DR Congo

Providing children and youth with education, protection, psychosocial support and livelihood opportunities to improve future prospects

Facts and figures

  • Children affected by conflict: 7 million
  • Number of War Child projects in 2019: Four
  • Total number of participants: 33,900

What is happening in DR Congo?

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) has suffered more than 20 years of internal armed conflict. More than five million people have died as a result of the conflict. A series of epidemics and natural disasters have caused further destabilization of the country - leaving millions in need.

The civil war officially ended in 2003 but political tension - particularly in the east of the country - is still felt today. Violence recently flared up in response to uncertainty surrounding the country’s delayed presidential election. The election was finally held in December 2018 - with opposition party leader Felix Tshisekedi declared the surprise winner.

The political outlook is uncertain - and the humanitarian crisis in DR Congo continues . More than 13 million people - including 7.7 million children - need urgent assistance. This figure includes 4.5 million people who have been forced from their homes.

Children in DR Congo face a number of threats to their safety. The recruitment of boys into armed groups is common. Some 3.5 million children under the age of 11 are currently out of school. And the number of street children in the country - estimated to be 40,000 - is growing. In addition, the high prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) poses a significant risk to girls and women.

Meisje tekening in DR Congo - vluchtelingenkamp - War Child

Photo: War Child

“I missed a lot of lessons. Here in DRC, I can finally go to school. I can learn again!"
A refugee girl from Burundi

What we do

War Child has been active in DR Congo since 2003. We primarily work in the South Kivu province in eastern DRC - in the territories of Fizi and Kalehe. Our programme combines education, community child protection, psychosocial support and vocational training to empower children and adolescents.

Together with our international and local partners we work to address the education needs of children from refugee and displaced populations, as well as those from host communities. Our work to open up livelihoods sees young people supported in their search for employment and self-employment opportunities.

We also increase the capacity of parents, caregivers and the wider community to take up their responsibilities towards children. This community-based approach helps to ensure our work is relevant and effective.