Each year at Pesach, and to a lesser extent on Thanksgiving, my FOO (family of origin) keeps in mind peoples who are less fortunate than ourselves. Like many people, we have spent quite a bit of time talking about Darfur. But this year I’m thinking about a lesser known but even more dire conflict zone.
In the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo), 4 million people have died since the conflict began in 1998. That’s over 1,000 people per day. In addition to that, there are 2.4 million people displaced by the conflict, and 42 million who are suffering from food insecurity (including 17 million who are malnourished).
Despite the presence of a UN mission, this is not truly a post-conflict society. The conflict persists. The scale of the destruction is breathtaking. I know this is depressing. But it is important to know. To recognize what is happening. This is what my FOO taught me: to be grateful for what we have; to understand that there are people out there who have nothing; and to be politicized about it.
I am thankful to know that I have enough food to eat. That I have a place to live. That I am alive. These are not luxuries. Yet, for so many people, even that last and most basic human right is violated. We cannot rewind time and give these people back their lives, and more people are dying every day. Those who are not dying are in precarious situations. Please remember them.