Welcome to Kiliclimb 2012

Kiliclimb 2012 is an international climb of the highest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro. This expedition is in support of Just Equipping, a Canadian registered non profit charitable organization dedicated to education, training, and action in the area of Restorative Justice. Since 2006, Just Equipping has provided a number of missions in Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo, and Cameroon. Just Equipping has played a crucial role in the comfort and support of victims, the rebuilding of fractured communities, the reintegration of offenders, and the promotion of ethical and compassionate corrections and chaplaincy in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Just Equipping shares a unique partnership with Queens University Theological College in Kingston. Because of this partnership, an International Diploma in Restorative Justice can be granted. Just Equipping was founded by Judith and Pierre Allard. Judith is currently the Executive Director of this internationally acclaimed organization. Pierre is an ordained minister and retired senior executive with the Correctional Service of Canada. Judith and Pierre, who reside in Gatineau Quebec, will be returning to Gisenyi Rwanda in January 2012 to continue their fine work in support of a number of projects sponsored by Just Equipping.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Daily Summaries – Kiliclimb 2012

Day 1 - January 23: From Moshi to Londorossi Gate, check in and Trek to Forest Camp (Mt. Mkubwa Camp) (9,498 ft/2895 m)

Our “Just Equipping” trekking team began to feel the excitement as we departed the SalSalinero Hotel to meet with our team of guides, cooks and porters, 46 in total, who were each presented with Canada flag pins before having a picture taken with the “Just Equipping” banner, while the porters entertained with traditional Tanzanian singing.
The drive from Moshi to the western rim of the mountain is memorable as Kili's presence gives a great sense of "daunting opportunity".  After arriving at the gate our team signed in and had our box lunch as the porters organized themselves, packed up and had the weight of our gear, food and essentials for the entire trek verified by the park attendants.   
Each porter was allowed a maximum of 22 KG.  The initial trekking was dusty but a good trail to get us started and comfortable.  It was hot and sunny with stunning views as we settled into slowly realizing what we were up against for the next week.  
Following approximately 6 hours of trekking we arrived at the Forest Camp in the dark.  The team quickly familiarized themselves with the camp that had been set up by the porters and convened us for dinner which included leek soup, fried fish with rice and vegetable sauce.
Recognizing the significance of the day we celebrated the Chinese Lunar New.  We heard from Ben Vuong, the history of the lunar new year, the significance of the year of the Dragon, and the water sign, making this the year of the water dragon and what that symbolized in Chinese culture.  Ben was presented with with a T shirt from the Kingston Brew Pub, featuring “Dragon Breath Ale” (not quite water but at least it is liquid). Each trekker was presented with a “Dragon Breath Ale” lapel pin that had also been generously donated by the Brew Pub.
Following dinner, Brighton, our chief guide, briefed us in preparation for the next day and we all retired to our tents for our first nights sleep on this memorable trek.

Day 2 - Jan 24th: From Forest Camp to Shira 1 (11,500 ft/3505 m)

“Our first morning waking up at camp.  What a morning”- it was beautiful.  Wake up call and then our daily check in for pulse, blood oxygen level and the game of "what colour is it!!?"  After a great fill of breakfast and any refills/requests/water happily taken care of by "Bugga!!" (man for all seasons), we were treated by Jewel to sunrise yoga with a view of Mount Kilimanjaro.  This was a great start for the team to wake up and get moving and also a curious sight to our guides and porters who slowly joined in on our routine. 
The day was great as the trail took us through the rainforest and into the heather (a plant native to western and northern Europe, thriving in hard cold weather and marginal, rocky soil, such as the famous heather fields of the Scottish Highlands) and tundra.  The scenery was amazing.  We all seemed more comfortable this second day as the jitters were wearing off and we knew better what the day would bring (i.e.. use of hiking poles, sunscreen, a hat, the “pole pole” pace, and drinking lots of water).
The coolest part of the day was when we could look ahead and see the tiny trail way up in the hills with the porters cutting through the forest and making their way.  It seems so incredibly far away but then when we looked back at where we had come from, we realized that every step is progress and got us that much closer to our goal.  You hear so much about "pole pole" but it really takes on meaning by day 2!
Lunch stop after about 3 hours and then about 1.5 hours more to the camp.  It is amazing how happy a bowl of warm water begins to make you.  We all enjoyed more time at camp that evening to clean up, enjoy tea and popcorn, and chat in the tent during dinner before heading to bed.

