home | FAQ |

It's dangerous to do good. But do good anyway.

Case in point: Read about Dr. Mukwege of Congo, here:
http://congopeace.org/?p=335

In Dr. Mukwege's own words:

For the past 16 years at the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo, my staff and I have been treating women who have been victimized by sexual violence, which has been systematically used as a weapon of war in the armed conflict that has ravaged our country. Rape is one of the most deadly weapons of war, destroying families and communities and future generations, as well as the women brutally targeted. Last year I had some hope that the situation was improving, but since the beginning of this year the security situation has again deteriorated and victims of sexual violence have started coming to the hospital again in greater numbers.

In our hospital near Bukavu, we have been helping women not only with medical treatment but also with psychological counseling, legal representation and financial support. We work to address all the consequences of the sexual violence they have suffered, but none of the causes of this violence which bring the women back to the hospital again and again. So now I am trying to use my voice, domestically and internationally, to address the causes of this violence and to call for peace and justice. I have attended many conferences in Europe and the United States on sexual violence in armed conflict and specifically on the situation in Eastern Congo.

A few weeks ago, I was attacked and almost killed in my home, which is in one of the most guarded and secure areas of Bukavu. I had gone to accompany a patient who had come to see me for medical advice, and when I returned I was met by heavily armed men who forced me out of my car. They had been in my house and forced my children onto the sofa at gunpoint, which is how I saw them when I arrived. I found myself with a gun to my head, and just as the gun was loaded and ready to shoot, a member of my staff heroically intervened to save me. He shouted and came running to jump on this armed intruder, who turned and shot him. He fell down, I fell down, and I can’t really remember what happened after that. I realized he was shot, and I saw him give his life for me. The attackers then got in the car and left.

Neither I nor anyone in my family have been questioned about this incident in an effort to find out who is responsible. The lack of investigation is symptomatic of the indifference that prevails in my country. After this attack many people have demanded the assurance of my security – this has been very helpful to me, but my security is not the real issue. It is not enough to assure my security, if even that can be done, when women are being violated with impunity on a daily basis.


When any of us are tempted to complain about small inconveniences in doing good, let's remember Dr. Mukwege ... and the women of Eastern Congo.