In the eastern Congo, violence against communities by armed groups has become all too common. Over 5 million people have been killed, and millions more have become victims of forced labor, torture, recruitment of child soldiers, extortion, and displacement. Too often the trauma left in the wake of these atrocities is overlooked and underfunded.
A recent feature by BBC, “In pictures: Congo mental health centre,” profiles the Centre Sosame, one of the few mental health clinics in the war-torn eastern region. This facility can accommodate up to 100 patients at a time and is often completely full. Clinic staffers travel into surrounding rural communities to seek the most traumatized people and deliver them to the clinic, funded in part by ECHO, the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office.
While these photos remind us of the resiliency of the human spirit despite the brutality enacted in times of war, they also remind of us the urgency with which the world must put an end to the deadliest conflict since World War II.
Click here for more information on Centre Sosame and the mental health crisis in eastern Congo.
Join Raise Hope for Congo’s “Congo Challenge” and raise awareness about the conflict, raise your voice for change, and raise the public profile of the crisis.
Photo by Daniel Dickinson via BBC