Day 3 - January 25: Shira 1 to Shira 2 (13,800 ft/4,200 m)
We awoke to breathtaking views and inhaled it all in (......well as much as we could anyways considering the altitude) as we departed Shira 1 camp early in the morning so as to beat the African heat of the day.  
We trekked for approximately 4 hours through a breathtaking (in more ways than one) alpine heather zone, approaching Kibo Massif from the west moving steadily upwards to Shira 2 camp located at 12,600 feet, one of the highest plateaus on earth.
As we gaily trekked by a weather station, with no cares in the world, one could not help but notice the one wheeled stretcher used to evacuate injured trekkers down the mountain.  The thought of this lead to one visualizing oneself being evacuated down the mountain by such a contraption thereby strengthening our resolve more so now then ever to sustain no injuries.  The idea of being slogged down the mountain on this contraption was more painful then the African sun, blisters, aches and pains.

Day 4 - January 26: Shira 2 to Barranco Camp (13, 044 ft/3,976 m)

"After eating haggis and a great Bobby Burns evening we slept and got up early at Shira 2.  After the traditional wash, tea, coffee, cereal, french toast and eggs prepared by the cook and porters we set out uphill on a long day's trek.
We made our regular water and nature stops.  With water in short supply we were not be able to consume our normal daily 3-6 litres despite the fact that Brighton reminded us that 'water is life'.
After lunch we reached the Lava Tower.
Several trekkers were determined to climb the 500 ft/152 m Lava Tower.  It was very steep and demanded new climbing skills and lots of team work.  What a thrill. Seven of us climbed up, with Brighton's help, and down the Lava Tower.  What a sight! 
The other six trekkers arrived early at the Baranco Camp - 4:30 pm. The Lava climbers were very happy to arrive two hours later with the tents set up after our longest trekking day, almost 10 hours. 
We arrived at the campsite and saw the challenging “Barranco wall” before us. That was the next day's challenge.

Day 5 - January 27: Barranco to Karanga Camp (13,277 ft/4,046m)

The group awoke to another day of beautiful sunshine looking forward to a more adventure, surprises and hard effort.  Staring us in the face was the steep and foreboding, yet picturesque Barranco wall, or as our chief guide Brighton called it the 'breakfast wall'.  This was quite apt for as we all started to surface for breakfast from our tents we all watched the climbers who had left earlier snake their way up the steep passage like ants in the distance.
Following our own customary hearty breakfast, Jewel pulled us all together in her own inimitable style for a gentle yet invigorating yoga session.  One glimpse at the group showed everyone's eyes scanning the soon to be conquered 'breakfast wall'.
We were soon on our way with Brighton leading the charge.  His skill, knowledge and expertise soon came into its own as he coached us all through every foothold and handhold on the steep and rugged climb.  One of the other guides, Eric chose half way up to stand on the edge of abyss balancing on one leg in all his splendour peering at the ground we had covered and back to the now distant Barranco camp site.
After a strenuous three hours, a couple of breaks, some wobbly legs, and some butterflies in the stomach, the wall was conquered and we all sat down on some jagged rocks at the top pleased with our mornings work.
Onwards and upwards the group set off again traversing a steep ridge at the top of Barranco wall that wound its way further towards the Summit, the top of Kili.  Karranga camp was our destination for this day. Fuelled by lunch, the warmth of the African sun and a sense of our morning achievement, Karranga camp seemed to come quicker that day.  The camp itself was on a steep slope and covered with treacherous rocks and stones which seemed to move every time we stood on them.  With tired legs and with 5 days walking behind us, those crafty stones started to catch a few of us off guard and many of the group could be seen 'breakdancing' across the camp to their tents.
Bagga our favourite “man of all seasons” and the porters had done their work again, the tents were up and hot water was provided. Following our ritual wash, unpack gear and prepare for another night on the slopes of Kili, seven o'clock beckoned and with that the prospects of another substantial dinner, our customary lengthy briefing and our now usual expectant dose of humour from Dru.                       Ali

Day 6 - January 28: Karanga to Barafu Camp (base camp) and then the Summit (15, 331 ft/3,976 m)
“the big day!”

