Diakonia - People change the world

DR Congo

Diakonia and its partner organizations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo aim to promote democracy, human rights, social and economic justice and emergency response and disaster reduction. Diakonia supports the vibrant civil society, with special emphasis on capacity building.

5/10/2017

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is one of the richest countries in the world when it comes to valuable natural resources. But despite this fact, its 60 million inhabitants live in great poverty and the DRC is ranked at the bottom of the UNDP Human Development Index. Resources and wealth disappeared from the country during the colonial period and continued to do so under the dictatorship that followed.

Today the battle over, control of and access to natural resources is one of the principal causes of the ongoing conflict in the country. The civil population in the DRC remains very vulnerable. The army and police do not protect them or uphold the rule of law. At the same time, hostilities between different militia groups continue to plague people.

Capacity building of civil society

Diakonia works with partner organizations operating in different parts of the DRC, focusing for example on women’s political participation and economic empowerment of women. Traditionally Congolese women bear the greatest responsibility for supporting the family. At the same time women and children belong to the most marginalized groups in society, and are the ones most exposed to violence. Some of today’s problems, with increased oppression of and violence towards women are a result of a society suffering from militarization.

One of Diakonia’s main focuses in the DRC is to manage capacity building with our partner organizations. The capacity building involves mainstreaming of gender, conflict sensitivity and environment-related issues, strengthening of project planning processes, finance and administration, democratic governance and lobbying techniques.

Diakonia’s work makes a difference

Through Diakonia and our partner organizations’ work, we have increased awareness among the citizens about their rights and the creation of local groups organized around important issues affecting a community. Among our results are also the creation of forums of dialogue between the local population and authorities.

Through legal information and support to victims of human rights abuses, a major progress is the legalization of customary marriage at the birth registration, which enables women and children to be officially recognized and fully benefit from their rights.

A goal for Diakonia’s program on democracy and governance in the DRC has been to initiate forums for popular expression and other forums for dialogue. This has resulted in increased possibilities for populations to hold members of parliament and other authorities accountable at the local level. It has also resulted in an increased demand for, and pressure on, local authorities to respect human rights.

Read more about our work in DR Congo

  • DR Congo: “Now we can help develop our country”

    Hortense Nzinga lives in Menkao, just outside the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s capital, Kinshasa. She is one of the women involved in Diakonia’s agricultural project. And she tells us what happens when...
  • Time for peace in war-torn Congo

    The conflict in the DRC is the world's worst since the Second World War. Despite the fact that 5.4 million people have been killed, very little is being done to put an end to the hostilities. Diakonia supports...
  • Worrying events in the DRC

    In eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the important city Goma was captured by rebels of the M23 gerilla in November 2012. Diakonia worries about the situation at hand, and urges the international community to immediately act for the benefit of the Congolese people. More about the events in Goma
  • A lot of gold - a lot of trouble

    "A lot of Gold, a lot of Trouble" is a report about the Democratic Republic of Congo, published by Diakonia and the NGO Swedwatch. The report focuses on how Swedish companies should act when doing business in areas of conflict and extreme poverty. Read more about the report