Saturday, June 12, 2010

CultureGrams seeks writer for text on DR Congo

YESTERDAY I received the following email. I am copying it here in full incase it is of interest to any readers of Congo Watch. Please note that the email was unsolicited and its author is unknown to me but feel free to pass it on.
Subject: Seeking a writer for text on Dr Congo


I came across your blog while searching for someone to do a small writing project for me. Below is a form letter that explains in greater detail what I’m looking for. I would appreciate any help you can give me.

I’m an editor of an educational publication called CultureGrams, which is seeking someone with experience in the DR Congo for a paid project. I’m hoping that you might be able to assist me in locating someone.

CultureGrams is a series of more than 200 country-specific reports that describe people's daily life and culture. The audience consists primarily of North American students and educators.

We are currently seeking someone to help us expand our existing DR Congo report. This person will provide additional cultural information about certain sections of the report. We will provide direction and prompts as to the type of information we are seeking. Contributors receive a one-time payment of $250.

No professional writing experience is required. We ask only that contributors be current or recent residents of the country (preferably with at least 2.5 years of full-time residency in the last 4 years), have a college degree (or equivalent education), fluently speak the country's official language or a major national language, and have had experience in more than one region of the country and with people of different socioeconomic levels.

I’d be grateful if you could let me know of anyone who might be interested in this project. Applicants should email me their CV and a brief description of how they meet the above qualifications. More information on CultureGrams is available at

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide. Perhaps you know someone in DR Congo who would be qualified to do this writing.


Steve Williams
Editor, ProQuest
5252 North Edgewood Drive, Suite 125
Provo, UT 84604
InformationWeek 500 Top Innovator

Friday, June 11, 2010

Congo Siasa blog: List of armed groups in the Kivus

TODAY, thanks to Alun McDonald's tweet (see details below), I found Jason Stearns' blog, Congo Siasa at and noted his list of armed groups in the Kivus published on 09 June 2010 at his blog post entitled List of armed groups in the Kivus.

According to the 'About' page at Congo Siasa blog, Mr Stearns has been working on the conflict in the DR Congo for the past eight years, most recently as the Coordinator of the United Nations Group of Experts on the Congo (2008). He has also worked for Heritiers de la Justice, a local human rights NGO (2001), the UN peacekeeping mission MONUC (2002-2004) and the International Crisis Group (2005-2007). A book he wrote on the conflict, Dancing in the Glory of Monsters, is due to be published soon. He is currently obtaining his PhD at Yale University.

Hat tip: Alun McDonald's tweet 10 June 2010 - A who’s who of armed groups in eastern Congo

Note, according to Mr McDonald's bio, he is based in Nairobi, Kenya, "working for Oxfam, covering Sudan, Congo, Somalia and everywhere in between". See alunmcdonald's photostream at Flickr and the photo set on Sudan where he lived between 2006 and 2009. Most of the photos were taken in Darfur, South Sudan, the eastern Red Sea State, Khartoum (the capital), and the northern desert. The photos from Great Lakes: Congo, Uganda, Rwanda were taken from between 04 May 2009 and 30 June 2009. Here is a sample.

Kiwanja, North Kivu, DR Congo

A hotel in Kiwanja, North Kivu, destroyed in the fighting in late 2008. In November 2008, a massacre in this small town killed 150 people. (Photo and caption by Alun McDonald)

North Kivu, DR Congo

A camp in North KIvu, sheltering thousands of people who fled the fighting in late 2008. (Photo and caption by Alun McDonald)

North Kivu, DR Congo

UN peacekeepers set up a military checkpoint in North Kivu, eastern Congo. (Photo and caption by Alun McDonald)

North Kivu, DR Congo

Red Cross tented hospital in North Kivu, eastern Congo. (Photo and caption by Alun McDonald)

Main street in Goma, DR Congo

Main street in Goma, the state capital in eastern Congo. The volcano - which glows red at night - dominates the town. (Photo and caption by Alun McDonald)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Enough Project: RAISE Hope for Congo music

Press Release
For Immediate Release: June 8, 2010
Ashley Bryan, Press Here,,
Jonathan Hutson, Enough Project,,


RAISE Hope For Congo

A compilation to help stop the world’s worst violence against women & girls as a result of conflict in Democratic Republic of the Congo

Curated by music expert Nic Harcourt, the compilation features exclusive tracks from renowned artists such as Norah Jones, Mos Def, Sheryl Crow, Angelique Kidjo,

Damien Rice, Amadou & Mariam & Bat For Lashes


New York, NY – June 8, 2010 - Enough, a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity, has joined forces with Mercer Street Records to release a special compilation album curated by leading music expert Nic Harcourt (Los Angeles Times, KCRW Radio, A&E Network). The compilation, titled RAISE Hope For Congo, brings together many of contemporary music’s leading artists in solidarity with Congolese women who have been the target of violence and rape amidst war in the region fueled by the demand for conflict minerals used in electronics from cell phones to computers. The incredible genre-spanning album includes exclusive unreleased tracks from Norah Jones, Mos Def, Damien Rice, Angelique Kidjo, Bat For Lashes, Rodrigo y Gabriella, Amadou & Mariam and more as well as a special reading from Sheryl Crow. The compilation is set for digital release on June 8th and physical release on June 22nd.

