RDC: a new project to face the humanitarian emergency in Central Kasai
20-02-2020 | di COOPI

RDC: a new project to face the humanitarian emergency in Central Kasai

Since 2016, the region of Kasai, in the central area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is facing a severe humanitarian crisis due to a violent conflict: some of the phenomena in continuous increase are massacre of civilians, sexual violence, destruction of infrastructures and armed groups’ recruitment of children.

The context, where we are already working through nutrition programs, remains very fragile because of latent conflicts and intercommunal tensions caused by the wave of violence which has culminated in 2017 and in addition by the recent mass expulsion of the Congolese people from Angola. Almost the entire population of the area is now displaced and they have lost their means of subsistence and their properties.

COOPI, funded by the Common Humanitarian Fund of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in collaboration with the NGOs CISP and CARITAS RDC, has carried on the project “Multi-sector humanitarian response to the most vulnerable populations of displaces, returnee and host communities in the health area of Yangala, Luiza territory in Kasai Central”. The project, which started in May 2019, is willing to support 9.330 people affected by the crisis, focusing on the most vulnerable, helping them in improving their living conditions, their protection as well as the observance of their human rights.

With this project COOPI promotes the leadership of 956 young people and 458 women. It supports the promotion of self-employment and the peaceful co-existence, it redefines the mechanism of the communities for monitoring and reporting human rights’ violations, it prevents and answer to violence and assist 3.780 children at risk, it reinforces the reintegration of 220 children previously associated to armed groups and of 645 unaccompanied minors, and it facilitates the safe and decent access to assistance of 191 children and 60 adults, survivors of gender-based violence.

The aim is to provide skills to prevent the recruitment and the exploitation of children by armed groups, and to implement awareness on sexual and gender-based violence. Among numerous activities, COOOPI will conduct therapeutic and psychological sessions together with leisure and alphabetization activities.

Moreover, the project aims to improve the education’s quality and conditions of 3.780 children, so to guarantee an inclusive access to safe and protected learning environments. Some scheduled activities are sessions on hygiene and health, the renovation of school facilities based on the accessibility standard for children with disabilities, the organization of vegetable gardens and school canteens, remedial courses and the distribution of school tools and recreation kit.

The awareness-raising activities focus on how family do support children in completing their educational path and training, keeping a gender-less approach, and how they do support the development and strengthening of their leadership.

One of the main aspects of the project is its community and participative approach, in collaboration with local partners, public services and schools, so that beneficiaries can be involved in all project’s phases, starting from the planning to the progress’ monitoring.

We would like to thank Martina Peretti.

Photo Credits: Eduardo Soteras Jalil for COOPI RDC.