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Peace and Reconciliation – Democratic Republic of Congo

OVERVIEW

This sustainable peacekeeping project for young people in Goma targets youth vulnerable to unemployment and violence. CBCA and CBM aim to empower young men and women and promote peace in communities through practical and entrepreneurial skills training. Support this project through financial contributions and prayer.  

Cause:

Location

Field Staff:

Local Partner:

Baptist Church in Central Africa (CBCA)

The Situation

Nearly half of the population in the Democratic Republic of Congo are under 15 years of age. The approximated percentage of youth struggling with poverty and unemployment in the DR Congo is 80%. With the eastern part of the country still facing security problems with rebel group movements, the large number of youths in Goma are especially vulnerable to be recruited and involved in violence and crimes. The government has implemented demobilization programs and school; however, these programs are inaccessible to many who cannot go to school. Financial support is greatly needed for local churches who are overwhelmed by the financial needs of youth people in the area. 

To ensure youth are protected from poverty and recruitment into violenceCBM assists CBCA in empowering the youth of Goma, and youth in the city of Gisenyi, Rwanda, to be involved in peacekeeping and self-reliant entrepreneurship. 

OVERVIEW

This sustainable peacekeeping project for young people in Goma targets youth vulnerable to unemployment and violence. CBCA and CBM aim to empower young men and women and promote peace in communities through practical and entrepreneurial skills training. Support this project through financial contributions and prayer.  

The Situation

Nearly half of the population in the Democratic Republic of Congo are under 15 years of age. The approximated percentage of youth struggling with poverty and unemployment in the DR Congo is 80%. With the eastern part of the country still facing security problems with rebel group movements, the large number of youths in Goma are especially vulnerable to be recruited and involved in violence and crimes. The government has implemented demobilization programs and school; however, these programs are inaccessible to many who cannot go to school. Financial support is greatly needed for local churches who are overwhelmed by the financial needs of youth people in the area. 

To ensure youth are protected from poverty and recruitment into violenceCBM assists CBCA in empowering the youth of Goma, and youth in the city of Gisenyi, Rwanda, to be involved in peacekeeping and self-reliant entrepreneurship. 

How We Are Helping

Here are a few strategies that CBCA, in partnership with CBM, have developed to empower youth and promote peace: 

Practical skills training 

Vulnerable youth selected from a previous CBM and CBCA project implemented in schools, Peace Clubs, to gain practical skills such as weaving, tailoring, and basket and handbag making.

Cross border activities encouraging peaceful relationships and the breaking down of prejudice 

Young people in Goma are given the chance to interact and share experiences with youth from Gisenyi, Rwanda, in a peaceful environment to learn to work with others in peace and harmony. 

Youth implement entrepreneurship activities to promote peace  

Youth are encouraged to raise awareness of peaceful co-existence through events and the production of songs, poetry, and other art forms. 

The Impact of Our Work

Eunice is a daughter from a family of six children, living in the city of Goma. Goma is inhabited by about one million inhabitants and faces insecurity, despite the strong presence of soldiers and UN soldiers. Eunice’s family is located near the police camp and central prison, which are reputed to be safe sites but often have bandits which operate in the area. Eunice is a member of the Virunga Peace Club where she is very active in peace activities involving visits and assistance to vulnerable people.

 In particular, she plays a positive role in assisting the youth of the peace club to reach out to street youth who are currently supervised by a Catholic Centre and who were involved in violence. 

“Since participating in the activities of the peace club, my life has changed a lot, including learning the importance of living together despite our differences, trying to live in peace and educating my colleagues to adopt values and behavior that build peace and cohabitation. We must love others to live in peace with them.”

Eunice Malengera

“The program continues to have a positive impact on the community and the lives of many young people. One of the major points we are seeing is the level of engagement and ownership of the program by young people.”
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