“My cousin Pau is 33 years old and he is an ordinary Jesuit, but an up-to date version: long hair, beard, concerned with a fire burning within him, non-conformist and tireless, and a steadfast fighter against injustice, his words are both warm and intense ...”
“Today in a family meeting he has explained to us his experiences year in Liberia, where he has been taking part in one of the projects that JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service) carries out there, accompanying the return of the people who moved due to the war and are now returning to their devastated villages. All that he showed us and explained to us has impressed me deeply, and I cannot stop thinking that I want to do something to collaborate with the organization’s mission, helping in some way, helping 42 million people recover a normal way of life after suffering the injustices of war” http://enpau.blogspot.com/”
JRS. are the initials for the Jesuit Refugee Service. Onn their web www.jrs.net I read the following: “The Jesuit Refugee Service is an international organization with programs in more than 50 countries, with a mission to accompany, serve and advocate on behalf of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. The mission entrusted to JRS includes all those who have been isolated from their homes due to conflicts, humanitarian disasters or the violation of human rights (...)”. www.jrs.net.
We have been turning it over our mind for along time, we have been talking with different people, we have been discussing with all Raventós i Blanc team members... and finally we have decided to: we will collaborate actively with a cooperation together with JRS.
We want to take part in the return of: THE ILLUSION, THE HAPPINESS, THE HOPEEN KATANGA.
The war began, as all wars do, due to commercial interests. The mineral deposits in the Congo (former Zaire), among them Coltan, have given one of the names to this period, “The Coltan War”, also known as the Second Congo War. There have been different stages but it started round about 1998. The end of the war is even more uncertain as there are still areas in which “PEACE” has not yet been established.
The war has left a trail of almost 4 million mortal victims, hundreds thousands of displaced people that had to leave their lands and their villages, fearing for their lives. It is now, when the situation seems to be more stable, that they are returning to their places of origin, with the uncertainty of not knowing what they are going to find. Devastated cities, wretched villages, but the future is encouraging. The past must be forgotten as soon as possible, and a new stage of living together in prosperity needs to be established.
“In the JR letter, both the situation in Katanga and the importance of the children’s education in the process of return are explained”.
After this war stage, when the displaced return to their villages, they find the remains of the destruction. Schools will be the basis from which the children will be able to return to a normal way of life, but first they must be rebuilt. This will be the basis of our microproject: Katanga’s school - now in ruins - can be re-erected and turned into a place of acceptance and education for 400 children over the next few years.
“Our Start-up: Katanga’s School today ...”
The project will begin in the last months of the year 2010, at the end of the rainy season in the region. Then, they will begin the rebuilding works which will be coordinated on the terrain in the area by the JRS professionals and volunteers. The execution time of the works is estimated at around 7 months. Once the school has been opened, which is planned for May, 2011, JRS will carry out the task of the start-up, selection and training of the teachers and the rest of the staff. How will we do it? The total cost of rebuilding two school buildings and the start-up is $ 85,000 USD, to which we aim to contribute 50?% with our regular activity.
This year, 2010, Raventos i Blanc will continue to raise money to finish the school, through our new vintage of Montserrat Blanc 2009/Cooperation: all the revenue obtained by selling 630 bottles of this vintage will be used to continue the work of rebuilding the school. We hope that classes can begin in September 2011. During this time, we will provide regular reports about the progress of the project.