Central Africa: Perspectives From the Ground
Central Africa: Perspectives from the Ground
An opportunity to learn more about central Africa will take place on September 23, 2016 at BESThq, 12745 SW Beaverdam Road Beaverton OR 97005 (one block from Beaverton Town Center Max) from 6-8:30 p.m. Dinner anticipated, Continuing Legal Education Credits being are being pursued, donations requested.
It is an old cliche that most people have never heard of, much less know, that the Central African Republic (“CAR”) is a country. For those who have, it is most notoriously associated with the coronation of Emperor Bokassa in 1979, and in the last few years it is featured in the news for a civil war that has displaced one quarter of its population. But it was also the second African country to have a female head of state, Catherine Samba-Panza, and is a country with animals and stones we value such as elephants and diamonds. The Democratic Republic of Congo (“Congo”), formerly Zaire, included a stable kingdom of Kongo, is well appreciated for its music, and provides coltan, a key part of cell phones and is a conflict mineral. Rarely do we have access to good news or success stories, let alone information from this part of the world. This panel will provide examples of current perspectives highlighting the context of these countries now. Topics of focus will include ongoing efforts of providing clean water to urban and rural Central African Republic, perspectives of emigrants from Congo to the United States, and information on the legal context in these countries including the context of country governance and constitutions, related water law, protection for women, and the status of the rule of law in this region. This panel will be of benefit to anyone interested in central Africa, international aid and development, and refugees and issues related to violence against central African women. Note: certain written materials may only be available in French for this program.
Rosie Musau Tujibikila, L.N.P., a Congolese emigrant with her family ten years ago, and health care professional in both Congo and USA/Portland Metro area will present on Congo generally, introducing the country including population, the big events and major problems since 1997. She will describe issues impacting womens rights and especially the increased violence against women in the country, and also the recent emigration of women and children from Congo to Oregon, and discuss how participants and the U.S. can help.
Jim Hocking, Founder of Water for Good (waterforgood.org) who has lived most of his life in CAR as missionary 1957-72 and again since 1986-2004, and in frequently in between, working alongside Central Africans to improve availability of potable water by improving well infrastructure throughout the country. He will talk about empowerment in regards to the Central Africans, including context on the country’s history and current events, background on WaterforGood work in C.A.R. and adding integrity and value to Central Africans, as demonstrated through the work of Water for Good, establishment of a CAR radio station, and partnerships focusing on issues of the war and justice.
Portland State University Washington Mandela Program representative
Refugee coordinator associated with Immigration (IRCO)
Diane Henkels, Henkels Law LLC, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Central African Republic (’90-'92)
Thanks the following for their assistance and support: National Lawyers Guild, Columbia River Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Association, BESThq LLC, Water for Good, Rosie Musautuji LNP, Don Shannon, and Henkels Law LLC