WHERE WE WORK
Co-founder David Masomo and most of our team are Congolese. We love the Congo. It’s a stunningly beautiful place, bursting with the potential for vibrant life. We see abundance in the Congo, and we’re determined to see it thrive.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is located in Central Africa. It’s about the size of the Midwestern US or Western Europe – the 11th largest country in the world. Rich with natural resources, the Congo suffered brutal colonial exploitation under the Belgians.
Beginning in the late 90s, a series of conflicts known as the Congo Wars resulted in over 5 million deaths, making it the deadliest conflict since World War II. Even after the official conclusion of the wars in 2003, dozens of rebel groups have continued to wage guerilla war in the eastern part of the country. To this day, attacks regularly displace populations, rape is a widespread weapon of war, and abductions are common.
Over half of the population experiences chronic malnutrition, a majority live in poverty, education and literacy rates are low, and the future for many rural Congolese is bleak.
The Congo Wars and the ongoing violence are intricately tied to the Rwandan Genocide, regional political dynamics, exploitation of natural resources, and other related issues in the Great Lakes region. There is no single reason why the region continues to experience such persistent instability. But research is showing a link between poverty and conflict. War results in displaced populations who are vulnerable to food insecurity, malnutrition and disease. In turn, this poverty can make communities more vulnerable to attack, rebel recruitment, and abduction, perpetuating conflict. This cycle can’t effectively be stopped with military force alone.
We currently work in 13 communities near Beni. We’re at the heart of the ongoing conflict, with rebel groups active throughout the area. If our model can work here, then we know it’s ready to grow throughout the region. And the good news is, it’s working.
Ultimately, when we look at eastern Congo, we see so much more than war and poverty.
We see fertile soil in a climate that can grow a staggering diversity of food crops. We see women with uncommon strength, standing as leaders of families and villages. We see men whose commitment to hard work is unparalleled and inspiring. We see a people with resourcefulness and ingenuity, whose creative minds hold the ideas that will end poverty. Their faith is deep, their love is strong, and their future is theirs.