WBEZ | Congo http://www.wbez.org/tags/congo Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Refugees raise vegetables, put down roots at urban garden http://www.wbez.org/news/refugees-raise-vegetables-put-down-roots-urban-garden-110149 <p><p>On a recent afternoon in Chicago&rsquo;s Albany Park neighborhood, Linda Seyler chirped at a small crew of helpers from Nepal: &ldquo;Stay there,&rdquo; she said to a group ranging from small boys to grown men. Seyler pulled out a measuring tape as she knelt in a tarp-covered ditch. &ldquo;From here to here is two feet&hellip;&rdquo;</p><p>Seyler was helping two more refugee families measure out their new vegetable plots at the Global Garden Refugee Training Farm, located on busy Lawrence Avenue. It was a cool Sunday, but several families were there, eager to start preparing their long, skinny garden beds for spring planting.</p><p>Janet Saidi, a Congolese refugee who came to Chicago more than a year ago stood next to her family&rsquo;s plot, number 95, rattling off what she&rsquo;s grown. &ldquo;Onion, okra, beans,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;The name of this one I don&rsquo;t know. It&rsquo;s like mushroom? Yes.&rdquo;</p><p>Saidi and the other refugees who garden here all farmed in their native countries. Most hail from conflict-ridden places like Bhutan and Burma, and often don&rsquo;t know any English when they arrive. With the language barriers and the sense that their farming skills have no use in a big, American city, many battle feelings of isolation as they try to settle in.</p><p>&ldquo;Being here (in the city) they feel themselves really worthless,&rdquo; said Hasta Bhattarai, a Bhutanese refugee who now volunteers as an an interpreter for some of the gardeners. &ldquo;But once they are here (in the garden) and once they are able to produce something, that really makes them happy from inside,&rdquo; he continued, &ldquo;and they feel themselves (like) they are back home, and that gives them some kind of spiritual happiness.&ldquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Refugee-Garden-2.jpg" title="Janet Saidi, a refugee from the Congo, grows okra, onions and beans on her small plot. She said she never imagined she would grow her family’s food in the U.S., as she did in her native country. (WBEZ/Odette Yousef)" /></div><p>The garden began with a grant from the Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program, under the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement. Seyler, at the time working for the Coalition of Limited English Speaking Elderly in Chicago, applied for the three-year, nonrenewable grant. In its first year, the garden had 42 families with plots.</p><p>Now in its third growing season, the garden has more than 100 vegetable beds jammed haphazardly against each other, with additional areas reserved for new commercial plots and a quarter-acre reserved for use by the Peterson Garden Project. In all, the refugees use about one acre of the 1.33 acre area. They grow bittermelon, bok choy, okra, mustard greens, and roselles -- a plant related to hibiscus. It&rsquo;s a cheap and convenient way to find the vegetables that they traditionally use for cooking, which may be less common in U.S. supermarkets.</p><p>&ldquo;This garden, it&rsquo;s really changed my life,&rdquo; said Mary Thehtoe, a Burmese refugee whose family had a large farm in her native country. Thehtoe got a plot at the garden when it began, during her first year in the U.S., in 2012.&nbsp; She said at that time she knew no English, and cried every night after she came to the U.S., until she met her refugee case worker. That was the first person she met in Chicago who spoke her language.</p><p>&ldquo;If I don&rsquo;t have garden, I always go to the appointments,&rdquo; Thehtoe said through an interpreter. &ldquo;I have a lot of appointments, like medical appointments, And I stay working at home, and just do house chores, take care of my kids, those kinds of thing. When I got the garden, all the sickness and stress, depression, go away, Because I always think about the garden.&rdquo;</p><p>Thehtoe said she comes to the garden every day.</p><p>Saidi said she never imagined that in the U.S. she would be growing her own food, as she did in the Congo. &ldquo;When I came here, I said, &lsquo;Oh my God, I don&rsquo;t know (if in) America, if they have fresh food,&rsquo;&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;Yes, they are also farming, and I said &lsquo;Oh my God,&rsquo; it was exciting.&rdquo;</p><p>The garden&rsquo;s success has earned attention from the Governor&rsquo;s office, which wants to replicate it in places like Rockford, Elgin and Aurora. Meanwhile, the grant that started the garden has run out. Its organizers are planning to make the garden self-sustaining with commercial production and an expansion of the farm&rsquo;s community supported agriculture program, which allows individuals to buy &ldquo;shares&rdquo; in the garden&rsquo;s seasonal produce.