This project will allow 200 girls, ages 8 to 16, to enroll in school in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), an area that has been embroiled in armed conflict for seventeen years. All of these girls have been affected by the conflict and are now being rehabilitated through the local children’s rights organization BVES. The funds will cover school registration fees and support grassroots mobilization around protecting girls’ right to education in the DRC’s armed conflicted zones.
BVES is a leading children’s rights organization in the DRC that monitors, documents and reports children’s rights violations, and rescues child soldiers from armed groups across eastern DRC. To date, they have helped negotiate the release of nearly 4,000 child soldiers and more than 4,500 girls who have been sexually assaulted by armed groups. Their pressure and ongoing work with military leaders has also led to numerous commanders directing their soldiers to stop recruiting children and to release those in their ranks. As many released children would return to their villages as orphans, BVES also runs centers to house them, offering protection and activities to help their reintegration into society.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has experienced nearly uninterrupted armed conflict in its Eastern region since 1996. During this time, over five million have died, and millions more have been displaced. This ongoing conflict has left children particularly vulnerable to human rights violations, especially girls, who have been subject to horrific abuses including rape and sexual violence, recruitment and use by armed militias, and separation from their families. It is estimated that around 3,000 girls between the ages of 8 and 16 have been affected by the conflict.
How will this project solve this problem?
This project will allow girls who have been affected by the conflict to be reintegrated into school by funding their school registration fees. It will also support community education and advocacy on girls’ right to education and the obstacles to girls’ education in the DRC’s armed conflict zones.
Potential Long Term Impact
Education is an essential human right and a vital tool for combatting poverty and armed conflict, empowering women and girls, and protecting children against exploitation, particularly in volatile regions like eastern DRC. On a broader scale, education promotes democracy and peace-building.
Total Funding Received to Date:
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $22,700
Total Funding Goal: $22,700
$25 – School supplies for one girl
$40 – School supplies and shoes for one girl
$70 – Tuition for 10 months for one girl
$135 – Tuition, school supplies and shoes for one girl
$200 – Transportation costs for an outreach mission to one rural community
$540 – Support for four girls to attend school (tuition, school supplies and shoes)