“I have seen the misery of my people… I have heard their cry…” (Ex. 3, 7) “I have come so that they may have life and that they may have it in abundance” (Jn. 10, 10).
The cry of life, the theme of justice and peace are found at the heart of the biblical message. The Church through its social teachings and its institutions unceasingly pleads in favour of the poor and marginalized. The Catholic church of the D.R. of Congo is always committed to promoting Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC). And, the bishops affirm: “For the love of my people I will not stop speaking.”
Faithful to the mission of the Church, prolonging our commitment at the side of the weak, we, members of VIVAT INTERNATIONAL, a Non-Governmental Organization of missionary Congregations, network for the respect of human life and the safekeeping of the environment through lobbying, sharing of information and advocating with the instances where decisions are made, nationally as well as internationally.
Challenged by the diverse situations which dehumanize the human person and harm the environment, gift of God, in the central African and Great Lakes sub-region of Africa, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we note:
- From the social perspective : the enlisting of child soldiers, children in conflict with the law or from broken families, unemployed youth, girl mothers, difficulty in accessing an education and health care, rape and female mutilation, lack of proper care of Indigenous Peoples;
- From the political perspective: corruption, lack of civic education, presence of the LRA, FDLR, Maï Maï, Mbororo, tracasseries, insecurity, impunity, inhuman incarceration, problems of refugees and displaced by war;.
- From the economic and environmental perspective: the plunder of natural resources, pollution, insalubrity …
Conscious of the prophetic dimension of our missionary commitment, we, delegates of the Divine Word Society (SVD), of the Spiritains (CSSp – both the male and female Congregations), the Comboni (both MCCJ and CMS), the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI), the Little Sisters of the Assumption (PSA) and the lay associates, met at a workshop from the 23rd to the 29th of October 2011 at the Spiritual Center “Peace on Earth” of Mbiti at Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, declare that we commit ourselves to:
- Make VIVAT International know;
- work, according to the spirit of VIVAT International, in collaboration with governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and all persons of good will;
- raise the awareness of our respective communities about the harm caused to the environment due to human behaviour;
- Promote the culture of life and peace through dialogue.
We write, in fine, that it is our wish to see the major superiors of our congregations support the birth of VIVAT International-DR-Congo.