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Q Project: Act 1

Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!

17 April 2019

Post No. 87



The Week’s Contents


• Historical Survey of CENFACS’ Protection Work (19/04/2019)

• Protection of Infrastructures, Homes and Buildings (Week beginning: 15/04/2019)

• Protection of the Hungry and Insecure People in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger


… and much more!


Key Messages


~ Historical Survey of CENFACS’ Protection Work (on 19/04/2019)

Our first Act of the Quadranscentennial (Q) project is the Historical Survey of CENFACS’ Protection Work which will be held on the 19th of April 2019.  This is a mapping activity and investigation about protection work since CENFACS was established in 1994 and since we are in the April month of protection at CENFACS.

Protection work began at that year.  It was once about what was happening in the region of Great Lakes of Africa in terms of protection need there.  Then, our protection work expanded to include other parts of Africa and other aspects of life. 

Under the Main Developments section of this post, you will find the highlights of this survey about the work of CENFACS on protection since 1994. 

~ Protection of Infrastructures, Homes and Buildings (Week beginning: 15/04/2019)

This week, we are dealing with the 3rd note of the theme of protection against floods.  The focus is on how to protect infrastructures, people’s homes, public buildings and other basic amenities against floods or flood disaster.

In developing countries of Africa for example,  the challenge that can be brought by floods could be beyond local people’s capacity and ability, like in the case of Cyclone Idai in Southern Africa recently.   In particular, where infrastructures, homes and buildings have been destroyed, this challenge is even greater. 

So, this week’s work on protection against floods is about looking at the limits and budget constraints of places affected by floods and how they can be matched with the demands of protection.

More on this week’s protection work can be found under the Main Developments section of this post.



~ Protection of the Hungry, Insecure and Needy People in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger

Although this week’s protection is about infrastructures, homes and buildings; we would like to extend our protection work of the last week, which was on protection of people, to include the needy people of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. 

We are including them as they are experiencing hunger, insecurity and scarcity of natural resources, especially water.  As it is known that the region of Sahel (in which these countries belong to) has a history of water shortage and drought which are a disadvantage for them, particularly for those living in poverty there. 

Added to this natural feature of these places, recently there have been killings in the region (in Mali against the Peul populations), inter-community strives, insecurity for farmers and stock breeders, general poverty, irrigation problems, drying of land, deforestation, desertification etc.  This has been coupled with extremism, inter-community conflicts, the lack of water drilling and decline of natural resources

As the brief picture of the situation in these countries has shown, this raises the question of protection of hungry, insecure and water resource-deprived people.  However, the injection of what is happening in these countries is not only about raising awareness concerning these people’s protection needs, but it is also about motivating those who can to do something about it.

Those who would like to help protect the peoples of these three countries who are desperate in need of food, security and safe drinking water; they can work with CENFACS on this matter.


Extra Messages


~ Easter Break with Life-renewing Experience Sharing and Reporting…

At home, on the move, away and on the field

To feature the renewal season at CENFACS, you can save the experiences about life-renewing you are having over this Easter break.  You can share and or report to CENFACS your experience of life-renewing initiative you are having or witnessing or even heard.  You can share it the time it is happening or when you return after Easter.

Life-renewing experiences are anything that has been done to help or support people in most needs to recompose, restructure and reconstruct themselves over this easterly time.

This experience can happen at any place (home and away) of Easter break.  You could even post your experience to CENFACS with photos, pictures, texts, videos or any supporting materials that better convey your life-renewing messages.


~ Comparative Analysis on Poverty Relief Movements in North Africa

Also, on the agenda this week is our reading of Poverty Relief Movements in Africa (PRMA).  As the young Algerians continue to demand an end to poverty linked to a lack of true, open and transparent democratic transition; what this does tell us about our model of peaceful PRMA.  Additionally, we are trying to make sense in the current PRM in North Sudan.    

We are trying to compare the two waves of PRM in North Africa: the first wave of PRM in 2010 (of Tunisia and Egypt) and the second wave of PRM in 2019 of Algeria and Sudan.  We are looking at the similarities and dissimilarities as well as what they are telling us about a model of peaceful PRMs.  In our model, we continue to argue that it is possible to achieve better change through peaceful PRMs or means.  It may take time but change will materialise one day or another.

In the 31st Issue of FACS published in Spring 2011, CENFACS (1) simply defined PRM as

“a series of actions and a group of peaceful protestors with a common need and a common goal of advancing the cause of poverty relief in their respective countries” (p.4).

It is poor people’s revolution against poverty or poor people’s voices against poverty.  Their ways of expressing their voices can find accommodation in the streets and or anywhere else.

To comparatively analyse PRMA with CENFACS, contact CENFACS.   

(1) CENFACS, The Street Claimants of Poverty Relief in the North Africa: Case of the Youth Peaceful Poverty Relief Movements in Tunisia and Egypt, FACS Issue No. 31, Spring 2011 (pp. 3 & 4)





Main Developments


Act One of Q Project: Historical Survey of CENFACS’ Protection Work (19/04/2019)

The historical survey of CENFACS protection work will be carried out through three elements: the background to CENFACS’ protection work, the identified areas of protection within CENFACS and a basic questionnaire to complete our survey.


