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LEADERSHIP AND EMPOWERNMENT

Toutefois, l'Action pour l'Education environnementale au Kivu, genre et Développement Durable au Kivu a constitué pour nous une réponse à une situation où on voulait taire notre voix face à de multiples destructions et dégradations de notre environnement. Etant donnée que nous tenions toujours à promouvoir notre leadership dans la protection et conservation des ressources naturelles, il était impérieux que je puisse rédynamiser cette structure. A travers diverses émissions de sensibilisation, d'éducation et de conscientisation du public, nous arrivons à interpellet tout le monde, les dirigeant et les administrés . Ce défi est levé, grâce à la bonne volonté de la direction de la Radio Maria, Est-CONGO qui n'a pas hésité de nous accorder 2 espaces par semaine. Cela nous permet de produire une émission en langue locale et 1 une autre en français.
Parmi les réalisations; nous avons observé que la population commence peu à peu à s'intéresser aux problèmes environnementaux. Cet aspect prouve à suffisance que certains changements positifs pourront être enrégistrés au fur et à mesure que nous continuerons à lancer divers message.
Pour ce qui concerne l'aspect "genre" dans le développement durable, nous sommes entrain d'observer des avancées significatives; et ce dans la mesure où les femmes ne s'intéressaient presque pas aux problématiques environnementales, mais avec nos émissions produites à des radios locales, nous suscitons l'intérêt de tous les partenaires sociaux à s'impliquer dans cette problématique. C'est alors que certaines femmes exécutent des activité de reboisement, en mettant en place des pépinières, certaines font le balayage et nettoyage des trottoirs, d'autres font le curage des caniveaux, etc,,, alors que depuis longtemps les femmes pensaient que ces travaux ne peuvent être effectués uniquement par les hommes.
Poursuivant les réalisations, notre structure réalise des conférences-débâts, des atéliers, des séminaires en faveur de la jeunesse éstudiantine, notamment, des réunions avec les communautés à la base dans les quartiers, communautés écclésiales à la base,dans les rassemblement avec les femmes, les hommes etc,,,
-Notre structure a participé activement à l'élaboration du plan Directeur environnemental au sein de notre Province,
-Par ailleurs, diverses descentes sur terrain sont réalisés par nos membres en vue de constater de nombreux abus; des dégâts causés par les catastophes Naturelles; en vue de donner des conseils à la population pour la prévention.
DIFFICULTES :
-Absence d'un budget pouvant nous permettre d'exécuter certains projets importants, notamment le reboisement et réforestation de certains sites dégradés en vue de corriger et de reduire les impacts de la déforestation;
-absence des moyens pour notre mobilité dans toutes les provinces constituant notre rayon d'action,
-Insuffisance de la documentation en matière de l'Environnement, d'où nous souhaiterions mettre en place un projet d'une bibliothèque environnementale;
-manque du'un budget pour mener des interventions pendant les catastrophes naturelles, surtout lorsque l'on sait que l'Est de la DRC fait partie de la Région du Rift albertin, confrontée à la problématique des mouvements séismiques.

NB : La liste n'est pas exhaustive.

Hormis les activités liées à la sensibilisation, je réalise des activités de consultance dans le domaine de l'Environnement.
Cfr 2006, Consultante chargée du volet sensibilisation dans le projet de la conservation de la forêt d'Itombwe, actuellement érigé en Aire protégé.
2011 Consultance auprès de l'hôpital général de Panzi, en vue de la recherche d'un permis d'exploitation pour le traitement des déchets bio-médicaux

En dehors de ces activités, j'avais presté comme membre de la commission d'Audit au sein de l'Association de femmes cadres pour l'épanouissement intégral de la Femme "AFECEF" en sigle
J'ai par ailleurs participé comme membre fondatrice de l'organisation "Conseil de femmes agissant en synérgie " "COFAS" en sigle, cette structure est membre de COCAFEM au sein de la région de grands lacs.

Dans le cadre spirituelle, j'avais exercé pendant 4 ans l'encadrement de petits enfants dans la messe de Dimanche, pendant 2 ans comme garde-paix ; dans la Paroisse Mater Dei à Muhungu/Bukavu.
Dans ma communauté écclésiale de Vamaro, j'étais chargée de la commission de femmes en 2005-2006
Au sein de ma famille, je continue à exercer un double rôle de chef de famille, il y a de cela 22 ans.

