In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, helping reach zero new HIV infections by reaching HIV-positive expectant mothers
LUBUMBASHI, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 6 December 2013 – A group of pregnant women sit on parallel rows of wooden benches, listening to Nurse Alain Nzengu. Some nod, others frown or look puzzled.
Melissa Kasoke raises her voice for girls' education in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 22 October 2013 – Not all girls in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo have access to education. Melissa Kasoke, 14, does. “I like studying because I’d like to help my family someday, so I won’t always depend on my family and I’ll be able to help my parents and those who suffer,” she says.
Continuing commitment to the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo, 19 August 2013 – UNICEF has been present in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1963, responding to needs and seizing opportunities for development.
A girl accused of witchcraft finds support, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 26 June 2013 – Children who are accused of sorcery often live a lonely life. Such is the case for 16-year old Josiane*. “I told myself I should avoid contact with other people’s children as to avoid being accused of doing evil to them,” she explains, tears shining in her eyes.
In Congo, help for a girl accused of witchcraft
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a wheelchair makes Meshak more mobile
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 3 June 2013 – UNICEF has made a sound investment, in a country characterized by both challenges and tremendous potential – the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a powerful ally in the fight to end polio: Part 3 - The owl approach
Southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2 April 2013 – We whisper like thieves as we enter the Kadima mission at night through the palms, their spiky shadows projected on the ground in the light of the moon. An Armed Kitawala named Kitobo leads the way, silent and barefoot. He guides the group away from the homes, and away from curious eyes.
To school, not to the mines: Investing in primary education in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
LIKASI, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 18 March 2013 – Every day, Aurelie and her brother carry water to the mine, a two-hour walk, to sell to the miners for a meagre income of some 100 francs (US$0.10) per glass.
Vaccination campaign in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo seeks to halt measles in its tracks
KARISIMBI, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 4 March 2013 – “I heard on the radio that they were vaccinating children,” says Immaculée Ponzone. “That’s why I brought mine here.”
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a powerful ally in the fight to end polio: Part 2 - The Trojan horses
Southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1 March 2013 – At the entrance to the Kadima mission, you are greeted with branches of acacia flowers. White doves are freed into the air around you.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, helping children of the mines find a way out
MBUJI MAYI, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 26 February 2013 – The roads I travel to get to the Matempu diamond mine, nestled in the Bakwa Tshimuna area of Kasai Oriental’s capital city Mbuji Mayi, are precarious – ambiguous and muddy, with deep, sinking holes in the red earth from which young faces peek out.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a powerful ally in the fight to end polio: Part 1 - Meeting the Elephant King
In the first instalment of a series about the road to acceptance of the polio vaccine in the southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, we meet charismatic leader the Elephant King
Haunted by violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, children relieve their pain through art
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 11 January 2013 – Georges* attends a drawing session. He is in a child-friendly space managed by UNICEF partner AVSI in Mugunga III, a site in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo where several thousand internally displaced persons have found shelter.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a tremendous international joint effort rushes essential items to 20,000 displaced families
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 28 December 2012 - 20 km outside of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, Bulengo internally displaced persons site is bustling with families waiting to receive kits that will assist them during their displacement.
In conflict-torn eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, children displaced by war get a chance to continue their education
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 19 December 2012 – Fifteen-year-old Mushasi Muhera fled Karuba, which is 30 km west of Goma, to escape fighting between the 23 March Movement (M23), an armed opposition group, and the Congolese army (FARDC). His father died, and his mother could no longer care for him.
With children and families on the frontline of conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, UNICEF and partners respond urgently
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO, 21 November 2012 - “We are on the ground and are reaching out to children affected by the crisis,” says UNICEF Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Barbara Bentein.
With DRC facing a new wave of violence, UNICEF appeals for aid to meet the needs of the internally displaced
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 21 August 2012 – In July, 25-year-old Amani Kasingufu fled her home village Kibumba, near the border with Rwanda. She and her two children found refuge at the internally displaced persons site of Kibati. For two weeks, they slept outside, but recently received supplies for shelter. “The plastic sheeting that I got will help in building a home and the blankets will protect my children,” she smiles.
UNICEF helps children affected by armed conflict in North Kivu, in DR Congo
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 30 July 2012 – “In the centre, I learn how to knit gloves and make baskets. I love to participate in the discussion groups here,” said Zele Flora, 15. Since she arrived in Mugunga, a site for internally displaced persons (IDPs), last April, she has frequented one of the child-friendly spaces (CFS) that UNICEF and its partner AVSI established in order to give children affected by conflict a place where they can be what they are: children, who play, learn and hope.
