Invisible Conflicts offers local ways to inform public about Congo bloodshed

This is a response to Tolu Taiwo’s article on rape in the Congo, published Oct. 18. While she encourages an active response from the local community, the organizations she directs her readers to are globally based (and without a nearby chapter). Only the very dedicated would look beyond the regional scope to protest a humanitarian crisis. However, all is not lost!

I’m part of an organization called Invisible Conflicts. Our goal is to educate people on “invisible” (lacking attention in the media) hostilities that occur throughout the world. We encourage the use of “awareness” as a tool best used to combat illegal and immoral bloodshed of civilians. You can only cure a disease after intensive research into the victim’s symptoms.

This week is Congo Week, and while we already held a few discussions on the Congo, it’s not too late for Ms. Taiwo or the wider community to join in on the conversation. This Wednesday at 7 p.m., Professor Eyamba Bokamba and members of the Congolese Community will be at the University YMCA to talk about the issue. Here, you can interact with people whose lives were interrupted by the worst humanities crisis since World War II.

On Thursday 7:30 p.m. (also at the YMCA), we have a film screening of a documentary, “The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo,” after a Global Lens event. Finally, we end our week in celebration; Invisible Conflicts will host a free performance by the renowned Congolese Choir at 7 p.m. at the YMCA. We hope that this week will generate interest in the Congo and construct a better understanding about a terrible situation in Africa.

_Paul Dolmon, Invisible Conflicts, UIUC_