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Democratic Republic of Congo

  • Total population: 82 million

  • Total population under 18: 34 million

  • Children affected by conflict: 4.5 million

  • Number of War Child projects in 2017: Four

  • Number of implementing partner organisations: One

  • Number of partners providing funding: Five

  • Total child participants: 8,954 (4,284 girls and 4,670 boys)

  • Total adult participants: 3,563 (1,922 women and 1,641 men)

Why We’re There

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has experienced more than 20 years of internal conflict. This dire humanitarian situation has been compounded by a series of epidemics and natural disasters - leaving a legacy of poverty and instability.

Children in DRC face multiple threats to their safety. Attacks on schools and hospitals are frequent and the necessary structures to protect children are often not in place. The widespread lack of livelihood opportunities means that the recruitment of youth into armed groups is common - joining armed groups gives young people a sense of pride and economic prospects.

This violent context means that educational opportunities are scarce. Some 3.5 million children aged below 11 are out of school. Nearly half (44 per cent) of children begin their education after the age of six. Barriers to education include the presence of armed groups, population displacement, discrimination and damage to infrastructure.

What We Do

War Child Holland has been active in DRC since 2003. Our programmes combine education, child protection and psychosocial support to uphold the rights of children. We primarily work in the South Kivu province in eastern DRC - in the territories of Fizi, Kalehe and Walungu.

War Child Holland addresses the education needs of children from refugee and displaced populations, as well as host communities. We also provide vital psychosocial support to children, youth and the important adults in their lives.

In all our interventions we build the capacity of parents, caregivers and the wider community to take up their responsibilities towards children. This ‘community-based approach’ places children at the centre of our work - and helps build their strength and resilience.

Our Projects

Addressing Root Causes of Conflict:

Initiative contributing to stability in the Kalehe territory in eastern DRC. The goals of the project include initiatives to improve governance, conflict resolution activities and vocational training courses to improve economic opportunities for young people.

Good Schools, Safe Schools:

This project is designed to ensure that children can access quality education in a safe and supportive environment.

Care and Education for Refugee Children and Children Affected by Conflict:

Project in South Kivu province to promote the protection of children affected by armed conflict. Activities to strengthen community-based child protection mechanisms are central to this project.

Strengthening Protection and Improving Access to Quality Education:

Project to support children and youth living in the Lusenda refugee camp in eastern DRC through enhanced protection and catch-up education. The project also serves to strengthen the ability of parents and caregivers to provide ongoing support to vulnerable children.