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Christian Aid in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Our work

Christian Aid has worked in the DRC since the 1970s, initially partnering with faith organisations, funding the activities of the Église du Christ au Congo (ECC), the Salvation Army and the Église du Christ au Congo par le Prophète Simon Kimbangu from its London office.

In 1985, we supported ECC development programmes in Kivu, and in the 1990s our partners included the Centre de Développement Intégral and the Communauté Baptiste du Kivu. After 1990, we began working with non-faith-based partners, principally targeting micro projects.

Conflict in Rwanda led to floods of refugees arriving in eastern DRC and Christian Aid opened an office in Bukavu in 1996 to handle emergency activities. To help people internally displaced by the 1996/97 civil war, we opened our Kindu office in 1998. Nearly four years after this, with funding from the ACT Alliance, Christian Aid was working throughout Maniema province.

Our Kinshasa office opened in 1999 and with the Civil Society Fund for Good Governance in DRC, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development and the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency, Christian Aid opened additional offices in Lubumbashi, Kananga and Mbandaka.

By April 2012, Christian Aid was working with 60 partner organisations spread across the country. Some of our former partners are now independent, continuing to implement long-term projects in difficult conditions even after Christian Aid funding has ended. This demonstrates that our capacity-building activities have long-lasting effects, even when the task remains immense.

Our work in DRC has traditionally focused on good governance, resilience, health (especially HIV and malaria), and gender.

Christian Aid has a distinct geographical niche, working in remote areas where there is little other international assistance. We have a long-term vision, a reputation for our in-depth knowledge of the country, strong relationships across the country and experience in developing the capacity of partners, especially in advocacy.

Bureau Oeucuménique d'Appui au Développement (BOAD) is supporting people returning to their villages in DRC after years in exile. BOAD helps them to re-establish their livelihoods, providing seeds, tools and agricultural training so that people can grow their own food.

Communauté Baptiste en Afrique Centrale (CBCA) is the development wing of the Baptist church. A trusted presence in communities across eastern DRC, CBCA can respond quickly and effectively to help those affected by DRC’s longstanding conflict at moments of particular crisis. It also runs long-term development projects to help people earn a living and provide for their families. CBCA is working with the army to try to stamp out the culture of sexual violence.

Union Paysanne pour le Progrès (UPKA) is improving living standards in more than 75 villages in rural communities by ensuring farmers can cultivate enough food, and helping them work together to uphold their rights in the face of conflict and corruption. In Maniema province in eastern DRC, UPKA has run training sessions on how to work within the law, which has helped local farmers avoid illegal taxation and therefore improve their profits.

Christian Aid DRC has unique expertise in governance and we were involved in the last two elections in the DRC, working with civil society organisations on civic electoral education, training local electoral observers and facilitating the presence of international observers with EURAC, a network of European organisations working on peace-building and democratisation in the Great Lakes region. Christian Aid is an active member and sits on the board of EURAC.

Our DRC programme has developed valuable expertise in advocacy in the Great Lakes region, which will enable us to achieve strong results in terms of conflict transformation.

Through our work on forestry and freshwater governance we are addressing the exclusion of indigenous populations and other powerless groups, giving them a louder voice on development plans, and promoting the equitable redistribution of benefits from natural resources.

Our partnership approach to humanitarian response is enabling us to empower and build the capacity
of local partners and communities to be prepared for, respond to and recover from crises, address the underlying causes and build community resilience to disasters.

Christian Aid wants to contribute to the efforts of Congolese people to build a prosperous and democratic nation at the heart of Africa. We want to:

Where we work and who we work with

Click on the map to see the reach of our programme in DRC and find out more about many of our partners.