Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been afflicted by conflicts and political instability for many years, and the authorities there are struggling to meet the basic needs of the population. Over the last few years, the country has been subjected to several complex and drawn-out periods of violence that have primarily affected the civilian population. Young girls and boys bear the brunt of this situation.

Why we work there

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.

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Projects

Country Representative

Stefano Sangalli
Country Representative

Country statistics

77,3 million

inhabitants

18%

population below 5 years of age

16,9 anni

average age of the population

680 $

average annual income per capita

77,1%

live below the poverty line

43,1 / 1000

under-five mortality rate

42,6%

child malnutrition (<5 years)

22,7%

illiteracy rate among over-15s

24,6%

population over the age of 25 with a secondary school qualification

44,6%

school dropout rate

38%

child labour rate (5-14 years old)

3,9

happiness index (on a scale of 1-10)

Source: Human Development Index 2016, United Nations Development Programmme (UNDP)