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Training workshop in human rights Nyangezi

26/04/2013: Dem. Rep. of the Congo

From 27 to 30 March 2013, Br Charles Nzabanita, Director of the Marist School of Nyangezi, took advantage of the break to organise a training workshop in human rights for our lay collaborators and other teachers of the Nyangezi region. Sixteen schools sent representatives. There were altogether 105 persons, 77 men and 28 women. As facilitators Brother Charles invited Mr Adolphe Kilomba, former pupil of our school in Kindu, now a lawyer and teaching in the Catholic University of Bukavu, and Br Malisaba Straton, resource person in human rights for the PACE.

Mr Adolphe spoke about the rights of women as they are spelled out in the international  conventions and their integration into the law of the land. He stressed in particular the law on parity which is supposed to eliminate all the discriminations suffered by women in the D. R. of the Congo. Aware of the difficulties people encounter from those responsible for public order, he then enlarged on the law against torture.

Brother Malisaba focussed on the rights of the child as understood by the convention on children’s rights and its application in our apostolate as educators.

The discussions were stormy, a sign of the thirst for knowledge of the teachers who, for the most part, had never had training in this area.

The participants were able to take account of the cultural attitudes of their milieu which respect neither woman nor child.  After four days of presentations and intense discussions, the teachers left to celebrate Easter with the firm intention of initiating a change of attitudes in their villages with regard to the rights of women and children. They promised to give their own children and the children in their charge the human dignity to which they were entitled.

During the wide-ranging evaluation, the organizer and facilitators observed that, in order to be able to bring about a change of mentality, it was necessary for the youth, and especially the young girls to be able to have information about their rights. A session is planned for them in the near future.

We note that the formation was possible thanks to financing from the Italian Episcopal Conference obtained through FMSI in collaboration with Amici Dei Popoli, who studied and presented the project. Our sincere thanks to the CEI and the intermediaries.

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Brother Malisaba Straton

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