VOICES FROM THE FIELDTHE IRC BLOG
Congo - "Nothing Could Have Prepared Me"
December 11, 2007 by The IRC
|Photos: Chris Earl/IRC-UK|
|George Khayat (right) is one of three teenage family members who recently joined a group of IRC-UK board members and supporters on a visit to IRC programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He blogged his impressions of the trip: There is no doubt that my recent trip with the IRC to the DRC left a resounding note. Nothing could have prepared me for the sights I saw. Even the blessed Discovery Channel could not compare to the real thing. The country is an amazing place. On entering it you are overwhelmed by a myriad of sights and sounds. It all feels so different to back home… I cannot deny that I had expected to see poverty to the extent that I witnessed but what was astonishing was the determination of the people living there. It seemed that they had not given up hope just yet. The IRC allowed for that fire to burn, no matter how small and it was its existence that truly mattered. I now know that never again will I complain about not getting what I want (I hope). I doubt I could ever muster the courage to do what some of the IRC employees do out there. They dedicate years of their lives to other people. They truly are a tough act to follow. Being the only teenage male on the trip I had to show my strength and ability to take anything and everything in without showing emotion. I failed dismally especially when it came to the Gender Based Violence Clinic visit. Our clan was calmly led by IRC Sarah who specialised in this field. I knew what rape was but had never in my life encountered a victim of it. The age range of three to ninety years old could have been all I needed to hear that day to give the scarring impression I still have now. Although I did listen as hard as my little mind permitted on the trip I found it hard to come to conclusions as to what needed to be done. There is no doubt that to start a true government needs to be put in place and although the rebel factions have interesting names… the DRC could definitely do without them.|
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