‘Africa’s prosperity depends on Africa’s greatest resource — its people.’ – President Obama
A famous Congolese proverb says that no matter how long the night, the day will surely come. For the people of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), dawn may be slowly cresting on the horizon. After years of conflict, the DRC held Provincial Assembly Elections on March 26, 2016 and is tentatively scheduled to have presidential elections later this year. Although violence is a continuing danger, Counterpart International is proud to partner with five civil society organizations working to build better lives and more durable futures for the people of the DRC.
On May 4, 2016, Counterpart International announced its partnerships:
Action pour le Développement Intégral et Durable (Action for Sustainable Development) works to increase the capacity of civil society organizations by educating and training citizens in the DRC. With trainings based around local and national law, citizen rights and development, Action pour le Développement Intégral et Durable works to place these newly educated citizens and empowered organizations at the front and center of the moving the country forward.
Conseil Régional des Organisations Non Gouvernementales de Développement du Katanga (The Regional Council of Non-Governmental Development Organizations of Katanga) is a group of 73 operational development organizations in the Katanga province. Participating organizations represent many local sectors including: agriculture, rural development, health and education. They offer training and education programs on natural resource and environmental management, citizenship education as well as the importance of including women in local development projects. With such a large scope and reach, Counterpart International, is proud to assist them in pursuing their mission.
La Commission Episcopale Justice et Paix (The Episcopal Commission of Justice and Peace) was created in 1967 as an outcome of Vatican II to encourage Catholic assistance to impoverished areas around the globe. Working for social justice and promoting peace among nations, it established a peace commission in the DRC some years ago and continues working today to unite country’s diverse communities.
Le Groupe Jérémie (The Jérémie Group) is working for peace through dialogue and reconciliation. It does so by analyzing and informing citizens of trends and events in the social, political, and economic sectors of the country. After analyzing this information, it engages the citizens in advancing human rights, civic education and the promotion of peace and democracy.
And finally, Reseau d’Education Civique au Congo (The Civic Education Network of Congo) which seeks to strengthen citizenship in the Democratic Republic of Congo by promoting participation in local government and urban development. Particularly, but not exclusively focused on the youth, it works with the Congolese to assist them in understanding their rights and duties, monitor their local government and develop mechanisms for public action. In this way, they seek to create a more interactive and dynamic citizenship in the DRC, where more voices can be heard.
Selected following an open and transparent application process, grants were awarded to these organizations because of their efforts to expand civic engagement and participation and promote healthier governance in communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Counterpart Representative Diane Lamberg-Liszkay, DFID Governance Advisor William Evans, Prof. Onésime Kukatula, representing CENI’s President Corneille Nangaa and USAID Director Diana Putman
Made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID), grants were awarded at the Commission Électorale Nationale Indépendante’s (CENI, National Independent Electoral Commission) Maison des Elections on May 4, 2016. The event was attended by USAID Director Diana Putman, DfID Governance Advisors William Evans and Prof. Onésime Kukatula, President of the CENI, Corneille Nangaa, as well as Counterpart International’s Chief of Party in the DRC, Diane Lamberg-Liszkay.
We are working with these organizations because of our commitment to the citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and our belief that a vibrant citizenry creates stronger, healthier and more durable communities. By enabling them to better fulfill their missions, we can equip these individuals, organizations and communities with the skills needed to develop lasting solutions for the DRC.