Peace treaties to try and halt the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) may have been signed but the country's fragile truce is currently under threat. The decision by President Joseph Kabila to propose changes to the constitution in 2016 led to widespread protests - many of which ended in violence. This situation is yet to be resolved.
The current unrest is just the latest example of violence in DRC’s recent history. Violent clashes between the Congolese army and rebel militias in the east of the country continued in the aftermath of the ‘Second Congo War’ that ended in 2002. Armed groups have also fought for control of the country’s lucrative and vast mineral wealth resources. Further strain has been placed on the country with the recent influx of refugees from neighbouring Burundi.
Children have suffered the most from this violence. Children in eastern DRC face all six of the gravest violations as defined by UN Security Council Resolution 1612: killing and maiming; sexual violence and rape; attacks on schools and hospitals; denial of humanitarian access; and abduction. In addition, vital infrastructure assets including schools, hospitals and social services are in disrepair.
What we do
Our emergency response for Burundian refugees forms the core of our work in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We work to address the education needs of children from both refugee populations and host communities - access to education is currently denied to some seven million children inside DRC.
Our education programmes are supplemented by initiatives to provide children with protection and psychosocial support. We also work to boost the participation and inclusion of children and young people in local decision-making structures. These initiatives are designed to facilitate the successful reintegration of children into their fractured communities.