We’ve been working in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since 2015 to support marginalised children affected by conflict and children in conflict with the law.
Live on less than £1.50 a day.
Of children don’t complete primary education.
The average age of the population is just 17 years old.
Giving out-of-school children access to an education in war-torn areas
In North Kivu where we work, over 40% of children are out of school. Severely underpaid, teachers have little support to deal with overcrowded classes with up to 50 pupils. The politically unstable environment in the region poses additional threats: uneducated and unemployed children are more likely to be recruited as child soldiers.
The education catch-up centres
Since 2015, we have enabled over 1,000 marginalised children to access quality primary education in war-torn Kibati. Children attend 10 educational catch-up centres and complete primary education in just three years.
We also give children with disabilities access to education in a mainstream inclusive school through our Learning Support Assistant scheme – the first of its type in North Kivu! Having successfully piloted this scheme in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya, we know that Learning Support Assistants, who act like UK teaching assistants, have a massive impact on children’s learning.
Support for families
Families with out-of-school children are supported to start their own business to be economically empowered and pay for their children’s education. The parents then form cooperative groups. Through a Village Loan Saving Association scheme, they can invest back in the community, enabling more families to access grants.
We support 10 catch-up schools for children who haven’t completed primary education
Children affected by war have been supported into education since 2015. Will you help us reach even more of the most marginalised children with the education they deserve?
Giving vulnerable children access to fair justice and rehabilitation services with Right2Change
The broken justice system treats children like criminals, even for minor offences. There could be at least 100,000 children in conflict with the law in DRC. Children are detained in overcrowded adult prisons, at risk of abuse and malnutrition. The lack of probation officers and prosecutors means they’re kept in detention for a long time. When a hearing is finally held, only a few are trialled by a juvenile court judge with legal representation.
The Right2Change project
In 2017 we set up the first ever community-based diversion programme in Eastern DRC. Our award-winning Right2Change project makes smart use of diversion by strengthening both formal and informal justice systems to deliver child-friendly justice, and promoting community-based non-custodial rehabilitation as alternatives to detention. As a result, Right2Change creates better outcomes for young people (making them more likely to engage in education) and reduces crime. Learn more about Right2Change>
School children were reached with education support over radio while schools were closed due to COVID-19. Will you help us ensure all children go back to school now that they have reopened?
Our response during COVID-19
We’ve been working with our partner Children’s Voice to provide quality education to the most forgotten out of school and war affected children in the Eastern DRC territories of Goma and Nyiragongo. Read more>
We also worked with Children’s Voice to call up girls who have gone through their training to sew over 600 masks for those who can’t buy them. The girls are paid for their work, helping to make up for income lost over a tough few months. Read more>
“I was called on to help sew masks that will be distributed to vulnerable women and children. Before and after every shift we washed our hands, and in the workshop we kept apart.
I will use the new money I’ve earned to invest in my business, which will help me earn money to support my young children.”Louise, Former tailoring trainee