After decades of war and political strife, the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) long for healing, economic self-sufficiency, and security. Armed groups have used sexual violence against women and forced recruitment of children to promote fear throughout the country. Widespread exploitation and lack of transparency in the mining sector have long made politicians and major extractive industries the sole beneficiaries of the DRC’s vast mineral resources, while local populations face abject poverty. This culture of corruption, in addition to conflicts between armed groups and poor infrastructure, have worsened crises such as 2018’s Ebola outbreak in the North Kivu region.
Determined to foster lasting social, economic, and political change, numerous community-based organizations in the DRC work to unite people and mobilize for reforms.
The Fund supports more than 30 grassroots groups in the DRC focusing on strengthening women’s economic and political clout, pursuing economic and environmental justice for rural communities, changing attitudes surrounding children’s rights to health and education, and building capacity for LGBTQ people to advocate for equality. Fund grantees also document human rights violations and push back against restrictions on freedom of expression, particularly as governmental power shifts occur.