In DR Congo, communications efforts are turning back religious resistance to the polio vaccine
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 27 June 2012 – Though polio has been eradicated from much of the world, it remains a tragic reality in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where transmission of the virus was re-established in 2006. Since 2010, it has affected nearly 200 people.
In DR Congo, support for the cold chain essential to eradicating polio
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 25 June 2012 – Poor infrastructure and difficult terrain isolate many villages of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This lack of access is the greatest obstacle to the country’s provision of health care.
Social mobilizers encourage communities to get vaccinated against polio in DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 22 June 2012 – Poor hygiene practices and community resistance to vaccination have enabled wild poliovirus to re-surface in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in recent years.
UNICEF engages community leaders and parents to increase vaccine coverage and eliminate polio
KAGANGA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 21 June 2012 – Since 2010, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has had 193 polio cases.
In DR Congo, soccer star and UNICEF National Ambassador Tresor Lualua promotes polio vaccination
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 15 June 2012 – Congolese soccer star and UNICEF National Ambassador Tresor Lualua recently accompanied a mobile team of polio vaccinators in Kinshasa during the second round of the 2012 National Immunization Days.
In DR Congo, UNICEF supports efforts to help child labourers return to school
KIPUSHI, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 13 June 2012 – Sweat is running from 16-year-old Bitshilwalwa Bukula’s forehead as she tries to smash a rock into smaller pieces. A small plastic canopy offers some protection from the harsh midday sun, but the work is hard.
Preventing family separation during mass displacement in DR Congo
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 29 May 2012 – When gunfire began in Bihambwe, Tuisenge had no choice but flee.
Preventing and treating malnutrition in DR Congo
LUBUMBASHI, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 4 May 2012 – “I am grateful for the miracle that happened to us,” said Mariam. Three weeks ago, she arrived at the therapeutic feeding unit in Camp Vangu, in Lumumbashi, carrying her 11-month-old daughter, Elaine. The little girl was too weak to even open her eyes.
On World Malaria Day, DR Congo launches a mass distribution of mosquito nets
LUBUMBASHI, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 25 April 2012 – Today, on World Malaria Day 2012, a new mass campaign was launched, aiming to distribute 13.7 million long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) to help protect people against malaria.
In DR Congo, polio survivors advocate on behalf of immunization efforts
BAS-CONGO, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 24 April 2012 – Roger Vuanda Movita was only 2 years old when polio took away his ability to walk.
Innovative delivery system improves the distribution of supplies to displaced families in DR Congo
MIKETO CAMP, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 12 April 2012 – The sun beats down mercilessly on the Miketo Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camp in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo), but the people still wait patiently for their names to be called.
Protection and assistance for children working in DR Congo's diamond mines
BAKWA TSHIMUNA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 10 April 2012 – “I loved to go to school, but when my father died I couldn’t pay the fees anymore. That’s why I came here,” said 15-year-old Niak, a front-line worker in one of Lupatapata’s many diamond exploration teams.
In DR Congo, ‘protected communities’ help neighbours and families care for vulnerable children
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 29 March 2012 – In one of the poorest countries on earth, years of conflict have damaged the fabric that holds communities together – and children, as always, are the most affected.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow visits transit centres where children associated with armed conflict are getting a new start
BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 26 March 2012 – Under stormy skies, a hip hop crew known as the Flavour Boyz rap and harmonize to the beats of an African drum. Matching the weather, the boys’ lyrics tell stories of their tempestuous pasts – all five members of the crew had been recruited or abducted by armed forces or groups. They are now at a UNICEF-supported transit centre in Bukavu, recovering from their experiences.
In DR Congo, a UNICEF programme is empowering communities to improve water and sanitation
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 23 March 2012 – Years of civil war have limited progress in improving health and sanitation services throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Today, half the population of 66 million still has no access to clean water sources, and one out of every five children under age 5 suffers from persistent diarrhoea.
Field diary: In DRC, youth advocates learn about their right to a legal identity
KINDU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 19 March 2012 – In a grand meeting room in Kindu, Maniema Province, 10 adolescents gathered for a media training. They would be learning how to write articles and make videos documenting issues and concerns in their community.
In a historic judgment, the International Criminal Court convicts Thomas Lubanga Dyilo of recruiting children into armed conflict
NEW YORK, USA, 14 March 2012 – In a landmark ruling today, Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga Dyilo was convicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of war crimes for recruiting children into his armed movement. The verdict is the first ever delivered by the ICC, the world’s only permanent, independent war crimes tribunal, since its establishment in 2002.
In DR Congo, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow encourages polio vaccination in reluctant communities
KASAMBONDO VILLAGE/NYUNZU/MUKAWA VILLAGE, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 27 February 2012 – Peddling by hand, Mulasi Huesseini forces her wheelchair through the sand and into the eastern village of Kasambondo. Her friends walk alongside, carrying their babies. One of them also carries Ms. Husseini's 4-month-old son, Lubumba.
