Op zondag 21 maart 2010 deed Joanna
Lumley een oproep in het
BBC radioprogramma 'Radio
4 Appeal' voor 'International
Alert'. 'Radio 4 Appeal' is een radioprogramma op BBC Radio
4 waarin wekelijks een bekend persoon een oproep doet voor een goed
doel. Luisteraars worden uitgenodigd om een cheque te sturen naar een
'Freepost' adres of om live een schenking te doen via de telefoon. Het
programma wordt uitgezonden om 07.55 en 21.26 u. op zondag en in
herhaling op donderdag om 15.27 u.
Cecile had just given birth to her third child when her husband was
killed in front of her by people from her own community. This was
Rwanda 1994 and just days into the genocide which saw 800,000 people
massacred in just a few months. After such violent conflict, how does a
country carry on? How can those who survived, like Cecile, live side by
side with those who killed? It takes guts and determination from those
left behind and support from charities like International Alert.
International Alert works in over 20 countries from the Congo to Nepal
to build peace long after treaties are signed and peacekeeping troops
move out. They’ve done this for nearly 25 years by working
with local people. Alert gave Cecile trauma counselling followed by
business training and a little microfinance just 60 pounds to start
with. Extraordinarily, Cecile then set up in business not only with a
fellow survivor but also with two people who took part in the genocide.
Her business is flourishing and she can clothe and feed her children.
It takes thousands of ordinary people like Cecile to make peace but
just a few disaffected people with guns to start war.
In Liberia, Alert started community radio stations that discuss
everything from rape to land disputes. Local journalist Doris says: "We
reach many more people than we ever could before with messages that our
community needs to hear. Having the station makes a really important
contribution to our community. If people know what’s going on
they are less likely to fight". It takes just 30 pounds to produce a
programme on violence against women and girls and 100 pounds a month
could pay for local helpers who keep their radio stations going.
I’ve been to countries where Alert works and know how
incredibly important it is for people to learn to live together again.
Peace is harder than you think. Please help more people like Cecile and
Doris to rebuild their communities so that their sons don’t
take up arms to avenge their fathers.
BBC Radio 4
naar Joanna Lumley 2001-2020
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