Democratic Republic of Congo

WHERE WE WORK > DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

A Community Development Program to address Human Rights Abuses

In 2013, the Good Shepherd International Foundation and Bon Pasteur Kolwezi – the local development partner, affiliate with the Good Shepherd sisters – started a program in DRC to assist women, girls and children from artisanal mining communities of Domaine Marial, an isolated, impoverished and underserved cobalt mining area around the city of Kolwezi. Over the years the program, through a holistic model of intervention integrating education, alternative livelihoods and social protection was able to reach almost 35,000 people in 8 artisanal mining communities.

Activities

  • The new Bon Pasteur Centre was inaugurated last September 2019 providing the children a safe and supportive learning and social environment, including basic primary education and protection to develop their full potential and thrive. The Centre also facilitates and strengthens parents’ and the community’s capacity to better care for the children, in an integrated approach to social protection that provides families with education on children rights, training on positive parenting and prevention of domestic violence and other abuses against children.

 

  • ChaKuishi (“Food for Life”), the Women Social Enterprise project in agriculture and fish farming developed and implemented by the Good Shepherd International Foundation with Bon Pasteur, in the artisanal mining communities of Kolwezi. This has led to great food insecurity, malnutrition and diseases among the poorest parts of the population living in the mining communities. Plus, for women and girls earning a living outside the mines is extremely difficult; most of them are illiterate and scarcely employable, at risk of violence and exploitation.

 

  • The mobile clinic will be able to monitor the health conditions of hundreds of women, children, mothers and their newborns, with follow-up care and specialist visits, and to refer the most serious and complicated cases to a hospital or other health facilities. 

PROJECTS LOCATIONS

  • Kolwezi
  • Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) of Mukoma, Tshala, Kabamba, Katapula, Mukoma, Musunoie, Kisote

HIGHLIGHTS

7

Projects

7,673

Beneficiaries

90

Local staff

AREAS OF INTERVENTION

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Human Rights
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Girls and Women's Empowerment
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Alternative Livelihoods
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Community Strengthening and participation

COUNTRY BACKGROUND / OVERVIEW

Two thirds of the world’s cobalt, an essential raw material for smartphone and EV batteries, comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), much of it from artisanal and small scale mining. The living conditions of artisanal miners in the largest cobalt mining area in the country in the ex-Katanga are among the worst in the world. Women, girls and an estimated 40,000 children are forced to work in cobalt mines, in unsafe and unhealthy conditions, using rudimental tools and without any protective equipment. They work for less than a dollar a day, not enough to survive, while being denied their basic rights to protection, healthcare and education.

We are committed to breaking the cycle of abuse and violence against these children, women and girls and to eradicate child labor in cobalt mining, promoting and protecting children’s rights. We’ve been working directly engaging the mining communities for almost 10 years and we are have been recognized as a NGO working effectively to address the widespread human rights abuses in the area.

Facts and figures

35,000 children work in perilous conditions to extract cobalt from the ground

3.3 Million of children are actually malnourished

26.2 Million people are actually food insecure

175/189 ranking UNDPHuman Development Index (2020)

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