The Karanga Valley campsite, located at 13,235’ is supported by a stream about one hour before we reached the camp.  This stream is the last opportunity to secure drinking water before the Summit.  Our porters must haul enough water today to Barafu Camp to last throughout the Summit climb and most of the next day.
The Karanga Valley Campsite is where we begin our 6th day on Kilimanjaro. Karanga is a rock strewn, windswept oasis of green and brown arid sections nestled among boulders and a few lobelia plants. It is often cloudy here, however today the morning is clear.  As we begin our north easterly journey toward Barafu base camp, we can see a number of very large boulders and split rocks as we meander forward along the rocky path.
Today we have to ascend another 2000 ft/610 m.  Our minds however are on the Summit.  We’re getting close.  As the morning passes, we can’t help noticing the massive Rebmann glacier to our north.  Today is a steady relentless, climb.
The final challenge is a steep wall of cragged rock that present a distant glimpse of human forms above and tiny colourful tents.  At the very top our objective awaits, Barafu Camp.  It takes us another 40 minutes to reach the top.
Surprisingly, our camp is the first one we encounter.  We drop our packs and trudge another arduous 10 minutes (up!) to the check in post where we are welcomed by the Park Ranger.  As I sit down on the makeshift bench in his “office’ the bench collapses and I hit the dirt. I am not amused. I swear.
I later wonder if this is a form of daily entertainment for the park rangers….
Back to our tents to roll out our mats and sleeping bags and stretch out awaiting water for washing and the call to our 2pm lunch. No water for washing arrives. There is only drinking water available.  Once lunch was over we all crawled into out tents to try to get some sleep knowing the big night that looms before us.  Dinner is served at about 17:30.
After dinner we discussed the summit bid. It is agreed that two of our party will leave about 90 minutes earlier that the rest of us. This decision was taken to maximize the possibility of all of us being on the Summit at approximately the same time. We are anticipating very cold temperatures on the Summit so we do not expect to ‘linger’ there for very long. Perhaps just long enough to get a couple of Summit pictures, then get down…..
Our guides are totally committed to getting all of us on the Summit. However, we all agree that if our guide says we should turn back, we turn back. This is a serious safety matter and the guides are very experienced. We should take their advice, as offered.
Two of our party are awakened at 21:30 and begin their departure soon after with an experienced guide, support and water porters. The rest of us are up at 23:15 and begin our climb before midnight. Headlamps on, we begin the ascent…..

Nikki at the Peak!

Day 7 - January 29: Barafu to Milennium Camp (12,590 ft/3,837 )

After the long but rewarding climb to Uhuru Peak, our gang of intrepids started the descent.  What was an arduous climb up, became a scree sliding descent.  We slid though the loose rock and twisting trail for 2 to 3 hours.  One would expect this to be easier than climbing up.  But the tremendous pressure on our knees was pretty gruelling, and we all tightened our boots to keep our feet from pushing into the toe of our boots (on my last climb I donated toenails from both big toes and both baby toes to the mountain).  The good news is that the exhilaration of summiting keeps you going, and the decrease in altitude is welcomed by your lungs.
Finally back at Barafu (still 4600 meters), we are able to rest for a while.  We all had sore muscles, a slight high altitude headache, were very sunburnt, and most of us had cracked, chapped or blistered lips from the bright sun and cold wind that we enjoyed on the summit and the descent.  For some of us the effects of altitude were more devastating.  A few of us has pounding headaches, nausea and a lot of trouble breathing.  Some of us actually helped with fertilizing the camp site (throwing up). It was imperative that we descend to lower altitude quickly.
The original plan was to descend to Mekwa camp for the night, then have a leisurely 2 hour hike out to Mekwa gate the next day.  We were too late leaving base camp at Barafu, so our new plan was to hike down to Millenium camp.  
The evening at Millenium camp was a “healing” experience. We crashed in our tents, relaxed, then enjoyed our last dinner on the mountain.  It was a pleasant camp site, now back on the edge of the rain forest with a beautiful view of Kili.  It was hard to believe that we had been on the summit, just hours before.  No one seemed to mind the sore muscles, the sun burn, sore feet, or blistered lips.  The headaches, nausea and breathing were now a thing of the past.  “All was good”, just one more day of trekking, and a hot shower awaits.