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="https://www.google.com/url?q=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Foyousef&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNHKQ6bayggMubwgs9U53FsOML-b9A">@oyousef</a> and <a href="https://www.google.com/url?q=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2FWBEZoutloud&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNGciFiqidUKx7xm655BDbaPU9eB3g">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p><p><em>Correction: This article incorrectly referred to the Peterson Garden Project. It has been corrected.</em></p></p> Wed, 07 May 2014 15:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/refugees-raise-vegetables-put-down-roots-urban-garden-110149 Millions of Congolese vote despite intimidation and violence http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-29/millions-congolese-vote-despite-intimidation-and-violence-94421 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-29/congo2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Amidst burning ballot boxes and armed rebels, millions of Congolese headed to the polls yesterday to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections. This is only the second time in the country’s history that the entire nation has been able to vote and the first election organized by the government instead of the international community.</p><p>Despite its historic nature, yesterday's vote was extremely messy. Massive logistical chaos and violence ensued at polling stations around the country. There were reports of ballot stuffing, bribery and fraud.</p><p>In response, polling hours have been extended and voters are continuing to cast ballots today. The ballots themselves are 13 pages long, with voters choosing between some 18,000 candidates.</p><p><a href="http://kambale.com/" target="_blank">Kambale Musavuli</a>, a native of the DRC, as well as spokesperson and student coordinator for pro-democracy group <a href="http://www.friendsofthecongo.org/" target="_blank">Friends of the Congo</a>, explains the implications.</p><p style="margin-left: 1in;">&nbsp;</p><p><strong>For more context on the elections, watch these videos:</strong></p><p><strong>Millions of voters headed to the polls despite rampant violence. Here's raw footage of the chaos:</strong></p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/vpM3uglE714" width="560" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>There have been widespread reports of election fraud. Here's one from <em>Al Jazeera</em>:</strong></p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/2Yzj1Fw5-zg" width="560" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe></p></p> Tue, 29 Nov 2011 15:58:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-29/millions-congolese-vote-despite-intimidation-and-violence-94421 Worldview 11.29.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-112911 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/episode/images/2011-november/2011-11-29/congo1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>After 33 years of rule, Yemen's president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, handed over power to his deputy. <a href="http://pages.towson.edu/cschmitz/" target="_blank">Charles Schmitz</a>, president of the American Institute of Yemeni Studies, says the move won't change much. This week, millions of Congolese voters headed to the polls despite widespread violence and reports of ballot stuffing, bribery and fraud. <em>Worldview</em> gets an update from Kambale Musavuli, student coordinator and spokesperson for <a href="http://www.friendsofthecongo.org/" target="_blank">Friends of the Congo</a>. Also, Indonesian domestic workers in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other countries around the world often face horrific working conditions. <a href="http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/08/08/anis-hidayah-indonesia" target="_blank">Anis Hidayah</a>, director of Jakarta-based Migrant Care, tells <em>Worldview</em> what's needed to protect Indonesians who cross borders to support themselves and their families.</p></p> Tue, 29 Nov 2011 15:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-112911 Minerals in Congo used to make handheld devices fuel deadly conflict http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-20/minerals-congo-used-make-handheld-devices-fuel-deadly-conflict-92225 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-September/2011-09-20/congo1.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>MP3 players, smart phones and tablet computers have transformed the way many of us live and work. To make these gadgets, companies like Apple&nbsp; rely on certain minerals, many of which come from Eastern Congo. High demand has driven up the prices of these resources, and the resulting struggle to control them has turned bloody, leaving hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians dead.