This Saturday, on Congo’s 52nd Day of Independence, we are brothers and sisters.
Right now Sean, David and Mario are standing with our partners in Congo to celebrate. They’ve been sharing their journals on the road to the weekend’s festivities and working with local leaders to find solutions .
As they honor this day in Congo, our team in Los Angeles will join the Congolese Community of Southern California in a celebration of solidarity.
On the day of independence, from Culver City to Kivu, let us work toward a Congo free and at peace.
Share our stories, join in celebration, be a whistleblower for peace.
Congo’s First Independence Day
Take a look at a map of Africa. Check the size of DR Congo. It’s massive. The epicenter of the continent, Congo contains unmatched resources of the highest quality—diamonds, gold, copper, coltan, rubber etc, etc, etc. And yet the country starves, plagued by more than a century of tyrants whose hands have laid claim to its wealth.
King Leopold, the figurehead Belgian king, took over Congo in 1885. The Belgian government eventually colonized the country, but he left in his wake over 10 million people. Dead.
The Belgian elite built a retreat for themselves that could only be described as paradise. Beautiful lakefront villas, paved roads, new railroads and a free workforce. Sitting here in Congo, it is easy to see the country’s potential to rival the tropical destinations of the Caribbean. But you must look quite hard. Because currently there is little more than destruction.
There is a strength to the people here that causes me to pause—they have known death, but they seem to know life in ways I can’t begin to understand.
In 1960, the Congolese won their freedom. Among their leaders was a man made martyr—Patrice Lumumba. His assassination is fraught with intrigue and international scandal, but his words and ideals still stand.
I wonder how different they sound from our own?