Life-saving action against cholera in DR Congo
MBANDAKA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 16 January 2012 – “At the beginning I thought she had just diarrhea, but when she didn’t stop vomiting I took her to the hospital, where they told me it might be cholera,” said Getou Bofala, 35.
Partners work to bring peace to children associated with armed groups in DR Congo
BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 16 January 2012 – “I was 13 years old when the rebels came to my village. They didn’t ask questions. ‘Take your jacket and come, or we kill you,’” recounts Christian, 16.* “I stayed with them for three years, no thinking, just functioning.”
UNICEF plans to expand innovative pre-school programme
NEW YORK, USA, 9 January 2012 – A quality education is the cornerstone of every child’s rights, yet across the developing world millions of children’s futures are stunted because they don’t have the opportunity to learn.
UNICEF helps young people address and prevent sexual violence in DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 4 January 2012 – Despite increasing stability in many areas, violence still prevails in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Civilian populations continue to endure frequent small-scale attacks by armed groups and armed forces.
Simultaneous measles and polio vaccination drives to protect children in DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 23 December 2011 – “Since her birth, I have brought my daughter regularly for vaccination to the health center,” said Benjamin Bikangi, 35. “We have so many difficulties in this country. I want her to be safe, at least from diseases.”
UNICEF supports interventions to break the polio cycle in DR Congo
KINSHASHA, Democratic Republic of Congo, 20 December 2011 – “Who cultivates ignorance will harvest disease!” These were the closing words of a sketch performed in Popokabaka, part of a recent polio drive launched in response to the country’s rash of polio cases this year.
UNICEF and Pampers partner up to protect mothers against neonatal tetanus
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, 11 November 2011 – Fany Kibwe is six months pregnant. She lives in Mukanga Moke, a small, rural village 15 kilometres from the nearest health centre in the southern section of DR Congo. This will most likely mean that Fany will deliver her baby at home, a prime situation for contracting tetanus.
Immunizing millions of children to eradicate polio in DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 25 October 2011 – The Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, with support from UNICEF and partners, recently concluded a massive campaign seeking to immunize more than 14 million children under age five against polio.
UNICEF-supported programme having a positive effect on health and education in DR Congo
BUNYAKIRI, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 7 October 2011 - In the small village of Bitale in eastern DR Congo, over 500 children studying at the Mikonzi Primary School are receiving a quality education thanks to UNICEF’s Programme of Expanded Assistance to Return Plus (PEAR+), which facilitated the construction of the building.
UNICEF provides an underage miner with a second chance in DR Congo
KATANGA PROVINCE, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 21 September 2011 – Daniel, 16, has his life back after three years of working in a copper mine located in the southern section of the Democratic Republic of the Congo – one of the worst jobs on earth.
In DR Congo, fundraiser aims to raise US$4 million for provincial child protection plan
LUBUMBASHI, Democratic Republic of the Congo,16 August 2011— On June 24, a fundraising gala organized following this year’s Day of the African Child gathered over 100 local authorities, development partners, businesspeople, parents and children around one shared goal – making child protection a tangible issue in Southern DR Congo.
UNICEF and partners work to break the cycle of malnutrition and disease in DR Congo
KALEMIE, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 5 August 2011 – For the people of Kalemie, living on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, water from the lake is a lifeline – but also poses dangers, especially to children.
Fighting cholera, a deadly threat to child survival in DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 13 July 2011 – “I have never been as worried as during the past three days,” sighs Maman Vombi Sidania. After a night of continuous vomiting and diarrhoea, her granddaughter Mimi, 11, was taken to the health centre in Maluku. There, the girl was diagnosed with cholera – a potential death sentence from dehydration.
In DR Congo, poverty pushes thousands of children on to the streets of Kinshasa
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 16 June 2011 – “Children are sacred. People must understand that even if they are poor they can't throw them out like garbage," says Matondo Kasese, a former priest who works with street children.
UNICEF supports rebuilding and reconciliation efforts in DR Congo
DONGO, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 9 June 2011 – "Children are the first victims of this conflict. We have a shared responsibility to build a better future worthy of them,” said UNICEF Representative in DR Congo Pierrette Vu Thi on a visit to Dongo in north-western Equateur province this week.
Second round of national campaign against polio targets millions in Democratic Republic of the Congo
KALEMIE, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2 June 2011 – A month after the first round of National Immunization Days 2011, a new five-day Government vaccination drive – supported by UNICEF, the World Health Organization and multiple partners – has reached out to immunize more than 12 million children under the age of five.
