I find myself reading a lot of numbers these days… 24 cupcakes, 120 students, 3.89 GPA, 94% on a paper, $52.00 for gas. Statistics have found their place in my life as well… 30% girls in my classroom, 10% of my paycheck, 80% success rate, and the like.
Then there are some numbers have gone somewhere in my head that are no longer is in the realm of “real”. My head fills too quickly and rejects the processing…but I can feel the numbers I am reading knocking loudly on my heart. I have the choice to be attentive to them– or not. Today, I chose to be attentive. Here is what I read in Aljezeera today (or you can watch the video):
Fighting between government troops and rebels has displaced hundreds of thousands people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), leading to what is being described as a humanitarian crisisThe fighting has been most intense in the hills of the North Kivu province in the country’s east, where rebel positions were shelled by the government forces on Friday. The fighting has created a refugee crisis with influx of people into neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda fearing violence, and many more are on their way.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR] says about 300,000 people have been displaced because of the fighting since November’s presidential and parliamentary elections.
More than 8,000 refugees have crossed into Rwanda in the past three weeks on top of 55,000 Congolese refugees already there.
“The initial challenge is shelter because the camp is over-stretched and over-congested,” Anouck Bronee of UNHCR said.
Another 30,000 have gone to Uganda this month, in addition to the 175,000 other refugees from several of its neighbours.
In a statement issued earlier this week, Antonio Guterres, the UN high commissioner for refugees, said: “The displacement level we see in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is already disastrous.
“Conflict there, coupled with very limited access for humanitarian workers, means that many thousands of people are without protection and help. And now people in need are appearing in neighbouring countries too.”
The UN fears the fighting could escalate and draw in various rebel groups in the region.
This is the area of the world I will call home for a few days… I pray that I pay attention to the numbers that knock on my heart. And they knock as loudly as they did today.
Did you hear them ?