BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of Congo: Children's Poems

30 October 2005
BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of Congo: Children's Poems

Translated by Eric Schiller

The following poems by Congolese children and young
people appeared in 'Salam', a publication of the
Center for the Peace for Children. Bukavu, a city in
the eastern area of the Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC) and the site of the Center, suffered a
devastating assault in June 2004 by a Tutsi-based
militia in which hundreds of Bukavu residents were
raped and killed.

I am born of my parents
Today I am an orphan
I lived with my parents
Andre is an orphan of war
It's you, war, who has done this

Because of you, my parents are dead
My brothers no longer speak a word
I am now without help
The earth has a poisonous look to me

War -- give us peace!
Paulin has been killed so that his possessions can be Seized -- in Justice!

We are traumatized. Why this catastrophe?-- War--give us peace

During the night we are in the bush.
Justice no longer seems to work
Give us peace - authorities
-- give us peace!

Pascal, sixth grade


Peace -- where are you?

A high wall has risen in front of me
As if to eliminate the horizon of life
I am like a blind person in the dark

The darkness which has paralyzed our existence
Peace. . . I am looking for you.

You are ignored as though you no longer exist
That's why there is a lack of conscience
We have been killed by small weapons and heavy blows
These men who massacre others
These men who imprison others and crush the innocent

Peace -- where are you? I am looking for you
How many broken hearts, murders?
How many people dehumanized?
How many oppressed, without hope?
How many tortured for their religious opinions?
How many people smashed for having said the truth?
Peace -- I am looking for you. . .

People are dying without saying anything,
because they don't even have the strength to speak

Dear God give us peace

Ntakwindja, eighteen years

The Peace

Deliver our spirits from all hatred towards our brothers and sisters -- Let
us have a pact of wholesome living together
-- thus all together let us be engaged in the battle
against xenophobia in order to create a new world

Byanungu, third year, secondary school

Prayer for Peace

Almighty God
We thank you because you are long suffering You are the God of peace

We know that you are just
towards those who seek peace
Manifest yourself in the hearts of all those who sow discord In those who
cause divisions between communities So that they may be changed to find the
peace within To live together in peace That they find the divine

author unknown


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