Congolese citizens have been forced to walk a tightrope between leaving or staying, bribing or abstaining, silencing themselves or shouting, dying or living. As a Burundian living within sight of eastern DRC, I have watched the human rights crisis unfold and deepen. Still, a border always operates as a buffer between perceptions and realities. I always wondered if there was more to DRC than darkness, and during my visit I realized that if I am to offer a deeper level of engagement to groups working there, I must start by taking a closer look at this vast and resource-rich country.
Mambo Zawadi and Julienne Lusenge of Fund grantee SOFEPADI. Photo courtesy of SOFEPADI. June 11, 2018 By Chloe Gilot, Program Intern Victoria* was 17 years old when Mambo Zawadi arrived at her school in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As the Executive Director of Female Solidarity for Integrated Peace and Development (SOFEPADI), Zawadi spoke […]
Imagine giving birth to a healthy baby, but being unable to prove that the infant is yours. Imagine your child, older now, being refused enrollment in school and denied healthcare. For many new mothers living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this is an everyday reality. All because their children don’t have birth certificates. While Congolese law requires families to register their newborns within 90 days, this can be a near-impossible task, especially for poor parents and those living in remote areas.
How do you access a remote jungle where groups of armed men have children in their ranks? This is the question Murhabazi Namegabe faces each day working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In a country where tens of thousands of children are forced to be rebel soldiers or slaves, Fund grantee BVES […]
Murhabazi Namegabe walked into the forest knowing full well that he may never return. Accompanied by several aid workers, Murhabazi had been driving for hours in the North Kivu area of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), searching for a group of armed men he knew had children in their ranks. However, when […]
Between January 2014 and March 2015, military police officers raped thirteen girls near Beni in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The victims ranged in age from 9 to 17 years old. For over a year, the officers were not tried for their crimes. In the eastern Congo, where violent conflict has continued for […]
Julienne Lusenge, Board Chair of long-time Congolese grantee SOFEPADI, exemplifies the courage needed to fight violence and discrimination. Julienne’s work puts her in constant danger, and she continues her work despite receiving death threats. Hear about how she stands up against militias and members of the military who are perpetrating an epidemic of rape in the Congo.
The Fund currently supports over 100 organizations in six different countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. We’re currently working in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in West Africa, and Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda in the African Great Lakes. Over a decade of grant-making in Sub-Saharan Africa has shown us just how critical human […]