Conclusion : Ces renseignement démontrent mes capacités d'exercer le leadership. A chaque niveau de ma vie courante, je ne suis jamais restée passive. Cette exercice du leadership nous aide beaucoup à défendre les droits de nos compatriotes femmes, le plus souvent lésées et marginalisées, En dépit de divers risques, nous essayons de léver nos voix face aux injustices, aux destructions, aux pillages de nos ressources lesquelles devraient profiter aux générations futures si elles sont gérées d'une manière éfficiente et rationnelle.

English translation by PulseWire member bmbu

Action for Environmental Education in Kivu, Gender and Sustainable Development in Kivu constitutes for us a response to the situation where we can raise our voices in the face of the multiple destructions and degradations in our environment. Given that we always have to keep proving our leadership in the protection and conservation of natural resources, it is important that I can revitalize this organization.

Among different awareness campaigns, education and public awareness raising, we have arrived at questioning everyone, the leaders and those who administer the programs. This challenge has been raised thanks to the goodwill and under the direction of Radio Maria Est CONGO who hasn't hesitated in giving us airtime twice a week. This allows us to produce a program in the local language and another in French.

Among our discoveries, we have observed that the population is beginning little by little to get interested in problems of the environment. This fact proves sufficiently that certain positive changes could be recorded as long as we continue to put forward diverse messages.

Concerning aspects of gender in sustainable development, we are observing significant advances; and this in spite of the fact that women aren't really interested in environmental problems, but with our programs produced on local radio we have raised the interest of all the social partners implicated in this issue. It is thus certain women who carry out reforestation activities, plant nurseries, some sweep and clean the sidewalks and others clean out the gutters etc. Even though for the longest time women thought this work could only be done by men.

Following these discoveries, our organization created conference-debates, workshops and seminars focused on young students, notably, meetings with the grassroots community in the neighbourhoods, the grassroots religious communities, bringing together women and men etc...
- Our organization participated actively in the elaboration of an environmental development plan in the heart of our province
- In addition, a range of field visits were made by our members to observe numerous problems; the damage caused by natural catastrophes; in order to give advice to the population for prevention.

Difficulties:

- the absence of a budget which would allows use to execute certain important projects, notably tree-planting and reforestation at certain degraded sites to correct and reduce the impacts of deforestation;
- the absence of a means for getting around to all the provinces within our scope of action.
- insufficient research on the subject of the environment, which we hope to collect through an environmental library project.
- the lack of a budget for leading interventions during natural catastrophes, especially when one knows that the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a part of the Albertine Rift region which is confronted with the issue of seismic movements.

NB: This list is not exhaustive

Apart from activities connected to raising awareness, I have conducted consultant activities in the area of the environment. In 2006 I was a consultant charged with targeted awareness-raising for the conservation project in the forest of Itombwe, which is actually a protected area. In 2011 I was a consultant close to the general hospital of Panzi in order to do research on the [the hospital's] permit for the treatment of bio-medical waste.

Outside of these activities, I have worked as a member of the Audit Commission at the core of the Association of Women Leaders for the Integral Development of Women (AFECEF). I have additionally participated as a founding member of the organization Council of Women Acting Together (COFAS), this organization is a member of COCAFEM in the center of the Great Lakes region.

In the spiritual arena, I have worked for the last 4 years in the supervision of little children during Sunday Mass, for two years as a guard of the peace [ an altar server and church helper during mass] in the Mater Dei Parish in Muhungu/Bukavu. In my religious community of Vamaro, I was in charge of the Women's Commission from 2005-2006.

In my family I continue to perform the role of head of family, which I have had for the last 22 years.

