Monday, July 6, 2009

How to get a Dutch guy frustrated.

By now I have visited quite a few villages in the east of the DRC. In each of them I see the same thing. We come in and we talk with the people. In all cases (of course) we get a laundry list of things they want: a school, electricity, a community house, a water system, etc. This is not the thing that frustrates me; I can understand. If I am poor and a rich white guy arrives in my village in a car with an NGO sticker on it and wants to talk to me, I would do exactly the same. What frustrates me is the following. After a talk in which we hear how dire the situation in the village is (which it really is), the people (especially the men) go back home and sit in front of their hut and do absolutely nothing for the rest of the day; except for chatting and eating sugar cane. Build a school!! Arrange electricity!! Build a community house!! Build a water system!!

Why are no public projects undertaken??*

[People that are idealist please stop reading now].
If I ask people who know this country much better than I do and who have been here for many year what the problem of this country is (why is it so poor), I hardly ever hear things like rebel groups, war, property destruction, etc; issues that I expected to be important before arriving here. People – both locals and ex-pats – say most of the time that the problem is ... the attitude of the Congolese themselves; I hear from many people that they are lazy and they are selfish.

Firstly, is this true?
Secondly, if it is, why is this so, and if it is not, what is it then? Is it the so-called learned helplessness? Do the people in the east of the Congo think "if we don’t do it, probably a few white people from an NGO will do it"? Do they expect the government to do it (something I really doubt)? Why don't people undertake these public projects? Is it the famous free-rider problem? Is it culture? Is it because of decades of repression by the Belgians, and after that by Mobutu?

I just can’t wrap my head around this. Being from a Dutch construction-building family and with a very strong mentality of getting one's act together and work one's ass off, this is really really frustrating. For a researcher, however, it is also really interesting.
I see these poor people living in these horrible conditions. And they just sit there. Why?

* I should be a little bit careful, though. Once or twice I did see some people working on improving the "road". These are, however, just a few villagers out of many. And exceptions.


  1. Mon peuple meurt à cause de manque de connaissance

    Il est vraiment difficile de croire, mais c'est vrai "Ndimela ngai" La façons dont la diaspora voie certain chose qui se déroule au Congo, et totalement différent de la façon dont les Congolais qui se trouve au Congo voie. Il est difficile de convaincre les Congolais qui se trouvent au Congo concernant la situation actuel de notre pays. Eux ils vont te dire leur propre prospective concernent le Congo qui ne sont pas vrai tantôt d’une manière a une autre. Il est mauve d’être. Le Congolais ne résonne plus à cause de la pauvreté. Le Congolais qui se trouve au Congo croyant que Joseph Kabila est le pacificateur et la Person qui a amener la paix au Congo, mais le Congolais de la diaspora croix que la crise mondiale à causer les investi tisseur qui soutenait la guerre (kunda batuare et Paul Kagamé) au Congo de retirer leur fond. La valeur a été donnait a J.Kabila mais il na rien fait pour maitre fin a guerre. Exemple, un chasseur de jubile va a la chasse, il voie une antilope et il poursuit l'antilope en le blessent avec sa lance, malheureusement il ne prouver pas l'attraper. Le deuxièmes chasseur va a la chasse, et il voie la même antilope entrent de venir et il le tue avec sa lance. Le deuxièmes chasseur croix que c'est lui qui a tue l'antilope. La question est celle ci, a qui appartient l'antilope et qui a tue l'antilope?
    C'est le cas du Congo.
    Le Congolais qui se trouve au Congo ne doit pas être intimidé par la réalité de la pauvre, mais ils doivent connaitre la vérité et le dire publiquement. La diaspora voie plus claire que le Congolais qui se trouve au Congo. Les politiciens du Congo sont tous corrompus à cause de la bouffe, la veriter ne peut pas être dit en évitant d’être chasser du travail. Au Congo il n’ya pas le droit de l’expression. La personne qui dit la veriter sera poursuivit et tue. La population on peur de dire la veriter p.c.q J. Kabila va le tue. Les Congolais doivent ce conscientisé et revenir a la moralité. Le Congo a besoin de leader politique, mais J. Kabila joue une stratégie pour démoraliser tout le candidat qui se soulever en les invitant dans son partie politique. S’il refuse, il le tue. J’appel a la conscientisation au Congolais vivant au Congo, la pauvreté n’est doit pas vous séparer de votre moral et conscience d’agir contre l’injustice.

  2. Past failure became my strength

    Congolese people time has come to move forward and improve our future. Congolese are always afraid of taking lead position risk. Whosoever risk is life for nothing he will get nothing,however whoever take risks of his life for something valuable, he will get it. We Congolese are afraid of taking risks ,but we are the first person to join others who took risks. We need leaders in our country not coward. We are in need of educated people who practice justice and fearing God. We all want to be leader ,but we don't have the ability to serve others. Good leaders sacrifices his/her life for others, but Congolese leader want to be served instead serving the population. Time has come for Congolese to open up their eyes because this is not the time to fight against each other regardless of our different opinions and points of views. Our cause is one to elect democratically a Congolese president. Westerner will never succeed whenever we are unify and devoted ourselves to move our country in a prosperous way. Whenever we are disorganized westerner are ready to make division because we were mentally, spiritually divided. Let forget our past failures and move in unity which will serve us as a vehicle of prosperity. I am urging Congolese to weak up and stand for our right. We cannot wait for other more years of Joseph Kabila leadership who his doing nothing for our mother land beautiful DRCongo. Time has come for Congolese change from our mentality and actions.