RAISE Hope For Congo was conceived by executive principle of the Unison Agency, Shahin Shahida, who serves as the compilation’s executive producer. After reading Not on Our Watch, a book by the co-founder of Enough John Prendergast, Shahida saw the need for a compilation that would help open the world’s eyes to the crisis in the Congo. Shahida's vision for the compilation was shared by colleague Zeid Masri, an investor in Downtown Music, who helped set the wheels in motion to produce and make the release a reality. The Enough Project and Mercer Street Records have produced this compilation in the effort to make the protection and empowerment of Congo’s women a priority, as well as inspire individuals around the world to raise their voice for peace in Congo. John Prendergast, a prominent human rights activist and author who was the director of African Affairs at the National Security Council during the Clinton administration, says, One of the principal reasons why there is little international response to the terrible human rights crimes in Congo -- particularly against women and girls -- is that people just don't know that these things are happening. This compilation album will be a beacon to light the path to educating hundreds of thousands of people about the issues in Congo and what all of us can do to help end the suffering there."

All profits raised through this compilation will help fund critical field research and awareness raising efforts that will work to end the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the insatiable worldwide demand for electronic products is fueling violence and the use of rape as a weapon of war. The conflict has become the deadliest since World War II and the most dangerous place in the world for women and girls.

The compilation track listing is:

1. Lonely Soldier – Damien Rice

2. Not Immune – Imaad Wasif

3. Angel Mom – Jesca Hoop

4. 40 – Meshell Ndegeocello

5. Je t’aime – Staff Benda Bilili

6. Leila – Angelique Kidjo

7. Na Miso – Chantal Kreviazuk

8. World of Trouble – Norah Jones

9. My Name is Mwamaroyi – Sheryl Crow

10. Don’t Let Me – Amel Larrieux

11. Raise Hope – Om├ękongo Dibinga & Shahin Shahida

12. Never Again – Ozomatli & The Agahoza Shalom Youth Village

13. Sleep Alone – Bat For Lashes

14. Before You Were Young (Live at Joe’s Pub) – Travis

15. Hora Zero (Live at Wecheter) – Rodrigo y Gabriela

16. Tambara – Amadou & Mariam

17. Nsimba & Nzuzi – Konono No 1

18. Priority (A Cappella) – Mos Def


Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on crises in eastern Congo, Sudan, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit Enough's RAISE Hope for Congo campaign aims to build a permanent and diverse constituency of activists that will advocate for the protection and empowerment Congolese women and girls. The Enough Project will collaborate with national, grassroots, and Congolese organizations, across various constituencies and the political spectrum, to build this grassroots movement. Enough will also continue to provide policy analysis and recommendations. To learn more,



Mercer Street Records is a part of Downtown Music and the sister label to Downtown Records. Mercer Street Records releases consistently incredible music and videos from David Gray, Meshell Ndegeocello, Ozomatli, Kesiah Jones, Kitty Daisy & Lewis, Asa, Jesse Harris, William Fitzsimmons, Femi Kuti and other remarkable artists from around the world.

Downtown Music, LLC is an independently owned company which operates Downtown Records, Downtown Music Publishing, Downtown Music Services (Licensing Group), and Downtown Recording Studios. Downtown Records is comprised of its Downtown and Mercer Street imprints and joint venture partners Dim Mak, Fool’s Gold, and Mad Decent Records. /

Downtown Records is distributed by Universal Music’s Fontana Distribution, with certain releases distributed by ADA. Offices are located in New York and Los Angeles.

For nearly a decade, Unison has partnered with foundations, associations, multi-laterals, sovereign governments and non-governmental agencies as well as socially conscious companies to develop and enhance brands as a means to communicate real and lasting

change in the world. They are dedicated to helping clients champion their causes and continue their lifelong work as activists through sustainable brand equity and cause marketing efforts.

Their clients include the Global Fund Against AIDS, TB and Malaria, Friends of the Global Fight, United Nations, The Enough Project at The Center for American Progress, Ocean

Conservancy, The Endeavor Group, U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, U.S. Green Building Council, The German Marshall Fund of the U.S. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to name a few.

For more information, visit:

Source: Enough Project, 1225 Eye St. NW., Washington, DC 20005 United States