Day 8 - January 30: Milennium to Mweka Gate (exit park) (5,380 ft/1,640 m)
We woke up bright and early knowing that we had a 5 hour trek downhill with the goal of reaching the gate of the park at 1200 noon.  
It was quickly apparent that the mood was different today as everyone was much more chatty and there was an air of excitement. Whether it was the extra oxygen in the air, the beginning of the realization of what we had all accomplished, knowing that we were near the end of our trek and looking forward to the safari, or the promise of a hot shower at the end of the day is unclear.  
As we descended and entered the jungle area it became apparent that descending had its own unique impacts on the body but the scenery and the excitement kept us moving.  We reached the gate at 1230 hours - on time as far as we were concerned.  Our bus was ready to go but needed to wait until we had all the necessary paperwork completed.  We kept busy having to officially sign out of the park, got our boots cleaned, examined the crafts that were on offer, and simply sat and relaxed.  
Eventually we were off for a relatively short bus ride to Bushman Expedition headquarters where we enjoyed a small celebration of the mountain and demonstrated our appreciation to the guides, cooks, and porters without whom we would never have reached the summit.  We were rewarded with an outbreak of singing and dancing to which some of us joined in while others filmed the celebration.  Back into the bus we went and the air was filled with the anticipation of arriving at the SalSalinero Hotel to wash the 8 days of dust and dirt off of us.  
Unfortunately for a number of us there was no hot water but that did not stop us from showering and watching the water turn brown as it washed the days of trekking off of us.  Exhausted but elated, and feeling clean, we gathered for a dinner buffet with our guides and the presentation of official certificates documenting our Kili Summit achievement.  
When we thought that the celebrations were done, Donna (in her usual thoughtful way) presented 5 of us with a special souvenir to mark our milestone birthdays!  Nikki, Rob, Allana, Ali and Lynne were given Kilimanjaro t-shirts that were signed by the entire group as well as the 5 guides and Abbas, the owner of Bushman Expeditions.
There is no doubt that these t-shirts will be treasured for a very long time as a very unique reminder of a great adventure and special birthday.  Before we all tucked ourselves into bed with dreams of what we had just experienced and would experience in the days to come, we called Pierre Allard, the founder of Just Equipping who was working in Rwanda to let him know that we had reached the summit of Kili successfully the previous day, raised the Just Equipping banner at the summit, and had all safely returned from the mountain. He was absolutely thrilled to hear from us.

A Few Personal Impressions of the Summit Trek

“It was cold, very, very cold, and windy, my feet were cold.........I remember seeing some glaciers and it was cold, very, very cold.”
It was most amazing; I still cannot believe we made it!!!!  I thought I might have permanent damage to my feet from frostbite.  Some toes stayed numb for awhile, but, it was worth it!!”

“Climbing to the Summit was not looking forward to see how far was yet to go; but knowing piece by piece, step by step how far we all had come.”

“Conquering the mountain was putting all the pieces of the climb together and celebrating the comradeship, struggle, commitment and accomplishment with a roar of success!”

“The trek to the summit seemed like an out of body experience with the darkness enveloping you as the cold and the wind added to the challenge of the climb.  I became a robot focused on the heels in front of me while my mind could only think of moving one foot in front of the next.  There was nothing else that occupied me until the announcement that we were within 2 minutes of Stella Point.  It was the longest 2 minutes of my life and I am convinced it was more like 20 minutes.  As the sun began to rise just beyond Stella Point it gave me new life and the energy to mustard on to the summit.  The realization that I would make it to the summit was overwhelming, indescribable, and surreal that brought forth tears of joy.  This was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.”

“Trekking for nearly seven hours in the dark helps to focus one’s energy and thoughts and kindle the determination that will help to achieve the summit.  We were walking like a bunch of speechless soldiers not quite knowing what lies ahead.  Several times we looked ahead at what appeared to be a star high in the sky only to realize that it is the headlamp of another trekker in the distance climbing the same trail.

“After leaving an hour earlier than the rest of the group, it was a long night and it seemed as though Stella Point were truly a mirage that might never materialize.  I told my guide Bakari that I was perfectly happy to just get to Stella Point and didn’t care if I went on to Uhuru Peak (the Summit).  Bakari agreed at the time, but when did finally reach Stella Point he said to me “oh, you have already eaten the cow, all that is left is the tail…” so I grudgingly agreed to continue on for what he promised was “only” another hour away….

Shortly thereafter I ran into the rest of the team and everyone was so excited to see me – it was truly a shot in the arm, and I was grateful to Bakari for convincing me to continue.  After reaching the peak and getting that important summit photo, we started back for Base Camp.  Hours later when I was complaining about how tired I was, Bakari said “oh, you have already eaten the cow…” to which I responded – YOU ALREADY USED THAT ONE ON ME!”

