She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.
She says: “I long for the day I will return home and continue with the peace building process”.
Kongosi is, with her husband Ben, cofounder of the Centre for the Resolution of Conflicts (CRC) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In June 2001, her life came under threat and she was evacuated to the UK. She is currently studying for an MA in Peace Studies at Bradford University. (Read much more on refugeewomen.org).
Kongosi Onia Mussanzi – Dem. Republic of the Congo
She works for the ‘Centre Médical Evangélique’ CME, and for the ‘Centre de Résolution des Conflits’ CRC / Alternative Dispute Resolution ARD.
Kongosi Onia Mussanzi (52) has spent ten years campaigning and advocating for peace. She co-founded the Centre Résolution Conflits (CRC) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), but had to flee to the UK because of death threats. She is involved in conflict resolution, trauma counseling and reconciliation, with NGOs, churches and political leaders, students and women traumatized through rape.
As a peacemaker she now works at a global level moving across UK to give talks in collaboration with Tearfund and Amnesty International.Kongosi Onia Mussanzi (52) worked in the region, when war ravaged. Various militia forces occupied and terrorized the area. She lost family members, colleagues and friends who were killed in the conflict. She had to constantly hide in the bushes with her children. Then, troops loyal to Laurent Kabila’s attacked her hometown of Nyankunde. This forced her out of the town and she relocated to Bunia, where despite the dangers involved, she continued to travel to the communities to give peace education and conflict resolution workshops. Finally, threats were made on their lives and their homes in Nyankunde and Bunia were both destroyed. This was the stroke that broke the camel’s back. The family fled the country, via Nairobi, Kenya reaching England in 2002.
She had spent ten years in campaigning and advocating for peace. She also co-founded the Conflict Resolution Centre in DRC. She was involved in conflict resolution, trauma counseling and reconciliation with NGOs, churches and political leaders, students and teens as well as women traumatized by rape. As a peacemaker she works now at a global level, moving across the UK to give talks in collaboration with Tearfund and Amnesty International.
Kongosi had also worked with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) to bring women from different ethnic groups in the region together. When she established CRC in Nyankunde, in what was then called Zaire, the area was affected by intertribal conflict. The sources of conflict included ownership of land, particularly between farmers and herders. Conflicts even spread to the churches. The literacy rate was 20-30% and the women generally were marginalized. Agriculture, fishing and herding were key sources of income, although the war in the region has devastated much economic activity, thus aggravating an already bad situation.
Throughout the time Kongosi and her colleagues were undertaking their peace building work in Congo, it was done in the midst of war and she had to relocate CRC twice. Nevertheless, as a result of the work, peace education workshops were taking place in institutions such as schools, churches local political leaders. Traumatized women and girls were counseled and provided with other resources.
They also managed to supply what relief they could to the internally displaced people.
Kongosi holds an M.A. in Education Sciences and Psychology from the University of Kisangani. She worked from 1977 to 1992 as a teacher in Congo and Rwanda before she returned as an administrator and subsequently headed the Internal Audit section of the Centre Medical Evangelique CME in Nyankunde, DRC.
She married Ben Mussanzi wa Mussangu and they have four children. Kongosi and Ben currently live in England, as refugees, with three of their children and a fourth child under their care, who was orphaned during the conflict. Their fourth daughter is studying medicine in Bunia.
Kongosi is currently completing a Master of Peace Studies at Bradford University, focusing on conflict transformation and healing. She plans to return to DRC when it is safe, to face the challenge of rebuilding and redeveloping the infrastructure and resources. Her fellow students are gaining from her practical knowledge on peace making and the present situation in DRC. She is a member of ACTION for Conflict Transformation, a global initiative from the grass roots and contributed to their book: “Transforming Conflicts: Reflections of practitioners worldwide”. (Read all on 1000peacewomen).
Link: Arrière-pensées européennes.