Sylvain's story: A former child soldier on the road to a new life in Rwanda
KIGALI, Rwanda, 27 May 2011 – At the Lake Muhazi Centre, an hour’s drive from the Rwandan capital, 30 adolescent boys have come together for a three-month course that offers counselling, education, recreational activities and vocational training. These are not your average young men – they used to be child soldiers in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Belgian Minister President's visit highlights 'Healthy Villages, Healthy Schools' in DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 12 May 2011 – “Your school has become a model of a modern school, which will hopefully set an example for other students and schools in Congo,” declared Rudy Demotte, Minister President of the Walloon Government and the French Community in Belgium, speaking to residents of Mbimi village on the outskirts of DR Congo’s capital, Kinshasa.
Polio immunization campaign aims to reach millions in Democratic Republic of the Congo
BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 9 May 2011 – Severine Nabintu, 35, brought her six-month old child to the launch two weeks ago of a national immunization campaign against polio in South Kivu province in DR Congo. “I’ve brought my child to vaccinate him and protect him from polio,” she said.
In DR Congo, child-to-child teaching in pre-school bolsters primary school readiness
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 8 April 2011 – DR Congo is a difficult country for children to grow up in. It’s the second poorest country in the world and more than half the adult population has either never attended school or only completed primary school.
GAVI supports a pneumococcal vaccination programme for Congolese children
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 6 April 2011 – Several hundred spectators gathered this week to witness the Democratic Republic of the Congo introduce a new pneumococcal vaccine to combat pneumonia into its national immunisation programme.
UNICEF and partners battle the re-emergence of polio in DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 29 March 2011 – A five-day vaccination drive to help eliminate polio in Kinshasa was completed this week. The campaign, organized by UNICEF and partners, aimed to reach more than eight million people.
UNICEF Executive Director visits a 'voucher fair' for vulnerable families in DR Congo
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 9 March 2011 – “I bargained hard but now I have what I want – a radio, a cooking pot and trousers for my son,” said Maryam Mampouya, 34. She was one of over 1,500 customers purchasing non-food items to meet their household needs at a voucher market held in Mutondi, eastern DR Congo, during UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake’s recent visit to the country.
UNICEF Executive Director focuses on ending polio and violence during DR Congo visit
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 7 March 2011 – “This vaccination will help my daughter to grown up strong and healthy,” said Aminata, a young Congolese mother. “It seems so simple and amazing.” Last week, while UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake was visiting Kinshasa, the capital of DR Congo, Aminata brought her three-year-old daughter to be vaccinated against polio at the Burumba Health Centre there.
Adolescents search for normalcy through education in DR Congo
WALIKALE, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 4 March 2011 – Twelve-year-old Ujumbe Kiwabantu’s life was abruptly uprooted two years ago by civil conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo). She and her family have traumatic memories of armed forces repeatedly looting their home and setting others in their village on fire.
UNICEF-supported Juvenile Justice Court marks first year of work in DR Congo
LUBUMBASHI, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 3 March 2011 – For the first time in DR Congo, children in conflict with the law now have access to justice.
UNICEF helps reintegrate former child soldiers into local communities in DR Congo
DUNGU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 11 February 2011 – This year has brought joy to the family of a woman named Charlotte here in eastern DR Congo. Raul, her 14-year old nephew, has returned home after a long ordeal.
'City of Joy' assists and empowers survivors of sexual violence in DR Congo
BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 9 February 2011 – Under a blue sky, the air is filled with women’s laughter and songs. It is the perfect setting for the opening of ‘City of Joy,’ a joint project of UNICEF and the non-governmental organization V-Day, providing a safe haven for survivors of sexual violence.
UNICEF supports a hospital's mobile clinic for survivors of sexual violence in DR Congo
BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 18 January 2011 – Maria, 20, whispers as she recounts being raped by soldiers two days before Christmas.
UNICEF-supported community health centres battle HIV and AIDS in DR Congo
LUBUMBASHI, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 29 December 2010 – Here in DR Congo, where most children and adolescents lack access to education, there is little awareness about prevention of HIV and AIDS. In general, people go to the hospital only if they feel sick, and so HIV infection may go undetected until it has reached an advanced stage requiring intensive care.
UNICEF and partners help educate children displaced by conflict in DR Congo
WALIKALE, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 20 December 2010 – Ujumbe Kiwabantu and her family were displaced by the conflict in DR Congo two years ago, when they fled their home and came to live with distant relatives in Walikale, a remote rainforest territory.
UNICEF supports large-scale intervention to prevent and treat malaria in DR Congo
DJUMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 7 December 2010 – The first day of Djuma’s mosquito net distribution provided the most festive few hours of two-year-old Nicole Katshinga’s life. It was as if the whole world had come to the remote village in Bandundu Province.
