As many of you may be aware, the Central African Republic (CAR) has been in a political crisis since the overthrow of the government in March 2013 by the Seleka rebel alliance. Throughout the last nine months, thousands have suffered at the hands of Seleka through looting, extrajudicial killings, rapes and other abuses. Especially in the last five months, vigilante groups have formed among the majority non-Muslim population to defend themselves against the cruelty of the Muslim Seleka.
On December 5 it came to a head as the vigilante groups, along with fighters loyal to the former president, launched an attack on the capital city of Bangui to try and take back power from the Seleka forces. Soon after, the U.N. authorized a peace-keeping effort through the French and other African armed forces. However, the sectarian violence and revenge killings between the two sides has intensified over the last month.
Since the first of December, the number of displaced people of CAR has gone from around 600,000 to more than 935,000. Of that number, 512,672 are in Bangui seeking shelter in some 67 refuge sites. 60% of those refuged in Bangui are children, according to the UNHCR. The U.N., the World Food Program and others agencies are trying their best to help all of these refuge sites.
This has very much adversely affected the VisionTrust orphan program in Bangui, where we have around 577 registered. From all reports, all of those orphans have had to abandon their caregiver homes and seek shelter at the refugee sites around the city. This leaves their homes vulnerable to looting and loss.
We are currently putting together care packages that will help meet the basic needs of these children to help them have some semblance of normalcy once they return home. We will need your help in providing these packages, but in the mean time we’re asking you to pray.
Please pray for peace to return to the CAR soon so that the orphans and others can get back to school and try to resume their lives. Thank you for sharing God’s heart for this country and His people.