13-year old girl writes to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to save Congo DR

Zawadi Chantal, a 13-year-old girl from the Democratic Republic of Congo living in a refugee camp in Uganda has written to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asking him to pacify the war-ridden country. Zawadi, who has received support from ACORD, was speaking to the media during the recent celebrations of the International Day for the Girl Child in Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement in Kamwenge District under the theme "Let girls be girls: Invest in preventing teenage pregnancy."
"I want you to have sympathy on the people in Congo. Go to Congo and tell them to stop fighting. Have a heart and love for Congo," she said.

Dear M. Ban,

I came to know you when we learnt about you in class. I am a refugee girl from Congo now living in Uganda. I am 13 years old. One day war broke out in our area that forced us to leave our village. People were being killed. Everyone ran in different directions. We spent days walking in the bush until when we reached a place they said was the border. I was fortunate to escape the fighting alive. So was my mother, my young sister and two brothers. But I could not see dad. Men of war killed him. I do not know how he was killed. I just couldn't see dad.

We lost everything. I was in Senior Two at Bukambi Secondary School but because of the war, I did not remember to carry my report cards. This affected my education because when I reached Uganda without my Primary Seven Certificate, I was made to start from Primary Six. I am not alone. Even my friends did not carry theirs, and we have all repeated classes which has made some girls leave school and get babies. I feel bad because I know I can be like them. They get babies because they are orphans and poor. I do not want to be so.

I want to become a doctor and help people. When I came to Uganda, I found people in UN who help others. They help refugees. That's what I want to do - to help people. I love people like Red Cross and ACORD who do great things. I want to be crossing borders helping people. I request you to take me for training in many different countries so I can learn. I am now in Primary Six at Nkoma Primary School and I know everything they teach but I do not know English very well. I want you to take me to study science. The reason I love science is because I want to study about humans, basically about living things. When you take me to those countries, I will get knowledge.

I want to live a life without worrying. Life in the camp is bad because we cannot have all our needs. We do not have things to use like pads, clothes and shoes. Sometimes I just get pads from my friends who have. My mother cannot take care of me well with my sister in Primary Three and my two young brothers in Primary Two and Primary One.

Life in the camp is bad yet I do not want to go back to Congo. Bad things happened to me when I was in Congo like the death of my father. I want you to have sympathy on the people in Congo. Go to Congo and tell them to stop fighting. Have a heart and love for Congo. I also request President Museveni to talk to president Kabila and the rebels.

If I met the rebels, I would ask them to stop fighting. War leads to destruction of property and the loss of lives. I can visit Congo when peace returns. I want to finish my studies and get a job. I want to be a doctor. I want to be a doctor without borders. I also want other girls to study. I want them to love school because they will study many things that will help them have a good future.

Zawadi Chantal.



  • congo drc
  • uganda
  • united nations
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