Resources

SFCG-DRC Brochure (Français)

Participatory Theater Manual

Great Lakes Generation Overview

Farming Brings Military and Civilians Together – Project Overview

Conflict Sensitivity Assessment of the PEAR Plus Program Summary
English
| Français

Read Key Findings from SFCG's DRC Media Mapping Survey
English | Français

The Making of the Great Lakes Generation
Lena Slachmuijlder, Chief Programming Officer
New Routes, Journal of The Life & Peace Institute (April 2012)

Radio for Peacebuilding

SFCG East Africa
on Twitter


   

Democratic Republic of Congo

our vision

Our Vision

SFCG has recently released our new multi-year vision, which is that "By 2018, empowered citizens engage with inclusive structures towards a peaceful, democratic and prosperous DRC". Our strategy to help achieve this is to "Support citizens and structures in the promotion of positive models that follow the Common Ground approach and lead to conflict transformation throughout the DRC."

Read the "vision" here for more information.

Lire la «vision» pour plus de détails

Latest News

iPads ensure impactful programs in DR Congo

SFCG DM&E Coordinator Rodrigue Birego, demonstrates the iPad system to the survey team

Search collects data on the impact of our programs in the region. The data is crucial not only to ensure our programs are reducing violent conflict, but also for our donors and the communities we serve.

We have always collected this feedback the old-fashion way; a surveyor with a pen and a clipboard. The data is then copied from the handwritten form into a database for our evaluation teams to analyze. With hundreds of projects and thousands of surveys around the world, this is a daunting task even for the most efficient team.

But recently, we’ve found a better way, and because of it, I found myself halfway around the world from my home in the suburbs of Maryland to the city of Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu Province, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

We’re entering the 21st century of data collection, and with it brings innovative ways to gather information in the form of iPad Minis.

Our Bukavu office is our second largest in the world, and the epicenter of much of the work we do in the Eastern Congo to combat sexual violence, promote the rule of law, and provide paths to positive conflict resolution to end violent conflict.

 

Tackling Child Exploitation - The Case of Bilenge Primary School

Bilenge Primary School

The conflict analysis conducted in 2012 by SFCG with UNICEF and funded by the Government of the Netherlands revealed a number of causes of conflict in the education system in the four provinces that participated in the study. In South Ubangi in Equateur Province, there were major tensions between parents and teachers at Bilenge primary school. As in many other schools in the DRC, teachers had been forcing children to work in their fields. Teachers defended this practice by saying that it would complement insufficient salaries or help to finance the functioning of the school. Upset at this practice that had gone on for quite some time, parents became incensed and insults were exchanged. In one case, a father challenged a teacher to a fight when his child came home late from school because of this forced labour. The situation was spiralling out of control, with parents and teachers forming alliances against one another, and the school environment becoming one of hostility. This was unsurprisingly having a negative impact on the children’s schooling; attendance rates dropped as children did not feel safe at school.

 


Preventing Sexual & Gender-Based Violence

Mobile cinema sub-film screening for the military
Mobile cinema sub-film screening for the military

Since 1998, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has suffered appalling atrocities and trauma. War and other violence-related causes have resulted in an estimated five million deaths. More than 200,000 women and girls have been raped. Deplorably, the Congolese Army and armed militias have been the prime perpetrators. Faced with repeated denunciations by humanitarian and human rights groups, the Army has often reacted with denial and defensiveness, and it has tried to insulate itself from the criticism. In such an atmosphere, we recognized the opportunity to create a different kind of relationship, and in 2006 we made a decision to work with the Congolese Army to help transform it into a force whose main task is to protect - not harm - civilians.

To this end, we formed a partnership with the Congolese Army to implement a series of activities whose aim is to reduce and eliminate the occurrence of sexual violence. Each activity is designed to reinforce the others and to be part of a holistic initiative that helps create an environment in which impunity ends and in which violence against women ceases to be prevalent.

For a printable summary of our work in preventing sexual and gender-based-violence, click here.

To read our recent blog post about our SGBV work, click here.

Key projects include:

  • SFCG DRC has launched a poster campaign to prevent rape and sexual violence. The campaign communicates core messages about sexual violence prevention. The campaign aims to remove stigma associated with sexual violence, emphasize its severity, and show that real and serious consequences exist for those who decide to commit sexual violence against women. Click here to read more about the campaign.

  • The Vrai Djo campaign engages men as positive actors in the in the fight against sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Asking, "Est-il un vrai djo?" (Is he a real man?), the campaign promotes positive male role models. Click here to read more about Vrai Djo.

