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A day of peace in Congo

DR Congo, September 21, 2010

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Elizabeth Sung/Mercy Corps  </span>
    Crowds surging down the path to the football field. Photo: Elizabeth Sung/Mercy Corps
  • 
  <span class="field-credit">
    Elizabeth Sung/Mercy Corps  </span>
    Dancing as a UN Peacekeeper looks on. Photo: Elizabeth Sung/Mercy Corps

Around the world, people took a moment to celebrate the International Day of Peace. The Mercy Corps team in Nyanzale, Democratic Republic of the Congo took time to celebrate the call for ceasefire and non-violence with the communities from displacement camps and Nyanzale town.

With MONUSCO (the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo), local officials and partner international non-governmental organizations, Mercy Corps hosted a celebration consisting of dances from the various cultures represented including Hutus and Tutsis. In the large soccer field, the crowds gathered round to listen to the singing and watch the dancing. One group of youth prepared a skit about conflict and peacemaking in the camp. Another group of teenage boys rapped to some improvised beats.

But the grand finale was the soccer match: Mercy Corps vs. Nyanzale town. Suddenly, the rain started beating down, but that did not deter the players at all!

Currently, Mercy Corps serves 23 internally displacement camps and two host communities in North Kivu providing essential water and sanitation services for more than 50,000 people.