Second phase of polio immunization campaign carried out in DR Congo
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 23 November 2010 – DR Congo took a major step toward eradicating polio this month with the second round of a mass immunization campaign targeting children under the age of five in nine provinces.
UNICEF and partners respond to re-emergence of polio in DR Congo
KANANGA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 8 November 2010 – Kasai Occidental Province is the epicentre of a recent polio outbreak in the DR Congo, and the provincial capital Kananga is where a three-day immunization drive began at the end of October. Its aim: to reach more than 11 million children in 9 of the country’s 11 provinces.
UNICEF Emergency Director spotlights successes and challenges in DR Congo
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 19 October 2010 – UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes Louis-Georges Arsenault has just concluded a six-day trip to DR Congo that highlighted the challenges facing children and families here.
Cash vouchers give options to families displaced by violence in eastern DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 11 October 2010 – UNICEF and two of its non-governmental partners, Solidarities International and the Norwegian Refugee Council, have completed three weeks of ‘cash-voucher fairs’ providing critical supplies to some 65,000 people displaced by violence in eastern DR Congo. It is the country’s largest single campaign yet using this innovative approach.
Latest UNICEF data reveal inequities in Democratic Republic of the Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, 5 October 2010 – The latest results of a core UNICEF research tool – The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) – were presented recently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
UNICEF and religious groups join forces to boost child survival in DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, 30 March 2010 – UNICEF and five major faith-based organizations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have signed a historic partnership agreement to decrease child mortality.
UNICEF partner ‘Heal Africa’ treats survivors of sexual violence in eastern DR Congo
NEW YORK, USA, 23 March 2009 – In the war-ravaged eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, UNICEF is working with Heal Africa, a local non-governmental organization, to provide free health and psycho-social services to survivors of rape and gender-based violence.
UNICEF helping to keep refugee children in school in Republic of Congo
DONGOU, Republic of Congo, 11 March 2010 – Tens of thousands of children from the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been seeking refuge in the neighbouring Republic of Congo since October 2009, when inter-communal clashes sent their families fleeing across the border.
Massive bed net distribution in DR Congo
KISANGANI, DR Congo , 07 January 2010 – Whenever a mother arrives at the Umoja Health Centre near Kisangani with a young child who is running a temperature, vomiting, or convulsing, the health workers there know the diagnosis is likely to be malaria.
Unprecedented bed net campaign under way in DR Congo
KISANGANI, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1 October 2009 – Mikala Mobanda’s four-year-old son has been suffering from fever and lack of appetite for several days. He is lethargic and complains of pain. In this area of DR Congo’s Province Orientale – where malaria is endemic and nearly every child will contract it – there is little doubt of the diagnosis.
Low enrolment rates prompt efforts to invest in education in DR Congo
KINSASHA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1 September 2009 – Low attendance rates continue to plague DR Congo’s schools, adversely affecting the country’s development.
UNICEF Executive Director hears stories of hope amidst conflict in eastern DR Congo
BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 31 August 2009 – The deep, ongoing problems facing women and children in eastern DR Congo have been highlighted during the visit by UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman.
Children and families in DR Congo face multiple crises
NEW YORK, USA, 28 August 2009 – The situation facing children and families in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo was critical enough as they faced increasing conflict and insecurity in recent years, “but at this moment the country is facing three major crises,” says UNICEF Deputy Representative in DR Congo Steven Lauwerier.
Executive Director joins NBA star to launch new health facilities in DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 26 August 2009 – As this country tries to recover from years of civil war and unrest, the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital (BMMH) offers hope in an impoverished Kinshasa neighbourhood.
Reaching out to mothers to prevent HIV transmission in DR Congo
KATANGA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 27 August 2009 – Louise Ngone is the head nurse of the Kikula Health Centre in Katanga. Ms. Ngone – or ‘Mama Louise’ as she is affectionately called – is a tireless advocate for all children born in her clinic, and she is passionate about making sure as few of them as possible are born with HIV.
Simple responses to child mortality make a dramatic difference in DR Congo
ORIENTALE PROVINCE, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 26 August 2009 – Local health centres here have opened their doors for the weighing and measuring of young children. It’s a simple check on child health status, but it is having a dramatic impact.
Pounding rock and crushing potential: Child labour in DR Congo
KIPUSHI, Democratic Republic of Congo, 12 June 2009 – Covered in powder, Sylvian, 2, sits alongside his mother, pounding rocks with a mallet in an ore heap in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rocks, dust and sun: This is the only life Sylvian has known.
