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Democratic Republic of Congo

Our programme in Democratic Republic of Congo

Building upon 20 years of experience in the region, LPI supports and works with Congolese peacebuilding civil society partners to implement holistic, inclusive and innovative conflict transformation processes, which strive to address some of the root causes of conflict in North and South Kivu provinces. Most recently, LPI has stepped up efforts to promote meaningful engagement with State actors and to further foster coordination and harmonisation between peacebuilding actors in the region, as two underlying conditions to sustainable changes. 

DRC, and specifically, Eastern DRC, has been caught in a cycle of violence. The result of a long history of tensions and violence is a profound lack of trust between communities, and between communities and political authorities. North and South Kivu, where LPI’s work has focused, continue to experience periodic clashes and military confrontations involving several old and new armed groups, including some foreign armed groups from neighboring countries, and the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique de Congo (FARDC). Aggravating factors which perpetuate conflict include the competition for valuable natural resources, which involves private and state actors, conflict entrepreneurs, political manipulation and poor governance. 

The conflict transformation processes LPI’s partners facilitate in Eastern DRC therefore seek to address deep-seated conflicts driven by a complex web of land access, power and identity-related drivers, rooted into structural and governance-related issues. 

Intra-community dialogue in Fizi Territory, South Kivu Province
Intra-community dialogue in Fizi Territory, South Kivu Province

Partners are key to our success 

We have collaborated with a number of civil society organisations for more than a decade. Currently, we provide financial support to some of our partners (ADMR, SVH, RACOJ, and UPDI) and engage in knowledge partnerships through a collaborative learning process with 10 partners as described below.

  • Dynamique des Femmes Juristes (DFJ) - Created on September 11, 2006, based in Goma DRC, DFJ is an NGO under Congolese law working for the protection, defense and promotion of women's and children's rights. Having for vision, a society where human, moral and civic values are promoted without any discrimination and in the respect of human rights and the dignity of the woman, the child and the family; the DFJ militates for a society where women are fulfilled, active and engaged in the improvement of their environment of life in order to exercise, defend and promote their rights.

  • Action pour le Développement des Milieux Ruraux (ADMR) - ADMR's vision is to see one day these populations live in peace, cohesion, justice and economic growth.

    ADMR is a non-profit association under Congolese law which was created in 1990. Its headquarters are in Bukavu on Avenue P.E. LUMUMBA at N° 126. The reason that led to the creation of this association was the deplorable and precarious situation in which thousands of people in our rural areas were living. Globally ADMR has as objective to contribute to the improvement of the living conditions of the rural and urban populations that it supports by its interventions.

  • Réseau des Associations Congolaises des Jeunes (RACOJ) - RACOJ is a network of youth organizations in DRC that aims to obtain the commitment of the community, and that of development actors, to promote and foster the participation of youth and women in developing innovative and effective initiatives that facilitate their access to a better life.

    The overall objective is to promote peace and the defense of human rights without discrimination.

  • Service, Par, Pour et Avec les Femmes (SEPPAF) - SEPPAF is a women's organization that promotes the integral empowerment of women and girls in difficult situations for the sustainable development of their lives in South-Kivu/DRC.

    It works to promote gender, peace and security and to fight against the poverty that affects women in particular through the socio-economic reintegration of girls and women in difficult situations.

  • Action pour la Paix et la Concorde (APC) - Action pour la Paix et la Concorde (APC) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) under Congolese whose focuses on conflict prevention and transformation, peacebuilding, good governance and human peacebuilding, good governance and human security or protection of civilians.

    APC's intervention approach combines participatory action research and capacity building of actors in conflict transformation techniques, dialogue and facilitation. APC is currently working in 4 provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), namely: South Kivu (where its headquarters are located), North Kivu, Kasai and Mai-Ndombe. For 10 years, APC has been accompanying Congolese populations particularly those living in the conflict zones of the above-mentioned provinces.

  • Solidarité des Volontaires pour l'Humanité ( SVH) - SVH is a non-profit association under Congolese law. It was created on May 20, 2003 following the turbulence of the general politics in the DRC, particularly in the territories of Fizi, Uvira and Mwenga in South of Fizi, Uvira and Mwenga in South Kivu characterized by the bad governance of public resources, social injustice, the ideology of inter-community division, massive human rights abuses and violations with impunity : sexual violence against women and girls, domestic violence, gender-based violence, violence against women and violence, ethnic violence, hate speech and discrimination, activism of national and foreign armed groups causing and foreign armed groups, resulting in killings, multiple displacements of civilians, looting of property and of civilians, looting of property, poverty, hence a collective awareness and solidarity. SVH had thus to contribute to the restoration of a climate of peace, of peaceful cohabitation between communities, to the construction of a state of law towards an endogenous sustainable development.

  • Union Paysanne pour le Développement Intégral (UPDI) - The Union Paysanne pour le Développement Intégral (UPDI) is a dynamic peasant organization created by small agricultural producers in rural areas South-Kivu/DRC.

