There are thousands of non-profits, for-profits, non-governmental organisations, foreign and national programs to help the DRC out of poverty, to end wars, to stop malnutrition or to end corruption (among many other projects).
I am sure there are some of us who would like to know what kind of work is being done to help the DRC population, but sometimes it is hard to find. I hope this list helps those people.
So here is a non-exhaustive list of various NGOs and for-profit projects that are or have done significant work in the country (alphabetically).
Below is the list of organisations in tabulated form with a short description of each of them.
|Organisation (with link)||Country of origin||Sector||Description (extracted from website)|
|ACTED||France||Humanitarian||“Present in the DRC since 2003, ACTED works mainly to respond to emergencies, strengthen the resilience of populations, co-construct efficient governance and promote an inclusive and sustainable growth.”|
|Action Against Hunger||France||Humanitarian||“Throughout 2020, Action Against Hunger responded to nutrition crises and their underlying causes. We implemented multisectoral emergency responses, with new focuses on sexual and reproductive health and psychosocial support. Our team also strengthened resilience among the people most vulnerable to nutrition insecurity. Action Against Hunger is a major player on national coordination platforms, working in close collaboration with government technical services at both national and local levels to influence and strengthen the capacity of key actors to address nutritional insecurity.|
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are supporting three health centers, strengthening the implementation of infection, prevention, and control measures through the creation of triage facilities, installation of handwashing stations, and donation of PPE. We also provided psychosocial support to health professionals and held psychoeducation training sessions.”
|ActionAid||UK||Humanitarian||“ActionAid began working in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 1987, when we provided emergency relief to Burundian refugees.|
We are working to make quality education accessible to more children, by providing basic facilities in schools and renovating toilets.
We support women and girls affected by, or vulnerable to, sexual violence, and help communities affected by conflict to lift themselves out of poverty.”
|Agence Française de Développement (AFD)||France||Development||“A long-standing partner of the DRC, AFD promotes access to basic services for the most disadvantaged and improved governance. 5 projects: Strengthen education and vocational training. Contribute to good financial governance. Ensure better access to essential services. Sustainable management of forests. Support the financial and productive sectors.”|
|African Parks (Garamba Park)||South Africa||Environment||“Garamba, one of Africa’s oldest national parks and a World Heritage Site, is the last stronghold for the largest population of elephants and the last remaining Kordofan giraffe in the DRC. African Parks, and the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) entered into a partnership in 2005 to manage the park. African Parks is a non-profit conservation organisation that takes on the complete responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities. We currently manage 19 national parks and protected areas in 11 countries covering over 14.7 million hectares in: Angola, Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.”|
|Art of hope DRC||DRC/USA||Art/Music||“Art of Hope was co-created in 2019 by three organizations that truly believe in the power of artistic creativity in Congo: Music Beyond, Inc, MNKF Creatives and Malabo Arts.|
By bringing together a wide range of talents from the DRC, this multifaceted event aims to send a positive message of hope to empower the Congolese people to take action and share with the world the strength, talent and beauty of the country and his people.”
|Baobab||DRC||Private sector : Finance||“Baobab is a responsible financial institution, we approve and apply the principles of the Smart Campaign, in other words fair, respectful and non-discriminatory practices, as well as the protection of customers. In addition, in order to prevent excessive indebtedness, we have implemented a credit scoring methodology that allows an accurate assessment of the borrower’s financial situation.”|
|BBOX||DRC||Energy||“We have started Bboxx DRC in 2017. Bboxx DRC is a next generation utility dedicated to transforming lives and unlocking potential through access to energy.|
We have positively impacted over 50,000 people by providing clean, reliable and affordable electricity to their homes, communities and businesses for the first time. Every day, our Bboxx DRC team provides the best service to our customers and deliver an unparalleled improvement in the quality of life for rural and urban households.”
|Caritas Congo||DRC||Humanitarian/Religious||“The technical department of the Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Caritas Congo was established in 1960 and has had a legal personality since 1964. In accordance with its vision of a united and responsible Congolese society that is able to take care of itself, it sets about the task of “increasing, through reflection and action, the effectiveness of the Church’s contribution to efforts aimed at the integral promotion of the human person and community, with no exceptions, in accordance with the Social Teaching of the Church.”|
|Christian Aid||UK||Humanitarian||“Christian Aid has worked in the DRC since the 1970s. We work on good governance, humanitarian assistance focusing on resilience, from violence to peace, access to (agricultural) markets and gender.|
We have built a long-term vision, a reputation for our in-depth knowledge of the country, strong relationships across the country and experience in developing the capacity of partners, especially in advocacy.
