FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IFFAMPAC Identification Field Work Discoveries in Africa
ZAMBIA, Africa (August 18, 2009) IFFAMPAC Africa’s regional office hosted an identification seminar at George Compound in Zambia, Africa for families of missing persons from armed conflicts, most of whom are refugees. IFFAMPAC’s Family Identification program has been an ongoing endeavour, which has been identifying hundreds of surviving family members who ran away from their respective countries due to armed conflicts. The identification program enables IFFAMPAC to have a clear understanding of actual problems and social needs of these families. This in turn equips IFFAMPAC with solutions to the pressing problems which the families of the missing face.
Many families expressed their ultimate desire to help them search for their missing family members for possible reunification, and equip them with informal basic skills. Families of missing persons who reside in George compound are mostly refugees from Rwanda, Burundi and Congo DRC. There are high levels of illiteracy among these families, as most of them had no opportunity to attend basic education from their respective countries before the war. Further, IFFAMPAC Identification revealed that most of these families could not afford to take their children to school, and they also lack proper family planning interventions.
High levels of poverty among families in this compound are a result of the lack of family planning. It was discovered that these families need a special program on Family Planning: This aspect seems to have been neglected, and it is causing rampant poverty and unstable family structures among families in Africa.
One survivor of armed conflict said that they do not need food stuffs, as it could not support them on a long term basis. Instead, she insisted the need to help them through adult informal skills training provision in tailoring, woodwork and carpentry. These informal skills enable the most vulnerable people in Africa to create opportunities for self employment and entrepreneurship, and provide an effective approach to fight poverty on a sustainable basis.
IFFAMPAC-Africa office has observed that families in Africa face similar social problems of poverty, illiteracy, legality issues and disuniting family as a result of armed conflicts.
The key to solutions of social problems faced by these families is to join hands through Family Associations, to enable them to attain a unified voice and advocate for their social rights.
IFFAMPAC has also realized that many surviving family members in Africa need someone to talk to, because through this communication we can give them hope and courage. Therefore, counseling these families is also a cornerstone for their new beginning, and instiling the sense of happiness in them. Our experience reveals that once we talk with them, they feel a sense of belonging and being loved.
We need courage, networking and collaboration to seek social justice and well being for the families of the missing persons from armed conflicts. Therefore, we call upon all well meaning organizations and individuals to join hands with IFFAMPAC, to help redefine the future for the families of the missing persons, in Africa and beyond.
By: Evans Lombe
Please see our Events release for photos of Families of the Missing in George Compound.