Read more about SFCG's other projects on Preventing Sexual & Gender-Based Violence...


Democracy & Governance

DRC civil society governance
Training on civil society leaders in Bunyakiri, South Kivu (photo by Brett Morton)

SFCG works towards improving information access and dialogue among Congolese citizens, media, civil society and their elected leaders. SFCG DRC aims to:

  • Raise awareness amongst citizens on principles, practices, and structures of their new democracy, including their rights and responsibilities within it

  • Foster links between policy makers, civil society and the media on issues of civic participation, public policy, and governance.

To read our recent blog post about our Democracy and governance projects, click here.

Read more about SFCG's projects on Democracy & Governance...

 

 

 

 


Security Sector Reform

FARDC training SSR
SFCG training of FARDC

Years of war and insecurity, in which members of the various armed forces have abused human rights, have tarnished military-civilian relations. Working with the Congolese army (FARDC) and police, SFCG supports the ongoing Security Sector Reform (SSR)aiming to build the capacity of the armed forces to successfully transform conflict, and to improve military-civilian relations.

The aims of this work are:

  • Raise awareness of human rights and conflict management within the Congolese army, and raise their capacity to train others in these areas;

  • Raise civilian awareness of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) and SSR processes underway and support their successful realization

  • Close monitoring through military committees to track human rights violations by soldiers through the justice system

Read more about SFCG's projects on Security Sector Reform...


Repatriation

Participatory Theater DRC
A member of SFCG's participatory theater troupe excites the audience in Lemera

SFCG fosters peaceful reintegration of Congolese returnees in South Kivu and north Katanga by providing information that enables refugees to make informed decisions about return and by fostering dialogue and collaborative approaches to conflict between returnees and residents in the zones of return. In order to contribute to the reintegration of refugees in DRC, SFCG makes use of key tools such as radio programming, participatory theatre and community outreach.

Participatory theatre

SFCG has several trained participatory theatre troupes that work primarily in Fizi and Uvira territories in South Kivu and Moba territory in north Katanga. In Eastern DRC, SFCG trains and sponsors three participatory theatre troupes in the different return zones in the territories of Uvira and Fizi, South Kivu, as well as the territory of Moba, North Katanga. SFCG performances have reached over 400,000 people in DRC and Burundi.

Radio programs

SFCG produces two weekly programs aimed at informing refugees, returnees and residents about the repatriation process. Called Wote Tukutane Tena (“We All Meet Again”) the program is broadcast in return zones in South Kivu and north Katanga as well as in the refugee camps in Burundi and Tanzania.


Social Cohesion in DRC & Region

Youth reporter DRC
A youth reporter interviews her peer.

Years of war and displacement have left deep divides between communities in DRC and within the region. These divides play themselves out along ethnic, tribal and national lines. They also become evident between polarized groups such as demobilized soldiers, returned refugees, and between military and civilians.

SFCG aims to repair these relationships through joint activities using media, culture, sports, conflict transformation trainings, festivals and communal projects:

  • Bringing together former enemies and perceived enemies to play, eat, and spend time together in friendship;

  • Enabling inter-ethnic collaboration to be viewed in public by a large number of people;

  • Creating a large number of "informal messengers," who will recount the event's activities and outcomes to wider audiences.

Through these cultural exchanges and sharing, SFCG programs aim to reduce violence and increase cohabitation among communities divided by the wars and to increase positive interaction among residents, repatriated refugees, and returnees.

Read more about SFCG's projects on Social Cohesion...


Conflict Sensitive Development

Youth reporter DRC
Discussing humanitarian interventions with local leaders

SFCG is pioneering a new approach that ensures that stabilization/development work is conflict sensitive. Drawing on our expertise in conflict transformation, SFCG accompanies stabilization and development projects, uncovering and addressing conflicts that disrupt social cohesion, helping partner NGOs to be more conflict-sensitive, and improving the capacity of local communities to resolve conflicts. Our work involves among other things conducting conflict analyses, training NGO workers in Do No Harm principles, coaching partner NGOs directly in their work in the field, holding forums that bring together aid workers and beneficiaries to discuss projects, as well as direct conflict mediation for when the need arises.