</p><p>The U.S. Congress is attempting to address the problem. Their solution is tucked into the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and it requires companies that source minerals from places like Eastern Congo to make their supply chains transparent. The Security and Exchange Commission is currently finalizing the regulations for this provision.</p><p>We discuss this legislation with <a href="http://www.enoughproject.org/content/aaron-hall-project-analyst" target="_blank">Aaron Hall</a>, a policy analyst with <a href="http://www.enoughproject.org/" target="_blank">The Enough Project</a>. He tells us how we, as ordinary consumers, can better grasp the issue of conflict minerals.</p></p> Tue, 20 Sep 2011 16:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-20/minerals-congo-used-make-handheld-devices-fuel-deadly-conflict-92225 Worldview 9.20.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-92011 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/episode/images/2011-september/2011-09-20/ncds1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>This week, the United Nations is hosting its first ever <a href="http://www.un.org/en/ga/ncdmeeting2011/" target="_blank">high-level meeting</a> to tackle non-communicable diseases, such as heart and lung disease, cancer and diabetes. <a href="http://www.worldlungfoundation.org/ht/d/sp/a/GetDocumentAction/i/7823" target="_blank">Dr. Judith Mackay</a>, an expert on international health policy who <em>Time</em> named one of the most influential people in the world, is attending the talks. She tells us what governments can do to give their citizens a better chance at life-long health. Also, the struggle to control Congo's natural resources, which include minerals needed to make laptop computers, MP3 players and countless other electronic devices, has fueled the world's deadliest conflict since World War II. We speak with <a href="http://www.enoughproject.org/content/aaron-hall-project-analyst" target="_blank">Aaron Hall</a>, a policy analyst with <a href="http://www.enoughproject.org/" target="_blank">The Enough Project</a>, about efforts to make the mineral supply chains in Congo transparent.</p></p> Tue, 20 Sep 2011 15:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-92011 Photojournalist Lynsey Addario on her work in Congo, Afghanistan and being detained in Libya http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-01/photojournalist-lynsey-addario-her-work-congo-afghanistan-and-being-deta <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-30/addario.jpg.crop_display.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Photojournalist <a href="http://www.lynseyaddario.com/" target="_blank">Lynsey Addario</a> has seen up close the results of repression and injustice. She also made the news last March when she and three other journalists were detained in Libya. Her work in Congo was produced as a fellow for Columbia College-Chicago’s <a href="http://www.colum.edu/Academics/Institute_for_the_Study_of_Women_and_Gender_in_the_Arts_and_Media/" target="_blank">Ellen Stone Belic Institute</a> for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media. For her fellowship, Lynsey was commissioned by the Institute to create portraits of survivors of gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Back in May, she stopped by the studio to discuss her career and work on the Institute’s travelling exhibition called <a href="http://congowomen.org/" target="_blank"><em>Congo/Women Portraits of War</em></a>.</p><p><em>Our discussion today with Lynsey is part of an ongoing collaboration between </em>WBEZ<em> and the</em> Ellen Stone Belic Institute <em>entitled: </em>Gender, Human Rights, Leadership and Media<em>. The Institute works closely developing projects with journalists, artists, human rights workers and activists across the world to investigate related global issues.</em></p></p> Fri, 01 Jul 2011 16:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-01/photojournalist-lynsey-addario-her-work-congo-afghanistan-and-being-deta Photojournalist Lynsey Addario on her work in Congo, Afghanistan and being detained in Libya http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-03/photojournalist-lynsey-addario-her-work-congo-afghanistan-and-being-deta <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-03/addario.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>May 3 is World Press Freedom Day. And in a statement today, U.N. Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, said, “When governments repress their people and shield themselves from scrutiny, press freedom is among the most powerful vehicles for exposing misdeeds and upholding public trust.”