With love, from Australia to Congo

Interesting article but one mistake: DRC was named Zaïre years after Independence from Belgium. On October 29, 1971 to be exact.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, also referred as DRC or Congo-Kinshasa, was also named Zaire during the Belgian colonisation era. The word ‘zaire’ is an adaptation of the Kongo word of  ‘nzere’ or ‘nzadi’, meaning ‘the river that swallows all rivers’. The DRC is the second largest African nation in central Africa and home to more than 250 ethnic groups. The country is the most biodiverse African country with five of its national parks listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is the territory of many rare and endemic animal species such as bonobos, African forest elephants, silverback gorillas, okapis and white rhinos.

The DRC is replete with foreign and traditional customs and this great diversity has made Jessica, a young Congolese in Melbourne, very proud of her country. Having been in Australia for 7 years, Jessica still fondly remembers her country of origin.

Jessica in her Congolese outfit ©2014 Jessica in her Congolese outfit

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Not all messages about rape were welcome at Hague and Jolie’s sexual violence summit

Congolese Action Youth Platform

Jolie and Hague at war rapes summit

An important shift has taken place in our awareness of sexual violence. The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, co-chaired by foreign secretary William Hague and Angelina Jolie, the UN’s special envoy for refugees, is the biggest, highest-profile global meeting ever convened on this topic.

But the event has been marred by the silencing of Congolese sexual violence survivors, who found themselves locked out of a public forum. The security for the event was handled by G4S – on behalf of the Foreign Office.

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