We have been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 2016. The profound crisis affecting the country drove us to intervene in order to make a real difference to thousands of girls and boys who have been marginalised. The country has experienced slight economic growth in recent years, but the majority of children still struggle to have their rights respected, especially due to the shortage of essential services such as healthcare and education.
Our focus is on Bukavu, an urban area in the Great Lakes region, where we collaborate with Foyer Ek’abana. The aim of this centre, founded in 2002, is the rehabilitation, education, and social and professional integration of girls and teenagers who find themselves on the fringes of society for various reasons.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, allegations of witchcraft can have dramatic consequences for a person’s life, especially in the country’s villages and rural areas. Thanks to the initiatives promoted by the Ek’abana centre to raise awareness, marginalisation as a result of beliefs and cultural traditions now has a lesser impact in the city of Bukavu. However, a great deal of work remains to be done in order to completely eradicate the social consequences of sociocultural convictions and beliefs, which have sadly been reinforced by new forms of poverty.
In the local language, « Mai-Mihogo » means « water-cassava ». This is the name given to the boys and girls who live on the streets, spending their days trading water for cassava flour.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we want to give around 1,300 « Mai-Mihogo » boys and girls access to primary education and the possibility of a present and a future free from marginalisation and poverty.