Wednesday, July 28, 2010

“Washa Tala”: Shining light on the crisis in Congo.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is clearly a country in crisis. Despite being rich in natural resources such as metals and diamonds, with years of war and continued instability, it is rife with violence and suffering. On July 28, 2010, Villanova nurses and the rest of the University community were privileged to hear from two extraordinary women associated with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in the DRC who were shining light on the current critical situation in their country. (“Washa Tala” means “Light the lamp” in the Kiswahili language of the DRC).

Mathilde Muhindo Mwamini (left) has dedicated her life to empowering women to overcome discrimination, sexual exploitation, poverty and conflict in this central African country called the “rape capitol of the world.” Olun Kamitatu (2nd from right) works with Church partners to promote policies by governments and mining companies to insure that resource wealth benefits the poor and is not used to fuel conflict. Their talk was sponsored by the University partnership with Catholic Relief Services and The Center for Global and Public Health in the College of Nursing. Joining the women from the DRC were the Center’s director Kim Connolly, MPH, BSN, RN who is also a clinical assistant professor; Suzanne Toton, EdD, associate professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Maureen McCullough, the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic regional director of CRS.

For more information on Catholic Relief Services, visit

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