Democratic Republic of Congo
100Over seven million children are missing out on primary education.
1002.7 million people are internally displaced due to conflict.
40Nearly 40% of girls are married before the age of 18.
The majority of the country’s poorest people live in rural areas, where limited access to clean water and sanitation cause outbreaks of deadly diseases like cholera.
Women and girls in rural areas are very vulnerable to sexual violence – millions of women have been raped and abused over years of conflict. Half of all women aged 15-24 are illiterate.
How we’re changing lives for good in the DRC
We have a long-term programme working with local partner organisations in 15 areas across the North and South Kivu Provinces – home to an estimated 12 million people.
We provide psychological support to survivors of sexual violence, and put a stop to violence before it happens. We run workshops with the police and military to find ways to ensure that laws against sexual violence are understood and enforced.
We also build the resilience of communities affected by conflict, by providing agricultural tools, seeds and training to help them become self-sufficient.
Together with local, grassroots women’s organisations, we’re helping women and girls to lift their communities out of poverty — for good.
2019 Ebola outbreak
We are working closely with local groups who are rooted in communities and have the trust of local people. In particular we are working with women, who are often the first reponders in emergencies like this outbreak.
Our response is focused on:
- Training women in how to prevent Ebola, including education about vital hygiene measures that people can take
- Working with government and other organisations to ensure clear, accurate information is distributed to communities, in local languages
- Working closely with ActionAid Uganda to prevent the spread of disease across borders.
We are preparing to expand this awareness-raising work, including tackling misconceptions about the disease in the communities where we work.
Find out more about Ebola, its impact and ActionAid’s work responding to outbreaks.
Going to school
Ten-year-old Ça Depend lives in Idjwi Sud, in the very northern part of DRC. His parents died when he was a baby so he lives with his elderly grandparents, who also take care of his brother and two sisters. With support from ActionAid, he is now going to school.
He says, "Before being at school I didn’t know how to count, how to learn, but now I am improving. I like going to school. I need to go to school because after getting the diploma I will be able to look for a job and help my family."Education
Land rights for women
Laws recognizing women’s right to inherit land are often not enforced by communities. Leoni Maniraguh, 40, lost her parents in 2000. Her stepbrothers grabbed their land, leaving Leoni and her sisters without shelter or any way of feeding their families.
Leoni fought for 11 years to claim her land. She and her sisters joined an ActionAid group, where they learnt about inheritance rights and how to claim them. She finally won back her land, and her success means that now she is a champion of women’s land issues in Nyirangongo.
She says, 'Every time any woman has a case with her husband or a family member in this area, she comes and consults me. The community refers to me as an example to follow.'Donate to support our work on women's rights