Development and Peace has been working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since the end of the 1970s. The organization supports a number of groups dedicated to consolidating the democratic progress achieved since the 2006 elections and working to build lasting peace.
The program supports initiatives to foster greater citizen participation in the democracy-building process by putting in place civic education activities and creating community radio networks, for example in Katanga province (Lubumbashi, Likasi and Kamina).
“Listening to RCK has opened our eyes. For example, rape is no longer a taboo subject in our community. Today, when a young girl is raped, we […] go directly to the police and seek justice.”
Cécile Kazadi, RCK listener and member of the Mbalaka listeners’ club-in, Likasi.
The program is also designed to help communities gain more benefits from the exploitation of mining resources, to increase incomes, and to create work for the most vulnerable women and young people by establishing public markets.
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is blessed with an abundance of natural wealth (mines, forests, water, earth), yet the country ranks second to last on the Human Development Index (HDI), especially for reasons linked to corruption and poor governance. Over the past ten years, DRC has experienced horrific violence, with various factions seeking to seize power and exercise control over the nation’s vast mineral wealth.
In spite of the presence of MONUSCO, the most important United Nations peacekeeping force ever established, armed groups control a number of parts of the country, inflicting terror and extortion upon the civilian population and widespread sexual violence upon women. This conflict often causes major displacements, as people attempt to find refuge in camps or reach neighbouring countries.