    Its vision is to become an economically strong peasant union, capable of defending the rights and interests of its members in the perspective of sustainable and integral development and the promotion of peace.

    It supervises the collectives in their activities of improvement of the living conditions of their members gathered within the base organizations" (OB).

  • Save Communities in Conflicts (SCC) - SAVE COMMUNITIES IN CONFLICTS is a non-profit association created in Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo on June 20, 2010 with the objective of promoting a sustainable peace of communities in a just and more harmonious society.

    The headquarters of the NGO SAVE COMMUNITIES IN CONFIICTS (SCC) is established in the city of Goma, in the Province of North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    SCC works to encourage a culture of peace through dialogue, as an expression of all feelings beyond adversity in conflicts, especially land conflicts; empower and connect local communities in the fight against violence, gender-based violence against violence, sexual and gender-based violence, and the effects of violent conflict, in order to support efforts to repair the damage that has caused division in communities division in communities.

    SCC also works to accompany the social, educational, and economic recovery of communities to support efforts in the area of peacebuilding and social cohesion.

  • Action pour le Développement et la Paix endogènes (ADEPAE) - Established in 1997 in response to the climate of mistrust and suspicion between communities in South Kivu Province, DR Congo. ADEPAE’s mission is to accompany the population in the positive transformation of conflicts and the promotion of good governance to contribute to peace and sustainable development in Eastern DRC.

  • Reseau des Cadres de Concertation Intercommunitaire (RCCI) - In Uvira and Fizi territories, platforms of inter-community collaboration were created as part of PAR processes supported by RIO and ADEPAE. These included Cadre de Concertation Inter-Communitaire (CCI) in Bukavu, Uvira, Minembwe and Baraka. In 2016, the CCI structures have evolved into a network which is in the process of being formally established:  the Réseau de Cadres de Concertations Inter-Communitaire (RCCI). Further platforms were created in more rural areas, namely 18 Comités Mixtes de règlement des litiges (CM), dealing with disputes between farmers and herders at grassroots level.

Our work 

Currently, LPI implements the Innovative and Holistic Peacebuilding in Eastern DRC – Namna Mpya ya Ujenzi programme, funded by Sida from 2021 to 2025.

This programme was designed against the background of a bottom-up collaborative evaluation process, coordinated by LPI in 2019-2020, which identified changes conflict transformation interventions had contributed to over a decade and drew lessons from these changes. The evaluation results and recommendations informed LPI and other peace organisations on how to improve peacebuilding policy and practice on Eastern DRC.

The programme aims to contribute to addressing root causes of conflict in North Kivu and South Kivu (and potentially Maniema) through a combination of four outcome areas, namely: 

  • Contributing to conflict transformation at the community level through supporting community-based peace structures;

  • Strategically promoting the role of diverse women and diverse young women and men in peace processes at different levels, through supporting women and youth structures as key entry points;

  • Engaging with diverse authorities to promote and support the state efforts in bringing about peace and stability and ensuring sustainable results;

  • Promoting collaboration and coordination between organisations working on peacebuilding and conflict transformation processes in Eastern DRC.

Organisational development activity for a community-based structure, Kalehe Territory, South Kivu Province

What transformation takes 

Supporting and working with partner organisations at the core of our approach

LPI places civil society organisations and existing capacities for peace in the contexts where we work at the core of our conflict transformation theory of change. Specifically, LPI engages in formal partnerships with civil society organisations and accompanies them throughout conflict transformation processes and through technical and financial support. Most of the civil society organisations LPI works with have built a wealth of experience and expertise, are considered as legitimate peace actors and have strong access to key peace and conflict actors and to areas most affected by conflict and violence. At the core of LPI’s approach and reflections is the need to ensure our work adds value in the context. We therefore tailor our support to civil society organisations to their respective capacities and needs.

Supporting the Congolese state to bring about peace and stability

Policy engagement is increasingly considered by a wide array of peacebuilding, stabilisation and conflict transformation stakeholders in Eastern DRC as a key strategy to bringing about sustainable changes.

Specifically, LPI and partners engage with authorities at different levels with two objectives:

Influencing peace and security policies at different levels through lifting up perceptions, experiences and needs of people most affected by conflicts on the ground, and ‘disseminating’ policies at the grassroots level;

Accompanying and supporting authorities – including through enhancing their capacities – in playing an active and constructive role in peacebuilding and stabilisation efforts (i.e. beyond informing policies).

Promoting coordination of peacebuilding organisations and interventions

LPI is currently facilitating the set-up of a peacebuilding community of practice bringing together national and international peacebuilding organisations, with the objective to improve programming quality and promote further collaboration and harmonization of approaches among actors, such as dialogue and participatory action research.

Our donors

Read more about LPI's donors on the funding/finance page. LPI in DRC currently receives funding from Sida, Church of Sweden and GIZ.

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The Democratic Republic of Congo - Bukavu

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Life & Peace Institute, P O Box 64 Cyangugu/Rwanda

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