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Children in a village in Kasai Oriental Province, Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo: Catholic Relief Services.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

With your generous help, we provide support for the re-integration of ex-combatants in the DRC. We also help communities in rural areas to develop sustainable livelihoods and improve their quality of life.

Our work in the DRC

We believe that people who are the most vulnerable to exploitation deserve protection, care, and the chance to build their own futures. With women and children in particular suffering in the DRC, our programs seek to bring healing, education and hope to their communities.

Partnership

Working with local communities in the DRC since 1999

Programs

Supporting three programs through two local partners

Priorities

Protection, sustainable livelihoods, civilian peace-building, conflict prevention and resolution

Program snapshot

Protection and Re-Integration of Ex-Combatants in the Diocese of Bukavu

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Women's empowerment program in North and South Kivu. Photo: Lulu Mitshabu/Caritas Australia.

Running since: 2015

Partner Agencies: Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), Caritas Bukavu

Aims: To help ex-combatants transition from military to civilian life, with a focus on establishing sustainable livelihoods

Who it is for: Ex-combatants (male and female) in Bukavu and the host communities

Achievements: 

  • Over 1900 people trained in sustainable agricultural practices to improve harvests
  • Vulnerable communities helped to set up savings groups to create their own businesses
  • 12 sustainable small enterprises created
  • Ex-combatants work together with village members on advocacy activities, contributing to stronger social cohesion
  • Distributed masks, hygiene kits, shared preventive health messages and conducted training sessions during COVID-19 pandemic

Fact: This program has touched the lives of over 30,000 people

Along with your generous support, this program is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). 

More background

Despite its fertile land and wealth of minerals, natural disasters, conflict, disease and malnutrition have devastated the DRC’s economic development. Around 5.4 million people lost their lives between 1998 and 2007.

Displacement: Violence forced millions of people to flee their homes in 2017; an average of 50 families per hour, each day. In total there are over 4.49 million internally displaced people – the highest of any African nation. Poverty and instability mean that many children are unable to go to school.

Gender-based violence: Over one million women and girls have been sexually assaulted over the last 20 years. Perpetrators mostly escape justice, reinforcing a culture of violence against women. There is limited medical and emotional support for survivors of sexual assault. 

Health: Maternal and infant mortality rates are high. Around 88 out of 1,000 children die before they are five. In addition to COVID-19, DRC has also grappled with the world’s second largest Ebola epidemic on record, as well as other diseases, such as yellow fever, malaria and a measles outbreak that has already killed thousands of people (sources...UNOCHA, WHO)

You can help

With your generous support, we can help people whose lives have been affected by trauma and conflict in the DRC. We support programs on sustainable livelihoods, protection, civilian peacebuilding, conflict prevention and resolution. 

Become a regular giver

You can provide critical lifesaving aid and assistance to the communities in the DRC devastated by earthquakes, cyclones, flooding or conflicts. Your donation means that our partners on the ground can respond quickly and efficiently when disasters strike.

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