Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Visits Troubled Democratic Republic of Congo

 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with NGOs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Secretary Clinton's African tour aims to show Africans that the United States cares about its people. Her visit with innocent victims of Congo's conflict reflects her deep concern for the well-being of women and children around the world.
August 12, 2009: On the fourth stop of her seven-nation African tour, on Monday, August 10th, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton landed in Congo, a country in central Africa that was once known as Zaire. Longstanding, brutal warfare involving a complex mix of government, rebels, and neighboring country armies has had a dire effect on the nation's civilians. Millions of people have died in the last decade alone—from violence, famine, and disease.

 

Secretary Clinton has stated that illegal mining of the country's rich mineral resources is partly responsible for the horrific violence afflicting Congo. She is pressing Congo leaders and the United Nations to end the conflict by stemming the mineral trade. Militias in Congo, whose capital is Kinshasa, have been fighting for years over the nation's rich diamond, gold, copper, and tin mines.

Troops on all sides routinely kidnap and sexually abuse local women and children.  Mrs. Clinton met rape victims at a refugee center in Goma, a city in the heart of the conflict. In talks with President Joseph Kabila she focused on how to end the nation's human rights atrocities.

SOS Children's Villages Provides Refuge to Congolese Children

 

A mother holds a young boy at an SOS Children's Village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
A mother holds a young boy at an SOS Children's Village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 
Secretary Clinton's African tour aims to show Africans that the United States cares about its people. Her visit with innocent victims of Congo's conflict reflects her deep concern for the well-being of women and children around the world.

 

SOS Children's Village also cares. The charity provides warm, stable homes and communities for orphaned and abandoned children in 132 countries. SOS opened its first Children's Village in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1989. In the conflict-prone eastern part of the country, SOS now operates two Children's Villages, two SOS youth facilities, two kindergartens, two schools, and two medical centers. Working with other NGOs, in 2004 SOS began offering medicine, school fees, and advice on how to start small businesses to local families affected by HIV/AIDS.

Keeping Hope Alive

Orphaned children in the Congo have few roads to hope; SOS Children's Villages operates under dangerous, trying conditions to ensure one route to safety, education, and good health remains open. If you would like to see a Congolese boy or girl find a secure home and a chance to lead a productive life, please consider sponsoring an SOS child.