CRC wins UNESCO Prize 2020

CRC President’s Office, 23 October 2020

CRC DRC: AGM members 2019

The Centre Resolution Conflict (CRC), an NGO from the DRC, has won the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for Tolerance and Non-Violence, 2020 edition

In an official letter dated October 12, 2020, the Secretary of the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for Tolerance and Non-Violence, Ms. Anna Maria Majlöf, transmitted to CRC a letter from Ms. Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for Social Sciences and human resources at UNESCO. This letter informed us as the lucky winner of the decision of the Director-General of UNESCO to award, after the Jury’s deliberation, the 2020 edition of the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize to the organization Center Resolution Conflits (CRC) for their work of several years for the rescue of child soldiers in DR Congo.

By acknowledging receipt of this award, the President of the CRC, Mr. Ben Mussanzi wa Mussangu, reacted with great emotion in these terms:

By deciding to honor the work that we had started from nothing, your organization has not only honored us, my colleagues and myself, but also and above all proved to the world that gratitude still exists in this world, even if it may take years. This Prize lifts us to seventh heaven and at the time when we least expected it (due to the Covid-19 pandemic), please allow us on behalf of the CRC to express our emotions even before the award date.”

Then Mr. President moved on to a quick reminder:

It was in 1993 (at the beginning of the end of President Mobutu’s regime in  Zaire / Congo) that the CRC Vision was conceived s a positive response to an incident in which our President, Ben Mussanzi wa Mussangu, was nearly killed at the source of the Orwa River, south of Bunia, DRC. It was in the midst of the Ituri ethnic war, a precursor to the DRC war later known as ‘Africa’s First World War’. (AFWW). The Vision was conceived in a spirit of love for neighbours, humility, self-sacrifice and sacrifice, in pure anonymity at the height of tribal hatred and at the very risk of our own lives. By the way, we have lost in the process five members of the CRC Peace Committees in Nyankunde, Rutchuru and Bunia as direct or indirect victims of the DRC war.”

We cannot say it enough. The DRC is one of the countries in the world where it is not easy to be not only a woman, but also a peacemaker:

We were chased like game during the DRC war, continued the President of the CRC, not for being criminals, but rather for having dared and had the courage to stand in front of the killers and tell them face-to-face that the war is not the lasting solution to conflicts, that there is always another way to peacefully resolve our conflicts without necessarily going through violence. The CRC that you have honoured today is therefore the result of the hurricane that has and is still grieving the Congolese nation in the last two decades with an estimated death toll of more than 6,000,000, placing this country at the front row of humanitarian disasters after the 2nd World War.

Mr Mussanzi wa Mussangu took the opportunity to remind the world that the endemic insecurity that is deliberately maintained in the DRC is an “economic war” or “a quick profit-making business”:

It is in this context of economic war and endemic insecurity, fuelled by greedy warlords and their internal and external clients (who play daily in total disregard of the elementary notions of human rights, mainly the sacred character of human life) that we have worked during these two and a half decades, forced to move here and there very often in a total desolation and finally forced to go into exile from where we had kept reorganizing the team, all that in the name of the principle of ‘Love for Neighbours’.

Finally at the award reception ceremony in Kinshasa, Mr. Rehema Mussanzi, the DR Congo National Executive Coordinator for the CRC concluded his speech in these terms:

I would like to dedicate this award to peacemakers, dead or alive, for risking their lives trying to build peace in a so insecure environments like the DRC and other parts in the world. May God bless UNESCO, may God bless the CRC and may God bless all peacemakers in the DRC and in the world.

We cannot finish without thanking all partners we have worked with locally and globally during these twenty-seven years: Churches, CME Nyankunde hospital, Tearfund, Peace Direct, EED (currently Pains pour le Monde), Responding To Conflict and Action for Conflict Transformation etc.

We finally thank all CRC members (AGM, Board, staff, volunteers and service users) but a special gratitude goes to the Planner of the Universe (God) and also to the new National Executive Coordinator, Mr. Rehema Mussanzi, whose obedience and coming back to the DR Congo after being elected in 2019 has actually ‘activated’ in the invisible world this blessing and many others in the future. To obey is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15 :22).

For more details, these are the two official articles announcing the good news for CRC:

From UNESCO

From FranceTV (article in French)

Related books and articles:

Ben Mussanzi wa Mussangu, Unarmed Heroes: The Courage to Go Beyond Violence

From DRC to the UK: conflict resolution training and peace education – Tearfund Learn