In eastern DR Congo, up to 250,000 flee attacks by Rwandan rebel group
NEW YORK, USA, 13 April, 2009 – Since January, more than 250,000 people have fled fighting in North Kivu province in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, adding further strain to an already grave humanitarian situation facing children and families there. Some 800,000 Congolese remain displaced from the past two years of conflict in the province.
UNICEF Chief of HIV and AIDS sees treatment and prevention in DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 8 April 2009 – DR Congo is where the first known cases of AIDS were identified, and today up to half a million people here are living with HIV – over 50,000 of them children.
Death in Dungu: Rebel violence escalates in north-eastern DR Congo
NEW YORK, USA, 13 March 2009 – The Ugandan rebel group, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), has killed more than 900 people in the north-eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo since December of last year. Hundreds of children have been abducted and tens of thousands of Congolese have been displaced by the fighting.
Deputy Executive Director calls for release of all child soldiers in DR Congo
NEW YORK, USA, 3 March 2009 – UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Hilde F. Johnson has urged armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to release all children associated with the conflict.
US tour to raise awareness of V-Day/UNICEF campaign against rape in DR Congo
NEW YORK, USA, 12 February 2009 – On the eve of a five-city US speaking tour designed to raise awareness about the effect of sexual violence on the women of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, activist Eve Ensler warned yesterday that western consumption of DR Congo's resources has "consequences ... on the bodies of women."
Protecting orphans and vulnerable children in the DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, 12 January 2009 – Life is hard for the vast majority of children in DR Congo. For the country’s orphans, who make up almost 10 per cent of the population, life can be even harder.
Japanese grant provides clean water and sanitation for DR Congo schools
MONGA FULA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 17 December 2008 – Kiboko Primary school was built in the 1950s, before the Democratic Republic of Congo gained independence. It has 363 pupils, including 169 girls and, until recently, it had no sanitation facilities or sources of safe drinking water.
Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow witnesses devastation and emergency relief in North Kivu
NORTH KIVU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 12 December 2008 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow is visiting conflict-affected North Kivu, on a three-day mission to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow arrives in North Kivu
NORTH KIVU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 11 December 2008 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow arrived in conflict-affected North Kivu today, at the start of a three-day mission to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Thousands of schools closed in eastern DR Congo
NEW YORK, USA, 21 November 2008 – Fighting in the North Kivu province of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo has caused massive disruptions in schooling for hundreds of thousands of children. Throughout the province, thousands of schools are closed. Many schools are now occupied by displaced people.
A day on the ground in crisis-stricken North Kivu, DR Congo
KIBATI CAMP, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 18 November 2008 – In the last two weeks, well over 100,000 people have fled their homes due to fighting and insecurity in eastern DR Congo. Over 35,000 are on the move as I write. In the last two and a half months, around 250,000 people have fled their homes. Some 1.1 million people in North Kivu – or 20 per cent of the province’s population – are now in displacement.
Children abducted by armed groups in eastern DR Congo
NEW YORK, USA, 14 November 2008 – Continued fighting in North Kivu province, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, is placing children at risk of abuse and exploitation by armed groups, according to UNICEF representatives in Goma.
Aid flights arrive in DR Congo, but insecurity persists
NEW YORK, USA, 11 November 2008 – Insecurity persists in the North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where more than 250,000 people have been forced from their homes in the last two months alone, due to fighting between the army and a rebel group.
Fighting resumes in DR Congo as displaced civilians languish
NEW YORK, USA, 7 November 2008 – A fragile ceasefire is falling apart in North Kivu province, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, further deepening an already catastrophic humanitarian situation. Over the last two days, fighting between rebels and government troops and their allies has forced thousands more to flee.
Continued insecurity hinders aid to displaced families in DR Congo
NEW YORK, USA, 6 November 2008 – Continued violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is seriously hampering humanitarian agencies from reaching more than 1 million displaced people in the region.
Aid on hold as fighting displaces thousands more families in North Kivu, DR Congo
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 30 October 2008 – In eastern DR Congo’s North Kivu province, war rages on between government forces and rebels. Over the last six weeks alone, more than 250,000 people have been forced to flee fighting, bringing the total number of displaced people in the province to over 1 million.
Volunteer parents help fight HIV/AIDS in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, 20 October 2008 – Bella, a native of DR Congo, returned to this country from Uganda three years ago. After almost a year of sickness, she decided to go to one of the HIV-testing centres in Kinshasa.
In DR Congo, community-based clinics lead the fight against child malnutrition
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 14 October 2008 – The locality of Binza Meteo is one of the poorest in Kinshasa, the capital of DR Congo. The roads are in a bad shape, water and electricity are scarce and most people do not have a steady job.
