Some 5.4 million people have died in various conflicts in the eastern portion of the Democratic Republic of Congo over the past 15 years, and the region also can claim the dubious distinction of the rape capital of the world.
It’s a tragic situation young Squamish-based humanitarian Ian MacKay wants to help change. On Friday (June 1) at 7 p.m. at the Eagle Eye Theatre, he plans to offer a presentation titled “What about Congo?” detailing how ordinary Canadians are unwittingly contributing to the suffering, what he’s aiming to do to help make a difference in some Congolese people’s lives and how local residents can aid that cause.
During a visit to the region last year, MacKay met the leader of the Congolese rebel group, the Federal Republican Forces (FRF) that’s involved in the struggle to end the violence and bring about a more just society. He also met members of a group called Action Kivu, which is working to help women gain economic independence and to help children get an education.
MacKay hopes to return this August to help Action Kivu establish a school that will provide counselling and support to rape victims, child soldiers, war orphans, and the children of rape so that they can begin to lead more productive lives.
He’s also organizing a crew with the aim of filming a documentary in 2013 about the struggles in eastern Congo.
“Once the documentary is made, hopefully all funds from that will go toward the school,” MacKay said.
Entry to Friday’s event is by donation. To reserve seats, email firstname.lastname@example.org