~ The Background to CENFACS’ Protection Work

CENFACS’ protection story and work all began in 1994 when we saw the mass exodus of population leaving Rwanda and entering the Democratic Republic of Congo (ex-Zaire) running away from their attackers, and human bodies thrown in the Tanganyika Lake.

It is not by chance if CENFACS’ Q Year coincided with the 25th anniversary (07/04/2019) of Rwanda’s tragic event of mass murder, the genocide.  At that time, we had a choice to write a book to express our view or set up an organisation to advocate about the protection challenge that the Great Lakes of Africa faced.  The idea of setting up an organisation (a forum for discussion) overweighed that of a book. 

This is when our work on protection started, although our idea was an economic one.  We thought about protection of those people fleeing their lands to seek refuge in Zaire (today DRC), protection for the Congolese who were forced to welcome these Rwandan refugees while paying a heavy price for doing it, and protection of natural resources (like the Lake Tanganyika, farming lands, conflict materials etc.).

We wondered whether or not the international development community could not see what was happening and why these defenseless poor people were left to migrate and die in this way.  Why the genocide could not be prevented.  Why action was not taken.

The situation escalated to create two waves of war in DRC: the first Congo war between 1996 and 1997 characterised by a foreign invasion of Zaire led by Rwanda; the second Congo War in 1998 which became the deadliest conflict worldwide since the World War II with a toll of 5.4 million deaths by 2008.  This raised again the stake of protection to its highest level. 

This is CENFACS’ protection work and how it began.  This protection work took various shapes and forms as CENFACS develops as identified below.


~ Identification of the trends in protection work by CENFACS

Our investigative work found that there were and continue to be six trends or dimensions of protection which are as follows:

1/ Protection of the victims of destructive wars and natural disasters (like in the case of DRC) run under ReLives Programme

2/ Protection of the forgotten children of developments (children victims of the rivalries from the world system of exploitation)

3/ Protection of the ethnic minority people and communities

4/ Protection of the environment and nature conducted via a la une (Autumn Leaves of Action for the Upkeep of the Nature in Existence) campaign

5/ Protection of women and children (via Women and Children projects) that makes CENFACS’ What Women Want (3W) initiative and Peace, Protection and Sustainability (PPS) Programme

6/ Protection of children against the impacts and effects of climate change, which is conducted through our advocacy initiative known as Climate Protection and Stake for African Children 

These six dimensions provide the cartography of CENFACS protection work.

Without anticipating the results of the first Act of the Q Project, we can argue that this first Act will deal with these dimensions in trying to find out the outcomes, lessons and development we can learn from our 25 years experience of working on these six types of protection. 

To support and or enquire about CENFACS’ first Act of the Q Year and Project, contact CENFACS.

~ Q Protection questionnaire

To support the historical survey about CENFACS’ protection work, there will be a basic questionnaire to complete after 19 April 2019.  This questionnaire will be related to the six trends or dimensions of protection.

Further details about this questionnaire will follow in due course.  


Protection of Infrastructures, Homes and Buildings (Week beginning: 15/04/2019)


~ What this week’s protection work is also about

This week’s third note of protection against floods is about looking at the financial limits and budgetary constraints of flood affected countries and organisations working there as well as how they can be matched with the demands of potential flood hazards or disasters in the future. 

~ What needs protection: destroyed infrastructures, homes and buildings

Often when there are wars, basic infrastructures, homes and other buildings are targeted for attack.  They get destroyed or vandalised.  This happened in many wars like in Rwanda, the DRC, the Central African Republic etc.  The places of refuge for those fleeing wars and atrocities are targeted as well. 

Conflicting fighters, sometimes both regular and irregular armies, destroy bridges, roads, airports, water infrastructures, transport systems, places of worship, local markets etc.  State and private buildings are not exempted.

This destruction can happen despite there are some laws of war (or the law of armed conflict) or conventions regarding the conduct of and during the war.  For example, there is a Geneva Convention (of 12 August 1949) relative to the protection of civilian persons in the war.   

When a major natural disaster strikes like the Cyclone Idai in Southern Africa; infrastructures, houses, dwellings, buildings, edifices and any construction are not exempt from destruction or collapse.  The infrastructures that get destroyed include water, sanitation, transportation, electricity, irrigation, and flood protection.

Yet, these basic infrastructures are the ones poor people and the rest of the population depend on for their daily life.  Likewise, homes and buildings are needed by the same people to live and work in or just function as human beings.

~ Providing protection to the affected infrastructures, homes and buildings

Generally, poor people and communities do not have the capacity to handle floods of certain level of impact like the one we saw with the Cyclone Idai in Southern Africa.  Where their capacity falls short, they can appeal to cover the difference or shortfall.  Obviously, in the case of these kinds people and communities this difference will be often covered by international humanitarian assistance.    

To support this third note and the protection month, contact CENFACS.

FOR ONLY £1, YOU CAN SUPPORT CENFACS AND CENFACS’ PROJECTS, JUST GO TO http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/

Thank you for visiting CENFACS website and reading this post.

Thank you as well to those who made or make comments about our weekly posts.

We look forward to receiving your regular visits and continuing support throughout 2019.

With many thanks




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