Home to more than 70 million people and over 450 tribes and languages, the Democratic Republic of Congo, referred to affectionately as the Heart of Africa, is rich in resources, culture, and beauty but still carries the scars from ongoing unrest. DR Congo has some of the greatest concentrations of valuable raw minerals in the world, and Eastern Congo in particular is fertile and ripe for agricultural development. Yet, she has been engaged in a cycle of conflict and violence which has cost more than five million lives and kept survivors from being able to realize their full potential.
As tensions have vacillated unpredictably in recent years, World Relief works with local church partners to eradicate the root causes of violence and poverty by increasing agricultural production, offering support to (and fighting stigmas associated with) survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, and establishing Village Peace Committees for community-level conflict mediation. Through the church, there is great hope for sustainable livelihoods and peaceful stability for the people of DR Congo.
Church Mobilization/Integral Mission
Response to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
(including HIV/AIDS prevention)
Economic Development (Savings for Life program)
- World Relief maintains a network of nearly 70 Village Peace Committees, grown out of the local churches, which serve as local mediators. Working with individuals to resolve disagreements at the community level reduced larger scale conflict in and among communities.
- World Relief’s 2017 local assessment of trauma found that more than 95% of people living in our operating areas have been displaced at least once in their lifetime, and 47% more than once. World Relief’s agriculture and savings work helps vulnerable displaced and returning families to restart their livelihoods.
- Rape and sexual violence are common weapons of conflict in eastern Congo. World Relief has served more than 3,000 women survivors, providing critical medical (fistula repair), psychosocial reintegration, and livelihoods support.
- Since the inception of World Relief DRC’s savings program in 2012, 4,710 members of savings groups have been trained and been able to increase their household safety net.
Jean Nyandwi, Country Director
Kapalata Ndashimye, Program Coordinator
Pastor Marcel Serubungo, Church Mobilization/Empowerment Manager
Dr. Esperance Ngondo, Health Officer – SGBV & HIV/AIDS
Joseph Ntabala Kalegamire, Food Security & Savings Program Manager