Post Climb Safari to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater

Day 1 – January 31: Moshi to Serengeti - Serena Hotel
Well we are well on our way to our next destination and a continuation of adventure as we SHAKE, RATTLE & ROLL down a bumpy road full of pot holes which could be best described as the wooden roller coaster "THE WILDA BEAST"! we pay this no mind, as the excitement rises within us, anticipation of Safari animal sightings stimulate our minds.  Each bump alerts us as our eyes scan the plains of the Serengeti. 
Suddenly our vehicle slows down. What luck! We pull up only 5 meters from a pride of lions!  This is remarkable. What a fabulous reward from the raw ruggedness of the mountain trek.  We are greeted by lions, impalas and zebras along the way to our Serena hotel.  
Finally after many long hours of travel and night fallen on the plains our dust & dirt covered bodies pull into aglow of a mystical lit world of ambiance.  We are greeted with hot wash cloths and refreshing mango juice to sooth and quench our dry thirst. 
The grounds are enchanted with miniature Dik Diks (tiny deer) and I would not have been surprised if a few of the small shadows dancing from tree to tree were African fairy folk.  The dwellings for our rest were rounded structures with arched entrances of elegant design.
As we lay our weary bodies in bed we slumber in thoughts of the amazement of this strange land and new adventures yet to come.

Day 2 – February 1 Serengeti -to Sopa Serengeti Hotel:
After being awoken by the dazzling morning light of the Serengeti, we meet up for breakfast and was seated at the “whispering dining room”.  The conversations ricocheted from one side of the room to the other as we anticipated what awaited us for the day.  
What a day we had, our guides Miguel and Rama drove us to a mud pond where a herd of elephants shower themselves in the mud and feeding on the shrubs around the pound.  We stopped by a hippo pool where a bloat of hippopotamuses submerged themselves into the water to escape the African sun while a long crocodile looked on at the edge of the pond.  
We bore witness to the mating ritual of a pair of lions, observed a leopard draped over a tree branch and shared in the contentment of a lone cheetah resting in the shade of the tall grass.  We rode with a herd of wildebeest and zebra while a lioness and her cub kept a watchful eye on us.
We ended the date with drinks at Rob and Health’s room as Hélène and Dru hosted French Canadian night.
After much spirits, cheeses and laughs, we headed out for dinner.  Loud drumming interrupted our dinner and our female trekkers were distracted by men dancing in loincloths. A perfect end to a day in Eden.

Day 3 – February 2: Sopa Serengeti to Sopa Ngorongoro
After an exciting evening that included a demonstration of dancers in loincloths that confirmed the Kili Lassies’ decision to rank loincloths a 10, the next morning we set out bright and early to discover more of the treasures of the Serengeti before heading to the Ngorongoro Crater.
Our day began with a fleet of flamingos and we learned that it was the algae they ate that make them pink. We were lucky enough to be up close and personal with the favourite of so many – the twiga (giraffes). Heading across the plain we discovered the migration path of the zebras and wildebeest (along with a few birds catching a free ride). We learned that the zebra and wildebeest co-exist in harmony – one eats the grasses closer to the ground, and the other eats the taller grasses.
Photos couldn’t capture the vastness of the herds, but we all certainly tried! Keen eyes captured a couple of lions lounging on the rocks watching that same herd – probably staking out dinner! A quick stop to see Masai wall paintings in a cave and it was off to our home for the night – the Sopa Ngorongoro.
Lynne and John hosted Dutch night and everyone learned some fascinating facts about the Netherlands, while munching on some delicious cheese. A long trek from our rooms to the restaurant, past a pool too chilly for anyone to venture in, for our last dinner on the safari.

Day 4 – February 3: Sopa Ngorongoro Crater- Moshi
Another early morning start for our last day together as a group.
Headed down into the Ngorongoro Crater to see if we might observe and “early morning kill”…not something nice to watch but part of nature.  The crater is huge and full of all different wildlife…. a complete little world of it’s own.  
Hoped to get a good look at a rhino and did see one but from some distance.  Made our way in the “Bushman” jeeps out of the crater on a very steep and winding dirt road.  Not a good place to have trouble with the vehicle. 
Lots of interesting local people and sights to see on the return road trip….herders…, young white faced masia warriors…, and  women with bananas on their heads. 
Experienced a violent wind and rain storm that made the visibility tough and the driving difficult.  Dropped off two of the trekkers at the airport and said our goodbyes.

Editor: Dru Allen

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

A PIC FROM THE PEAK! More to come...

Congratulations to an incredible team!  You did raise the banner of Just.Equipping at the summit as you promised.  We, at Just.Equipping, are so proud of you and so thankful for your support.

