On Friday the 21st of October, The Mary Robinson Centre, in conjunction with Mayo Intercultural Action (MIA), hosted a celebration of Congolese culture at Ballyhaunis Direct Provision Centre with music, dancing and terrific Congolese food. Our International Visiting Scholar, humanitaritan practitioner Salomé Ntububa, from the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), spoke about about women rebuilding their communities in the DRC. Salomé had given several talks in academic, school and community settings in the West of Ireland earlier in the week, but we felt it was important to connect her inspiring story of hope with the local community most affected by the war in Congo.
We are very grateful for the assistance of Kany Kanyeba Kazadi, MIA board member and passionate spokesperson for asylum-seekers and refugees. Kany is a former resident of Ballyhaunis, fluent in four languages and a terrific community activist. She helped at all stages of the event, from planning and internal promotion to translation and making sure everything went off without a hitch on the day itself. We are also grateful for the manager and staff of Ballyhaunis for supporting our work and for the inspiring women who joined us to celebrate - without all of their support this event would not have been possible.
Kany Kazadi, in her own words...
The news about the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo is rarely in Irish media headlines. So far but so close, Mary Robinson Centre created a great opportunity for the West of Ireland to learn about the crisis in Congo, particularly about violence and injustice suffered by women in the Eastern part of Congo.