Wecome to the Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo is both the richest and poorest country in the world. Despite an abundance of natural resources and over $24 trillion in mineral wealth, the average resident survives on barely a dollar per day.
The second largest country in Africa, DR Congo is roughly 25% of the size and population of the United States. The country has been at war for several decades. Despite the signing of peace accords in 2003, conflicts between armed groups continue unabated in eastern Congo.
Challenges and Opportunities
Since 1998, the internal conflicts have led to the deaths of about 5.4 million people, making the conflict the world's deadliest since the Chinese Civil War. More than 90% of those who have lost their lives during this period died as a result of the consequences of the war and not due to combat. Most people have died as a result of malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition, aggravated by displaced populations living in unsanitary and over-crowded conditions. Forty seven percent of those deaths have been children under five. The war is cited as the main cause of poor food production and extreme poverty.
Material and spiritual poverty remain equally evident. For example, people live in very poor shelters, don’t eat adequate meals and earn very low, sporadic incomes from unreliable livelihoods. Many children have abandoned school as parents cannot or will not pay school fees due to poverty, hopelessness, or even ignorance of the importance of education.
Empowering the Church as an Agent of Change
In the absence of government services, locals look to the church as a strategic institution, capable of providing services. The church, integral and non-partisan, provides a perfect platform for addressing social injustice, marginalization, and under-development.
Five Talents is proud to work in DR Congo in partnership with World Concern and the local church to help families identify and develop their God-given talents and resources.
- Mobilization of church and community leaders
- Training and mentoring of staff and community workers
- Formation of community savings groups
- Literacy and numeracy sessions for group members
- Business skills training
- Gender based violence and trauma counseling
- Group members save, borrow, and start new businesses
Five Talents is working with the Diocese of Aru, one of 10 dioceses in the Province of the Anglican Church of Congo. The Diocese of Aru is located in the northeast corner of the country and covers an area the size of Georgia with 35 parishes, 56 primary schools and 8 health centers.
While the region is economically poor, it holds great potential. The Diocese of Aru has a strong leadership team, and Five Talents is walking alongside the church to share hope and create economic opportunity. By bringing communities together to learn, save, and invest, Five Talents looks forward to promoting peace and development within the region.
Training of staff and community workers is currently on-going, and plans are in place to reach 60 communities, starting in 2018.
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