The Democratic Republic of Congo is a complex, challenging country. More than 10 years of war has left a legacy of poverty, poor governance, displacement, violence and corruption.
Sexual violence is widespread in the east and the country’s abundant mineral reserves continue to be plundered to fund the conflict.
But while media reports focus on shocking levels of human cruelty, visitors to the DRC are often struck by the warmth of its people, their resilience and their determination to build a better future. We see this in our work with communities every day and it is this that inspires our programme.
The country programme’s stated objective is to help create a nation where every citizen can build their own future without fearing the present day.
This work includes helping ordinary people make a living from small businesses and farming, establishing the conditions for a fair distribution of the country’s mineral wealth, helping citizens to fight the culture of impunity which leaves crimes such as sexual violence go unpunished.
Our partners include faith networks whose influence extend to all sectors of Congolese society and hold sway in some of the most geographically remote parts of this enormous country.
Our programme also encompasses the Civil Society Fund, a grant making body funded by the UK government as well as the Swedish Cooperation, which will support around 400 Congolese organisations to strengthen the voice of the Congolese people, establish the conditions for a fair democracy and hold their government to account.
CBCA – a trusted presence in communities across eastern DRC, the development wing of the Baptist church can respond quickly and effectively to help those affected by DRC’s longstanding conflict at moments of particular crisis. It also runs long-term development projects to help people earn a living and provide for their families.
UMAMA - a local NGO working with women and is a member of several human rights networks at provincial and national level. It highlights the particular needs of women in DRC’s development and at a local level; its projects have included support for victims of sexual violence.
UPKA - Farmers Union for Progress sets out to improve living standards in rural communities by ensuring farmers can cultivate enough food, and helping them work together to uphold their rights in the face of conflict and corruption.
ASOP - a social action organisation that helps farmers achieve greater harvests and increase the profits they receive from their produce. It also promotes entrepreneurship by helping establish community cooperatives.
OCET - provides legal support for agricultural communities on issues such as property acquisition, taxation and the forest code.
What you can do
• Help us continue our work in DRC by donating.
• Help us eradicate poverty and injustice by taking action.
• Find out how Christian Aid partner UPKA has helped communities in Maniema province start to reclaim their rights after years of conflict and corruption.
• Maurice Namwira, of our partner Héritiers de la Justice, explains the dangerous but crucial role played by human rights defenders in the DRC.Share this article