Helping displaced families get a fresh start

UNICEF helps displaced families from the Ituri province to recover by improving access to basic social services and by creating local, long-lasting community structures.

Pierre Buingo (translated from French by Lucy Oyelade)
Esther, 33 ans, assise à côté de son étalage des souliers en plastique
01 September 2020

In order to flee the insecurity that ravaged Eringeti, a village in the North-Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Esther and her family travelled more than 80km to find refuge in Ituri province. "We arrived with nothing, because everything had been left behind," explains the mother of the family.

When they arrived in 2017, Esther and her husband worked in the fields in exchange for food. "Every day, I was sad to see my children staying at home while others went to school," remembers Esther. She did not have the means to pay for her children’s education.

Esther et ses 4 enfants debout devant une salle de classe

At the start of the 2019-2020 school year, Esther’s four children were identified as vulnerable under the Participatory and Empowering Community-Based Approaches for Resilience (PEAR+ III) programme, and received support to return to school. Thanks to finance from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, 4,203 children have returned to primary school. The schools that welcome them have been equipped with school equipment and the children receive school kits as well as  refresher courses at their level.

For six months, Esther benefitted from money transfers which allowed her to launch an income-generating activity. "I did a training course and I launched a small business that sells plastic shoes," explained Esther, who received a total of 400 US dollars.

Mayani, mécanicien, repare une moto

Mayani Muley, Esther’s husband, used the profits from the shoe business to buy the tools necessary for his business that fixes cars and motorbikes. "The help that my wife received allowed me to return to work as well, and now we are able to respond to our family’s needs," concludes the father of the household.

Through the PEAR+ III programme, UNICEF has helped 1,734 vulnerable families in the Ituri province with money transfers to support them in planning ahead and recovering from potentially negative impacts.