Our program

Development and Peace has been carrying out projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since the end of the 1970s.

In particular, we have supported groups dedicated to the democratization process, including free and fair elections, and working to empower women and build a lasting peace. For recent examples, see our 2016 brochure:

Non-Violence, Democracy and Citizen Participation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

We are currently partnering with Caritas – Kilwa Kasenga on a women’s literacy project in the ecclesiastical province of Lubumbashi. This project is not only enabling local women to learn to read and write, but also generating a new dynamic of respect and equality in their communities.

Over the first 10 months of the project in 2021, 125 Congolese women learnt to read and write, while developing other new skills for income-generating activities and gaining a greater awareness of their rights.

Given its success, the project has been extended, allowing at least 200 more women to enroll in the program — and that number does not include their families and communities, who comprise the thousands of indirect beneficiaries.

Literacy is a major source of change in the life of a woman, her household and her community.

The situation

The DRC is blessed with an abundance of natural wealth (mines, forests, water and earth), yet it remains one of the least developed countries for reasons linked to corruption, poor governance and armed conflict.

The DRC has experienced violent internal conflict for decades, with various factions seeking to seize power and exercise control over the country’s vast mineral wealth. Despite the presence of a United Nations peacekeeping force, armed groups control several parts of the country, terrorizing the civilian population and inflicting sexual violence upon women.

Our projects over the years have focused on helping Congolese communities gain more benefits from their country’s resources, increasing their incomes and upholding the rights of the most vulnerable among them, particularly women.