Conclusion
This information shows my capacity to exercise leadership. At each level of my active life, I have never stayed passive. This exercise of leadership helps us a lot to be able to defend the rights of our compatriot women, [who are] most often prejudiced and marginalized. In spite of the many risks, we try to raise our voices in the face of injustice, destruction, and the pillaging of our resources which could profit future generations if they were managed in an efficient and rational manner.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Ending Violence Against Women Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring an end to gender-based violence. The EVAW Campaign elicits powerful content from women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as vocal grassroots leaders, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
Learn more »

Comments

bmbu's picture

Chère Madeleine, Merci

Chère Madeleine,

Merci beaucoup pour ayant partagé vos experiences et les activités qui existent autour de la conservation au Kivu. J'habite aux États-Unis et nous entendons que d'histoires négatives sur Kivu. Il est vraiment intéressant d'entendre dans quelle manière vous avez mobilisé pour protéger l'environnment et comment vous continuez malgré les difficultés.

Bon courage! J'attends votre prochain poste!

Beverley

MADELEINE BWENGE's picture

MERCI

Merci beaucoup pour votre réaction. Le Kivu constitue la partie de notre pays la plus secouée par les milices armées et ce depuis l'entrée des réfugiés provenant des pays voisins. Cependant, le Kivu est la partie du Pays contenant la grande potentialité en ressources naturelles renouvelables et non renouvelables.
C'est ainsi que nous nous efforçons de sensibiliser la population à gérer rationnellement les dites ressources en faveur des générations futures. Toutefois, nos actions se heurtent à maintes difficultés suite au manque d'appuis à de micro-projets lesquels s'ils sont financés, permettraient la population à ne pas s'attaquer auxdites ressources.

bmbu's picture

Translation

Action for Environmental Education in Kivu, Gender and Sustainable Development in Kivu constitutes for us a response to the situation where we can raise our voices in the face of the multiple destructions and degradations in our environment. Given that we always have to keep proving our leadership in the protection and conservation of natural resources, it is important that I can revitalize this organization.

Among different awareness campaigns, education and public awareness raising, we have arrived at questioning everyone, the leaders and those who administer the programs. This challenge has been raised thanks to the goodwill and under the direction of Radio Maria Est CONGO who hasn't hesitated in giving us airtime twice a week. This allows us to produce a program in the local language and another in French.

Among our discoveries, we have observed that the population is beginning little by little to get interested in problems of the environment. This fact proves sufficiently that certain positive changes could be recorded as long as we continue to put forward diverse messages.

Concerning aspects of gender in sustainable development, we are observing significant advances; and this in spite of the fact that women aren't really interested in environmental problems, but with our programs produced on local radio we have raised the interest of all the social partners implicated in this issue. It is thus certain women who carry out reforestation activities, plant nurseries, some sweep and clean the sidewalks and others clean out the gutters etc. Even though for the longest time women thought this work could only be done by men.

Following these discoveries, our organization created conference-debates, workshops and seminars focused on young students, notably, meetings with the grassroots community in the neighbourhoods, the grassroots religious communities, bringing together women and men etc...
- Our organization participated actively in the elaboration of an environmental development plan in the heart of our province
- In addition, a range of field visits were made by our members to observe numerous problems; the damage caused by natural catastrophes; in order to give advice to the population for prevention.

Difficulties:

- the absence of a budget which would allows use to execute certain important projects, notably tree-planting and reforestation at certain degraded sites to correct and reduce the impacts of deforestation;
- the absence of a means for getting around to all the provinces within our scope of action.
- insufficient research on the subject of the environment, which we hope to collect through an environmental library project.
- the lack of a budget for leading interventions during natural catastrophes, especially when one knows that the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a part of the Albertine Rift region which is confronted with the issue of seismic movements.

NB: This list is not exhaustive

Apart from activities connected to raising awareness, I have conducted consultant activities in the area of the environment. In 2006 I was a consultant charged with targeted awareness-raising for the conservation project in the forest of Itombwe, which is actually a protected area. In 2011 I was a consultant close to the general hospital of Panzi in order to do research on the [the hospital's] permit for the treatment of bio-medical waste.

Outside of these activities, I have worked as a member of the Audit Commission at the core of the Association of Women Leaders for the Integral Development of Women (AFECEF). I have additionally participated as a founding member of the organization Council of Women Acting Together (COFAS), this organization is a member of COCAFEM in the center of the Great Lakes region.

