations, such as RCK, play a significant role in spreading vital news. Where they are broadcast, small listener clubs have spontaneously sprung up, bringing about thought and discussion on topics such as new agricultural practices or questionable traditional practices.
Community radios often act as legal counselors by informing civilians of their rights, which allows them to be better prepared to recognize and fight injustices.