</p><p>Photojournalist <a href="http://www.lynseyaddario.com/#" target="_blank">Lynsey Addario</a> has seen up close the results of repression and injustice. She also made the news recently when she and three other journalists were detained in Libya. Her work in Congo was produced as a fellow for Columbia College-Chicago’s <a href="http://www.colum.edu/Academics/Institute_for_the_Study_of_Women_and_Gender_in_the_Arts_and_Media/" target="_blank">Ellen Stone Belic Institute</a> for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media. For her fellowship, Lynsey was commissioned by the Institute to create portraits of survivors of gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She discusses her career and work on the Institute’s traveling exhibition called <a href="http://congowomen.org/" target="_blank"><em>Congo/Women Portraits of War</em></a>.</p><p><em>Our discussion today with Lynsey is part of an ongoing collaboration between </em>WBEZ<em> and the</em> Ellen Stone Belic Institute<em> entitled: </em>Gender, Human Rights, Leadership and Media<em>. The Institute works closely developing projects with journalists, artists, human rights workers and activists across the world to investigate related global issues.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>EVENT</strong></p><p>A Conversation with Award-Winning Photographer Lynsey Addario</p><p>Part of the 5th anniversary celebration of the Ellen Stone Belic Institute</p><p>Tuesday, May 3 at 6pm</p><p>Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash, 8th floor</p><p>Free</p></p> Tue, 03 May 2011 16:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-03/photojournalist-lynsey-addario-her-work-congo-afghanistan-and-being-deta “Congo Princess” works to preserve Afro-Panamanian identity http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/%E2%80%9Ccongo-princess%E2%80%9D-works-preserve-afro-panamanian-identity <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/congo-princess-panama_306x199.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>An ethnic group known as the Congos have lived in Panama for centuries. They&rsquo;re the descendants of slaves, many of whom fled to isolated islands to escape Spanish rule. Throughout the years, Congos have managed to preserve their unique Afro-Panamanian identity. But as they integrate into mainstream Panamanian life, their traditions are increasingly at risk. The World Vision Report&rsquo;s Marlon Bishop brings us the story of one woman in Panama City&nbsp; working to keep the Congo culture alive. <br />&nbsp;</p><p><em>This piece originally aired on the <a href="http://www.Prx.org" target="_blank">World Vision Report</a> and was provided by the <a href="http://www.prx.org" target="_blank">Public Radio Exchange.</a></em></p></p> Thu, 18 Nov 2010 17:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/%E2%80%9Ccongo-princess%E2%80%9D-works-preserve-afro-panamanian-identity BBC Documentary: Congo’s blood gold http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/bbc-documentary-congo%E2%80%99s-blood-gold <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/57199686.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The eastern Congolese forests located some 1200 miles from Kinshasa are host to some of the nation&rsquo;s biggest mines, including gold. Congo&rsquo;s President Joseph Kabila has imposed a ban on all mining in the eastern part of his country to try to stop the illegal mining and exploitation of &lsquo;blood gold.&rsquo;</p><p>The <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00bqvpk" target="_blank">BBC&rsquo;s Thomas Fessy</a> went to the region to investigate allegations that a senior Congolese army general has been personally benefiting from the banned gold trade. <br />&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 15 Nov 2010 17:43:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/bbc-documentary-congo%E2%80%99s-blood-gold Global Activism: Helping war victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/global-activism-helping-war-victims-democratic-republic-congo <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/9.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Each Thursday we hear about an individual who&rsquo;s decided to work to make the world a better place.</p><p>Amy Ernst has been volunteering with the Congolese organization <a target="_blank" href="http://www.crosiersincongo.com/1/cic/around_the_country.asp?artID=7218">COPERMA</a> in North Kivu province in eastern Congo.&nbsp; The region has been ravaged by war and many of the victims are women.&nbsp; The United Nations estimates that at least 15,000 women were raped in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo last year. Ernst tells us about her experience helping some of these victims.</p><p><em>You can read more about Amy's work in the DR Congo on her <a href="http://thekingeffect.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">blog.</a></em></p></p> Thu, 11 Nov 2010 19:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/global-activism-helping-war-victims-democratic-republic-congo