The second largest country in Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a country known for all the wrong reasons: civil war, corruption and poverty, with almost 90% of its people living below the income poverty line of $1.25 a day.
To pull a country out of such economic and political misery takes more than a sticking-plaster of aid and a few well-meaning dollars. Real change can only come about when the authorities work for the people – and when the people’s voice is heard.
At Christian Aid we call this accountable governance: the process by which local and provincial authorities, elected leaders and the people come together to create solutions to the problems they face.
Sadly, this process takes time. Authorities currently don’t use resources to alleviate poverty and the needs of local people are not met, so the spiral of ineffective government and increased poverty continues.
Your church can help communities find their voice.
This Community Partnership will ensure that ordinary people are listened to by those representing them and that their hopes and challenges are reflected in policy and budgets. Though this work will take time, the resilience and determination of the people of DRC promises to ensure the success of this project.
Based in the Maniema province in the east of DRC, an area which has seen the withdrawal of international aid agencies’ support due to security concerns and poor access. Communities in this area are divided and live in constant fear of fighting and human rights abuses, making this project even more vital. The project promises to change the lives of millions of people through a comprehensive process of accountable governance: making the voice of the people heard.
This four-year project is being implemented by our partner the Episcopal Justice and Peace Committee (EJPC), which is part of the Catholic Church in the DRC.
Our partners know the structure of provincial, regional and local committees already in place and so, through these groups, links will be made between local authority representatives such as district and town mayors and local grassroots organisations.
These groups then visit different communities within their area, and ask the local people what their particular needs and challenges are, specifically targeting vulnerable groups. From this they formulate recommendations for projects which could benefit the wider population, as well as organising advocacy activities at the local level.
By its very nature, the process of accountable governance and advocacy takes its time.
Over the coming years your church’s support will make a huge impact for communities in Maniema: their hopes and dreams will come to fruition as we journey with them together.
European Union match-funding
The EU is match-funding this project 1:3, so your £5,000 will become a staggering £20,000 to support some of the poorest communities in the DRC.
Find out more
To find out more about how your church, business, school or other community group can partner with this project, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact one of our area offices directly.