'Not by Bombs and Bullets' – overcoming the legacy of violence in DRC
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo, 26 June 2008 – The road to Rutshuru runs past hazy active volcanoes and silver lakes. It would be the stuff travel brochures are made of – that is, if this route on the eastern edge of DRC, flush with Rwanda, wasn’t literally lined with the hardware of a war few understand.
As DR Congo crisis persists, UN classifies rape as weapon of war
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 24 June 2008 – In a momentous step forward for the protection of women and girls in DR Congo and around the world, the UN Security Council has voted unanimously in favour of a resolution classifying rape as a weapon of war.
UNICEF Executive Director joins V-Day to focus on stopping rape in DR Congo
NEW ORLEANS, USA, 15 April 2008 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman joined thousands of supporters and activists to celebrate the 10th anniversary of V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls. Over the past decade, V-Day has raised over $50 million and educated millions of people about violence against women and how to end it.
In DR Congo, counselling and education heal the invisible wounds of war
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 11 March 2008 – Moka, 13, was hiding at home with his family when the mortar landed. “It killed my grandfather and my younger brother,” he says. “We saw them dead, blown up, burnt.”
UNICEF appeals for help with humanitarian activities in DR Congo
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo, 14 February 2008 – Not far outside this town that has swelled to 10 times its size in as many years, the hardware of war can be found along all routes in this region of active volcanoes, forests and lakes.
‘HEAL Africa’ helps war-affected young women and children
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 8 February 2008 – Fighting between factions in Goma – the capital of North Kivu Province – has killed, injured and displaced millions of Congolese over the last decade. A recent International Red Cross report estimates that 40,000 people have died every month since conflict began in 1998 – most of them women and children.
Maisha’s story: Former child soldier reclaims his life in DR Congo
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 16 October 2007 – Maisha (not his real name) was 15 when he joined the Mayi-Mayi militia, a loose coalition of Congolese soldiers that emerged a decade ago in opposition to the Rwandan-backed Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie (RCD).
Masika’s story: Child combatant in DR Congo recalls the emptiness of army life
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 11 October 2007 – Masika (not her real name) was only 13 when she decided to join the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie (RCD) militia in eastern DR Congo. She joined because her mother had recently died. She also liked the uniforms the soldiers were wearing.
Helping former soldiers plant seeds for the future in DR Congo
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2 October 2007 – Simon, 15, always loved to garden on his family’s farm in the Masisi territory of eastern DR Congo. At age 10, however, he was forcibly abducted by the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie (RCD) militia, and for several years he fought on the front lines in many battles and was forced to loot villages in order to survive.
Humanitarian supplies distributed in the wake of conflict in North Kivu, DR Congo
NORTH KIVU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 27 September 2007 – Just a 20-minute drive west of Goma, the North Kivu provincial capital, the aftermath of recent fighting between government troops and dissident forces begins to unfold.
Humanitarian crisis in DR Congo continues as a tenuous peace sets in
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 21 September 2007 – Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced and left destitute by the recent fighting in North Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Displaced children especially vulnerable to illness and military re-recruitment in North Kivu
NORTH KIVU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 18 September 2007 – In an era of extreme difficulty for the people of DR Congo, between 300,000 to 350,000 people have been displaced since November 2006. In the last few weeks, the situation has gone from bad to worse, with approximately 60,000 people displaced from their homes around North Kivu. In unstable circumstances like these, children are especially vulnerable to exploitation.
V-Day and UNICEF urge protection for women and girls in eastern DR Congo
NEW YORK, USA, 6 August 2007 – Highlighting the issue of violence against women and girls, renowned US playwright and ‘V-Day’ founder Eve Ensler has chronicled her firsthand encounters with women in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where sexual violence has become a routine weapon of war.
UNICEF Ambassador Lucy Liu visits families displaced by violence in DR Congo
NORTH KIVU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 18 June 2007 – UNICEF Ambassador Lucy Liu has just returned from a trip to war-torn eastern DR Congo, where she witnessed the dire situation of displaced women and children.
Water is plentiful but not safe enough for children in DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, 25 September 2006 – The mighty Congo and hundreds of lesser rivers crisscross the lush countryside here, providing plentiful water, but the legacies of a decade-long war abound.
Even where fighting has ended, sexual violence scars children and women in DR Congo
KISANGANI, Democratic Republic of Congo, 4 August 2006 – Through the mists and past the dense forests on the edge of the Congo River in Kisangani, thousands of militia and government soldiers have set up camp. It is a bold experiment in integrating former enemies, a vital step for a peaceful future.
