This isolated area near many of the mines in the north of the North Kivu Province is only accessible through dangerous roads connecting Goma and Rutshuru territories. Lack of paved roads in this wooded, mountainous region makes communication and the supply even of basic goods difficult--it also makes the area a perfect hiding place for armed groups who have settled all around the city of Mweso. These rebel militias have created a climate of permanent insecurity and violence that has caused thousands of people to flee their homes.
Those essentially rural and vulnerable families, not being able to leave the region, end up settling in IDP camps around Mweso, such as Ibuga, Kalembe Kalonge, Kalembe Remblas, Kashuga and Muhanga camps, where the Jesuit Refugee Service provides education, emergency assistance, livelihood activities, pastoral, and psychosocial services.
Due to the harsh living conditions in the camps, food and non-food items (NFI) distributions are organized quarterly. "Life skills" workshops have also been implemented as a part of a psychosocial welfare project.
In addition, essential to the field work of JRS in this area is to identify human rights abuses and raise these issues at regular meetings with NGOs and other humanitarian agencies, by participating in the UN Protection and Camp Coordination and Management clusters based in Kitchanga.
In this mainly rural context, with minimal access to land, the vocational trainings offered by JRS have the greatest impact. Informal vocational courses for different professions such as sewing, basketwork, and some instruction creates livelihood alternatives for the most vulnerable households in the camps, which aids in employment opportunities.
Many efforts are also invested to improve youth’s access to quality secondary education in the surroundings of the displacement sites, through scholarships, material kits distributions, teacher trainings, and parents’ sensitization. Girls’ schooling is strongly supported by Fund For Women; Alboan is also encouraging greater secondary school quality in this region, through capacity building of local Education authorities, such as inspectors and school directors.
Alongside and financed by GEI (Global Education Initiative) and JRS USA, a Tertiary Education program is also being developed, to keep on accompanying those students who have been JRS beneficiaries during the secondary level. This project aims to give the most vulnerable, young displaced people the opportunity to access a quality tertiary education.
Great Lakes Africa
+257 78 991 302
JRS Great Lakes Africa is one of 10 geographic regions of the Jesuit Refugee Service, an international Catholic organization sponsored by the Society of Jesus. The regional office coordinates the delivery of education, housing, psychosocial and recreational services, as well emergency assistance and support to become self-sufficient, to vulnerable refugee and other displaced populations in Tanzania, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Democratic Republic of Congo: project expands to meet the needs of the most inaccessible displaced populations
Mweso, 16 October 2012 – With the recent expansion of activities to the Muhunga and Mokoto camps, the Jesuit Refugee Service is fulfilling its target of reaching out to internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in the most remote and inaccessible areas of war-torn eastern Congo.
Democratic Republic of Congo: helping neighbours is just a question of love
Mweso, 12 March 2012 – Working for your community should be more about solidarity than earning a living. This is the focus of the latest JRS awareness raising initiative in the camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): new projects get under way in North Kivu
Bujumbura, 31 August 2011 – Despite the substantial obstacles of working in a worn torn region – poor infrastructure, lack of human resources and insecurity – after six months of preparation work with local communities, the latest JRS projects in eastern DRC are beginning to show fruit.
Democratic Republic of Congo
United States of America
Central African Republic