Read more about SFCG’s Conflict Sensitive Development work…

 

 


Comic Books

Youth reporter DRC

One of SFCG DRC’s flagship tools is the comic book. In our work with the Congolese military, SFCG developed a comic that features an unscrupulous officer named Captain January. A testament to the popularity and impact of the comic book is that the name of Captain January has entered the military vernacular, with soldiers using it as a way to warn and criticize colleagues who harass civilians. Another SFCG comic book is the long running “Mopila” series. The title character is a humoristic taxi driver who takes it upon himself to address problems in his society. Among other subjects, Mopila has tackled police corruption and brutality, and helped his young niece when she was sexually harassed by her teacher. 

Mopila

Over 500,000 comic books have already been distributed, and SFCG is flooded with requests for more. The comic book is popular and effective, because it transmits information in an engaging and accessible way. It is suitable for youth and adults, and deals with issues that people face on a daily basis. Lastly, the comic book can be read and reread, with people even using at as a guide for approaching some of the problems in their society. The comic book remains an indispensable part of the SFCG “toolkit”.

Read more about SFCG's Comic Book Projects, including samples of the comic books you can read online...


Radio Programming

Youth reporter DRC

Radio programming is a major component of SFCG activities in the DRC. The medium is used to address topics ranging from good governance, to military-civilian relations, to sexual and gender-based violence. Some of the programs are humorous and engaging radio soap operas, whereas others are radio news magazines. SFCG's radio programs are among the most popular in the DRC. We receive hundreds of texts and phone calls as listener feedback every month, and recent listener surveys have estimated the audience of our most popular programs at close to 30 million.

Furthermore, over 80 radio partners across the country receive training, technical support, and a package of programs from SFCG. The media landscape in the DRC has changed irrevocably thanks to these partnerships. Local radio stations broadcast professional programs that challenge rather than promote stereotypes, that investigate rather than spread rumors, and that encourage nonviolent solutions and a common ground approach to resolving conflicts.

Read more about SFCG's Radio Programming...


SFCG addresses conflict mining at the local level

One of SFCG's Conflict Miniing Posters

The presence of vast mineral resources plays a key role in the conflicts that devastate Eastern Congo. Numerous human rights groups have denounced the informal nature of the mining sector, which allows armed groups to finance their operations via the sale of conflict minerals. The Dodd-Frank bill requires Wall Street companies to trace the origins of their minerals, and ensure that they are conflict-free. On a positive note, this initiative will impede upon the activities of dangerous armed groups. On another note, if the law is not followed there is a risk that Congolese minerals could be banned entirely, which would devastate the local economy. SFCG is therefore undertaking steps to support the implementation of the law at a local level.

SFCG has entered into a partnership with Pact in order to contribute to civilian protection and the eradication of conflict mining in the DRC and Rwanda. The project will inform the local population and mining communities in particular, of the importance of being able to trace minerals, and encourage those who currently profit from the sale of conflict minerals, to instead conform to the new law. The project aims to empower communities in denouncing human rights abuses along the supply chain in the DRC and Rwanda, and to claim their right to protection. The project activities include:

  • 50 radio soap opera episodes in the DRC and 50 in Rwanda;

  • 1,400 posters on human rights violations regarding women and children working in the mines

  • 2,000 posters on tracing and certifying minerals

  • 2,000 brochures explaining the mechanisms of traceability and the certification of minerals, to be distributed to miners, transporters and traders

  • 2,000 brochures in Swahili on mining codes, taxation, and relevant policies

  • 32,300 comic books on good governance in the mining sector, the traceability and certification of minerals, and how to combat human rights abuses. These comics will be distributed in mining areas and at national borders.

Read more about SFCG's projects on Conflict Mining...


SFCG in the Great Lakes Region

Great Lakes Generation interview
Great Lakes Generation interview

SFCG has developed a regional strategy in the Great Lakes, across its Rwanda, Burundi and DRC programs. The strategy takes into account the dual character of the conflicts in the region: both local/national and with regional dimension. SFCG in the region seeks to inspire key people from diverse groups to become actors for social change and actively contribute to both peace and reconciliation in their communities.

SFCG is currently participating in several projects with a regional dimension, including:

  • a project funded by USAID that aims to strengthening repatriation, and reintegration through information and conflict transformation in Burundi, and Eastern DRC

  • a project funded by USAID entitled Supporting Trading For Peace in the Great Lakes, which overall goal is for trade routes between Burundi, the DRC and Rwanda to be more secure for regional economic activities

  • a media and outreach initiative funded by the Swedish government that aims to support civil society engagement in peace and security issues in the Great Lakes.

Read more about SFCG's projects in the Great Lakes Region...

Community dialogue DRC

Community Network Member training in Bunyakiri, South Kivu (photo by Brett Morton)