Children on the run from conflict in Democratic Republic of Congo
KISANGANI, Democratic Republic of Congo, July 31, 2006 – A child stomps maize outside her home on the shores of Lake Albert, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It seems at first glance like a peaceful scene but her shelter is a green sheet wrapped over a skeleton of sticks and rebel fighters lurk in the hills surrounding the camp. Like so many other children here, this girl has grown up on the run from conflict.
Former child combatants need alternatives to soldiering
LUMUMBASHI, Democratic Republic of Congo, 26 July 2006 – Seventeen-year-old Jean lives in a modest house in Lumumbashi. In a spare room, he works with colourful cloth to expertly tailor a shirt. But Jean would much rather be making war than clothes.
Childhood under attack in DR Congo
NEW YORK, USA, 24 July 2006 – Childhood in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been under attack for decades but elections on 30 July could offer an opportunity to break the cycle of violence that has scarred an entire generation.
Marie Paule’s story: Surviving life on the streets of Kinshasa, DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, 22 June 2006 – Marie Paule is in her first year of secondary school. At 14, children her age are usually in their second or even third year. The young teenager may be late in catching up, but she has come a long way.
UN agency heads call for new commitment to help Africa's Great Lakes region
NAIROBI, Kenya, 3 March 2006 – The heads of three of the largest United Nations humanitarian agencies today urged the international community to match political progress in the Great Lakes region with a new commitment to end the suffering of the millions of people forgotten by the rest of the world.
UNICEF Executive Director on joint mission to Great Lakes region with heads of WFP and UNHCR
NEW YORK, 27 February 2006 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman has taken a firsthand look at programmes for children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including meeting with street children at a feeding programme in Kinshasa. Ms Veneman is in Africa for a joint visit to the Great Lakes region with the Executive Director of the World Food Programme James Morris and UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.
As 6,000 flee renewed violence, UNICEF distributes food and emergency supplies
BUNIA, DR Congo, 10 February 2006 – Fighting has once again erupted between armed militias and government troops in the eastern part of this country. Fearing the violence, more than 6,000 people – most of whom are children fleeing with their parents – have abandoned their homes and taken refuge near the village of Aveba, in hopes of being protected by UN peacekeeping troops stationed nearby.
Fighting in DR Congo forces Pygmy populations to flee the forests
BENI, DR Congo, 3 February 2006 – The preferred way of life for the Pygmy population around North Kivu is to remain in forested areas. But now they are being forced to flee their villages by a recent upsurge in fighting in the area.
Humanitarian crisis in eastern DR Congo worsens as fighting continues
DUBIE, Democratic Republic of Congo, 30 January 2006 - A young mother’s wailing pierces the air, as a group of men prepare her baby’s grave. The funeral begins and, wrapped in a blanket, the baby is laid to rest on top of a banana leaf in the shallow pit. Now a mother no more, the young women collects herself and staggers away.
New fighting displaces more than 10,000 people in DR Congo
NEW YORK, 27 December 2005 – Renewed fighting between Government forces supported by UN peacekeeping troops and opposition militias has displaced at least 10,000 people in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo in recent weeks. These clashes come as the country strives to recover after a long civil conflict.
DR Congo: Volunteers help children orphaned by HIV/AIDS
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, 24 October 2005 – Only now emerging from a long history of war, the Democratic Republic of Congo is facing a future where poverty and disease, especially HIV/AIDS, will be the enemies and soldiers of a different kind will be needed for the battle.
Nearly 3,000 former child soldiers returned to civilian life
NEW YORK, 4 April 2005 – UNICEF has confirmed that over 2,900 former child soldiers in Ituri District, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, have been returned to civilian life since September 2004.
Former child soldiers reclaim their lost childhood
KPANDROMA, Ituri District, DR Congo, 30 March 2005 - At a UNICEF-supported demobilization and community reintegration centre in Kpandroma, Congolese children, some as young as eight, are putting on a play to re-enact the ordeal they endured as pawns of armed groups.
Life-saving immunization drive launches in DR Congo
NEW YORK, 28 February 2005 - A UNICEF supported immunization drive, which begins officially in March will send vaccinators into villages across the Democratic Republic of the Congo to immunize children against a host of childhood diseases.
Tetsuko Kuroyanagi raises another $1 million for UNICEF
TOKYO, 31 January 2005 – Renowned Japanese TV personality and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Tetsuko Kuroyanagi raised yet another $1 million in 2004 to help UNICEF in its work for the world’s children.
“The Mamas” go door to door to help villagers with health
KAPOLOWE VILLAGE, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 26 August 2004 – The villagers here are lucky to live near Lake Tshanga-Lele: Fish from the lake provide a convenient source of food. But the shores of the lake are also a potential source of death. Malaria infected mosquitoes bring danger, disease and death to many here.