Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo

Economic Empowerment & Education

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has long struggled with conflict and violence against women. In 2014, the Young Women Leaders Program launched in South Kivu and is driving transformational change in communities. We are witnessing a change in young women being encouraged by their families to pursue education and become economically independent.

In the provinces of North and South Kivu, our program supports young women to become entrepreneurs and develop micro-businesses. As their businesses become profitable, the young women business owners decided to contribute in turn to their own communities. They invest some of their earnings in monthly literacy and peacebuilding courses that they conduct in nearby rural communities to help other aspiring young women leaders.

Literacy & Numeracy

Young Women Leaders continue to conduct literacy and numeracy skills training in Eastern DRC and the Great Lakes Region. Young women who complete the program are taking their skills into rural communities to enhance literacy, promote peaceful dialogue and coexistence, raise awareness of the Women, Peace and Security and Youth, Peace and Security resolutions.

Economic Empowerment

In the provinces of North and South Kivu, GNWP trained local young women to design, create and run micro-businesses. This provided them with basic incomes, which has allowed them to sustain their work and increase their financial independence. The young women are raising rabbits, growing vegetables, and making jewelry and other handicrafts. They continue to adapt their micro-businesses in light of the pandemic, some turning to online markets to continue their revenue-generating activities.

Feminist Leadership to address Sexual Violence

As active change-makers in their communities, the YWL members in North and South Kivu are paving the way for a shift in the dialogue surrounding sexual violence, from one that treats women as victims, to one that recognizes them as survivors. Through monthly radio shows focused on tackling gender-based violence and stereotypes, the young women have raised awareness of the negative impact sexual violence has on the lives of women and their communities at large.

© 2018, Young Women Leaders in Goma, DRC after GNWP workshop on economic empowerment

News & Blogs

Updates on the Young Women Leaders for Peace in DRC

Young Women Leaders: Engaging and Changing Communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Goma, August 10, 2015 – GNWP is excited to announce its upcoming activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  GNWP and its member, Synergie des Femmes Pour Le Victimes des Violences Sexuelles (SFVS), will replicate the Girl Ambassadors for Peace program in Goma, DRC beginning with leadership and peacebuilding ...
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Center Bulengo in North Kivu, DRC – a safe haven for women

GNWP team visits Center Bulengo – a safe haven for women While in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), GNWP and Rwanda Women Network (RWN) staff members traveled with Synergie des Femmes pour les Victimes des Violences Sexuelles to Center Bulengo in Lac Vert. Along with it serving as ...
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Charting a Feminist Present and Future: Young Women for Peace and Leadership Program Recognized by the United Nations Secretary-General in Report to Security Council on UNSCR 2250

From DRC to Indonesia, from Bangladesh to South Sudan, young women defy gender and age stereotypes and act as leaders, peacebuilders and agents of change in their communities. They are first responders in humanitarian crises, prevent recruitment by violent groups by building a culture of peace, and set up small ...
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Solidarity & Peace Amidst the Pandemic: Young Women Leaders Meet Online for the First-Ever Global Dialogue

Solidarity & Peace Amidst the Pandemic: Young Women Leaders Meet Online for the First-Ever Global Dialogue April 23, 2020 by Heela Yoon and Katrina Leclerc Edited by Mavic Cabrera-Balleza and Agnieszka Fal Dutra-Santos “Afghan women have been fighting for their right to be meaningfully included in the peace process with ...
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Youth Leaders Demand Action: Analysis of the Third UN Security Council Resolution on Youth, Peace and Security

Youth Leaders Demand Action: Analysis of the Third UN Security Council Resolution on Youth, Peace and Security July 17, 2020 by Katrina Leclerc “Coming from a community where youth continue to experience violence, discrimination, limited political inclusion, and are at the brink of losing trust in the government systems, the ...
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