Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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Focusing on the Congo
Focusing on the Congo is extremely important right now as it has terrible problems. About one thirds the size of the USA with a population of 71 million, the Congo is mostly a forested country in that straddles the equator in Africa and has a small section of the West coast. It has an ongoing war in its Eastern area that has claimed over 5 million lives directly and many more indirectly to disease etc, making it the worst war since WWII. It is near the top of the failed states index. The Congo's situation underlines just how fundamental to sustainable living peace really is. Other issues include incredible levels of government corruption.  Exploitative colonial and post colonial intervention by the Belgiums, Americans and others have set the current stage. The current multi-billionaire, President Joseph Kabila and his family don't even live in the Congo! 

In his upcoming course on Policy for Food Security starting April 30th, member of SL faculty, John Collins, will be focusing on the Congo, including skypeing in to aid workers like Courtney Brandt (Medair) in the field. These brave people are working to address basic needs of food, clean water, bridge rehabilitation (so food can still be delivered in the wet season) and basic health care for malaria, aids, dengue and yellow fever. Human disease in intimately connected to food security. Parents who are debilitated by disease can't work to hunt or grow food or feed their families. The class will also be meeting Kabuila, our very own Congalese MUM student, and discussing her plans to return to her country and make a difference. 

Ultimately a great deal of the Congo's problems stem from stress fighting stress arising out of a complex history. Peace programs like the Global Country for World Peace's meditation groups could be a key initiative. Transcendental Meditation and it's advanced TM Sidhi program has the ability to radiate an influence of peace and to neutralize societal stress. That's one reason why students at MUM all practice TM. This approach was used to end the civil war in Mozambique in 1990 and is still actively advocated by the then President Chissano.

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