Institutional change

Tackling the source

We’re working with the police and military, street boys and other men to challenge harmful attitudes towards girls.

Strengthening the Capacity of The Congolese Child Protection System

We’re mapping out all the agencies and institutions that provide services to young people in Kinshasa and Goma. This helps us identify any gaps where the social services, schools or community organisations aren’t providing a safety net to identify and protect vulnerable children. We can provide emergency assistance in the short term, but in the long term we’re training the local authorities to build a more comprehensive child protection system.

Challenging Attitudes & Changing Behaviors

We’re tackling the root cause of some of the problems by trying to change the way that local people and institutions treat the children. Many are unaware of what rights children have, and how they are often violated. We’re training the police, army, religious leaders and teachers about issues like corporal punishment or sexual violence against girls. We’re also helping to educate the local street boys in Kinshasa too, as they are often the perpetrators of violence against girls and each other. Most have had no formal education and an extremely tough and often violent upbringing so it’s often the first solution to their problems.

We also built two ‘Child Friendly Spaces’ in rural areas of eastern Congo that provided counselling, education, and family reunification for almost 10,000 children who had fled their homes or had to leave school because of the conflict.

Your cash is vital in helping us provide urgent responses like these to children when a conflict crisis strikes. The ‘rapid response’ institutional funding (from the UN, DFID etc) can take weeks kick in, but the first 72 hours are crucial. By having a reserve of emergency funding set aside, we can set up vital Child Friendly spaces like these as an immediate priority.