In the spiritual arena, I have worked for the last 4 years in the supervision of little children during Sunday Mass, for two years as a guard of the peace [ an altar server and church helper during mass] in the Mater Dei Parish in Muhungu/Bukavu. In my religious community of Vamaro, I was in charge of the Women's Commission from 2005-2006.

In my family I continue to perform the role of head of family, which I have had for the last 22 years.

Conclusion
This information shows my capacity to exercise leadership. At each level of my active life, I have never stayed passive. This exercise of leadership helps us a lot to be able to defend the rights of our compatriot women, [who are] most often prejudiced and marginalized. In spite of the many risks, we try to raise our voices in the face of injustice, destruction, and the pillaging of our resources which could profit future generations if they were managed in an efficient and rational manner.

Dear Madeleine,

You are indeed a leader and terrifically pro-active. Yours is the first story of defense of our precious environment that I've read thus far during the EVAW Campaign, and I am so glad to read your testimony.

I have learned a great deal from reading this piece, and am impressed by your determination and your view of the big picture, that is, guarding the peace not only in your church but of natural resources which will be sorely needed by future generations. AMEN! Those who disrespect women often also disrespect Mother Earth, and both are crucial to survival of our world.

Madeleine, we are fortunate to have you, and others like you, working so very long and hard in the name of all that is good and just. Please, keep speaking out!

With Respect and Gratitude,
Sarah

Merci ma chère Sarah pour vos impressions par rapport à mes publications et surtout pour le combat que je realise pour protéger notre environnement mais surtout les impacts de l'exploitation illicite de nos ressources naturelles sur la situation des femmes dans la partie Est de notre pays .
A mon avis, j'essaie d'apporter ma petite contribution pour que les violences que subissent les femmes se trouvant à l'Est de mon pays soient connues et éradiquées. Si les décideurs pouvaient se pencher à nos cri d'alarme, nous aurions à travers nos actions et grâce à World Pulse, nous trouverions des solutions satisfaisantes qui soulageraient la détresse des femmes victimes.

kmwelch's picture

Dear Madeleine, Your courage

Dear Madeleine,

Your courage and strength in the face of environmental degradation is inspiring! Just like Sarah, I too learned a lot from reading your testimony.

You did a wonderful job of showing how women, such as yourself, are very active in solving environmental issues in the region, and I would love to hear more about how these destructions come about and how you see the connection between them and the lives of women in DRC.

Thank for your dedication and for sharing this with all of us.

Much love,
Katie

MADELEINE BWENGE's picture

Dear Madeleine, Your courage.

Merci Sarah. Notre témoignage vous a permis d'en savoir quelque chose sur nos réalisations. Nous essayons de sensibiliser la population à protéger l'Environnement, mais cependant, nous souhaiterions faire plus d'activités si les moyens nous les permettraient.
Les destructions sont multiples, notamment, la déforestations avec toutes ces conséquences telles que les changements climatiques. La destruction de la faune, la pollution des rivières, lacs, fleuves etc... par le rejet des déchets et immondices, avec comme conséquences la consommation de l'eau polluée qui entraîne les maladies hydriques...
L'exploitation illégales des matières minérales et leurs impacts sur les vies des femmes. Les zones concernées sont celles où se pérénisent les conflits armées, principales causes des viols à grande échelle.

flora1's picture

Madeleine, I don't know if

Madeleine,

I don't know if this will be of help but one of your statements ("the absence of a means for getting around to all the provinces within our scope of action.") stood out and I did a little research.

I found a site and this was the first paragraph I read:
Global Japanese auto traders supply tax free brand new 4x4 import cars to international construction companies, oil companies, vehicle traders, support organizations, and diplomatic missions in Congo. Extremely competitive prices and unrivalled services of global traders creates advantages to import Japanese cars to Congo.
(http://www.japanese-import-cars.com/import-regions/japanese-cars-africa/...)

I wonder if they heard your story, if they might find a way to get you a vehicle, used or perhaps to share with another "support organization". It might not do any harm to send them a letter with your mission.

Your writing and level of organization is impressive. I wish you well and look forward to hearing more from you.

Best wishes!

~flora

MADELEINE BWENGE's picture

Thank You FLORA

Merci beaucoup Flora. Je veux visiter le site en question pour voir comment nous ça va se passer. Avec ma très profonde gratitude.

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