We have printed the pic from the summit and everyone is excited about your success.

Congratulations!  and looking forward to hearing all about it.



Friday, 27 January 2012


Normally a 5:00 am wake up call would be met with some minor level of hostility or surprise but the one I received this morning was warmly welcomed. Monty called to inform us that so far it has been a good, tough climb and they are prepared to summit from Barafu Camp at midnight tomorrow night! Yesterday was apparently a particularly challenging day with the scramble to the top of the Great Barranco, though they are soldiering on to the peak!

- Duncan Bourke

Side note: How he can get cell reception from an $17 phone from the peak of Africa but I get dropped calls in my stairway...


Sunday, 22 January 2012

KILICLIMB2012 - Trip Entry 1

          Most of us arrived on a flight from Amsterdam the morning of Jan 20th after an overnight flight from Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Edinborough. Abbas met is at the Kilimanjaro Airport and drove is to Moshi, where we are staying at the Salsalinero Hotel.
          What follows are some pics from today when the guides were checking our gear. Also a group shot with 4 of our 6 guides. We head out tomorrow at 7am drive 3 hours to the trailhead for the Lemoshu route then hike 6-7 hours up to 3100 meters for Shira camp 1. Everyone's well and anxious to start climbing.

          We had dinner at the El Rancho Indian Restaurant nearby. Great food, and good price. Day one here was spent organizing our gear, changing money, and settling our accounts with our trek organizer Abbas. Ron and Heather got their luggage 24 hours late thanks to Swiss Air. They spent most of the day trying to locate and have it delivered. They finally succeeded late this afternoon. This is a great hotel, so very relaxing after a long trip. 6 of us had a coffee plantation and factory tour this morning, and from all reports it was enjoyable. 4 of us went to inspect the daycare and visit the CACHA guesthouse. Lunch at the Union Cafe again today. An early night for all as breakfast being served at 6am.
          We met the guides today and like 2006, felt they will do there jobs of leading, support, and entertainment. We gave 4 special dinners planned. Tomorrow is the Chinese New Year so we have a Chinese dinner planned and a special presentation for Ben. It's the year of the Dragon so he's getting a Brew Pub T Shirt with their dragon logo complements of Van at the Brew Pub.
          As the week follows we have Robbie Burns Supper planned thanks to John Brown's assistance on the protocol and various parties including Allister (Address the Haggis), Nikki (Toast the Queen), Dru (Toast to the Lassies),  Donna (Reply from the Lassies) and me (Selkirk Grace and Toast to the Immortal Baird). More on this later.
          Also a Quebecois night (thank you Helene) and a Dutch treat night (Thank you Lynne and John). I gave the canvas sheet I brought to Abbas and we met his brother Robert, the artist, who agreed to paint Just Equipping and their logo on it. So now we have a Banner to fly at the top! Got to go to bed. Big day tomorrow.


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Message from Pierre Allard, President Just.Equipping

Dear Climbers,

As you attend to the final details of the Expedition that will bring you to the Summit of Mount Kilimanjaro on January 29th, 2012, we, at Just.Equipping, want to thank you, and your contributors, for your generous support.
We wish you every blessing on your exciting journey.
With much appreciation, 
Pierre and Judith Allard. 






Dru and Helene

Heather and Robert






Monday, 2 January 2012

The Women of Goma Prison

Chaplain Adolphine, Reverend Simeon, Chaplain Pascal, Jean Claude, Chaplain Canisius

The Women of Goma Prison 
Over the last two years, all of the Women of Goma Prison who were attacked have been released. However, efforts to reintegrate them back to their own communities has not gone well. A few weeks ago, Reverend Simeon reported that of the 23 women who were raped, only one was welcomed back by her partner. 15 were rejected by their husbands, 3 remain single, and 4 widowed. As victims of mass rape they remain stigmatised and unwanted by their communities and their families. Reverend Simeon, and his team have been mediating to have them accepted.
During this process, the Chaplains continue to provide emotional and mediation support for the women. The Just.Equipping Report for 2009 states that just $10 a day supports a chaplain and his family at a very basic level.
Simeon advises that provision for legal assistance, literacy training, family mediation, trauma and health counselling are needed. He says that these women need skills development, micro finance support for such ventures as soap making, sewing, handicrafts, renting farm land, seeding crops, and understanding new agricultural techniques. There were some children born out of rape. In the words of Simeon, these children “Need proper care, education, love, and to be accepted”.