Some of our former partners are now independent, continuing to implement long-term projects in difficult conditions even after Christian Aid’s funding has ended, demonstrating the long-lasting effects of our capacity-building activities.”
|CIFOR||International||Environment||“CIFOR-ICRAF delivers evidence and solutions to transform how land and renewable resources are used and food is produced. Through our collaborative, action-oriented approach, we help conserve and restore ecosystems, support sustainable supply chains and respond to accelerating climate change, malnutrition, biodiversity loss and desertification. In short, we improve people’s lives while preserving the environment. The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and World Agroforestry (ICRAF) envision a more equitable world where trees in all landscapes, from drylands to the humid tropics, enhance the environment and well-being for all. CIFOR and ICRAF are CGIAR Research Centers.”|
|Concern Worldwide||Ireland||Humanitarian||“With programmes in North Kivu and Tanganyika, Concern Worldwide DRC is developing and implementing programmes along the full emergency continuum, ranging from rapid response and humanitarian assistance to early recovery assistance and development interventions.|
Concern’s objective is to alleviate poverty and hunger to provide high quality assistance through innovative programmes and with a strong focus on transforming existing gender norms and integrating protection principles.
Supported with funding from Irish Aid, BHA, FCDO, ECHO, BMZ, SIDA and foundations, in 2020 Concern reached more than 400,000 of the most vulnerable people with emergency cash interventions, gender trainings, WASH, food security, livelihoods, nutrition, and shelter programmes.”
|Congo Research Group||USA||Research and Political analysis||“Congo Research Group (CRG) is an independent, non-profit research project dedicated to understanding the violence that affects millions of Congolese. We carry out rigorous research on different aspects of the conflict––our first report, for example, investigates who is behind a series of massacres in the Beni region, while others reports look at links between elections and conflict, and at armed groups in the Kivus region. All of our research is informed by deep historical and social knowledge of the problem at hand, and we often invest months of field research, speaking with hundreds of people to produce a report.|
We are based at the Center on International Cooperation at New York University. We publish in English and French.”
|Coopi||Italy||Humanitarian||“COOPI has been present in the DRC since 1977. This has enabled COOPI to get to know the country well and to respond effectively to the needs of the population. For thousands of children and mothers suffering from malnutrition, we carry out prevention, care and nutritional support activities; we organize training activities on good hygiene practices and rehabilitate wells and latrines. To cope with food crises, we provide food and seeds and train farmers in the techniques of growing and selling agricultural products. We pay particular attention to women and children survivors of violence through psychosocial support and free health care; we manage prevention and protection projects against the recruitment of children into armed forces and groups, support for survivors of gender-based violence and other cases of human rights violations in conflict situations, through the integration of aid for school and professional reintegration.”|
|Danish Refugee Council||Danemark||Humanitarian||“The Danish Refugee Council is present in the Haut Uélé, Ituri and North Kivu provinces of DR Congo, where it responds to emergencies and seeks to enhance the protective environment around populations affected by displacement. DRC’s programmes include protection, child protection, education, provision of shelter, and peacebuilding initiatives. DRC implements a multisectoral approach to meet the needs of children, combining child protection and education. |
DRC’s emergency response in DR Congo supports displacement-affected populations through protection, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and NFI programming. In addition, DRC delivers livelihoods recovery activities in order to facilitate resilience and reduce vulnerabilities.”
|Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH||Germany||Foreign Government||“The main areas of work of GIZ in DR Congo are: Protection and sustainable use of natural resources, Drinking water / sanitation, Sustainable economic development and Peace and security.”|
|Doctors Without Borders DRC||International||Humanitarian||“How we’re helping in Democratic Republic of Congo. The world’s largest measles epidemic. Assisting displaced people. Comprehensive care in the Kivu provinces. Treating victims of sexual violence. Responding to epidemics.”|
|Eastern Congo Initiative||USA||Humanitarian||“We believe that local, community-based approaches are the key to creating a successful society in eastern Congo. We also believe that public and private partnerships, combined with advocacy that drives public policy change and increased attention, will create new opportunities for the people of eastern Congo. And we believe that, shoulder to shoulder with Congolese innovators, we can revolutionize how the world thinks of humanitarian aid.” (Founded by the American actor Ben Affleck)|
|Ecole Les Amis de Daniel||DRC||Education||“Specialized education makes it possible to meet the specific educational needs of students in difficulty and aims at their personal development and their social or professional integration.the student will evolve there as in ordinary education, at his own pace thanks to a pedagogical framework allowing an individualization of the teaching.”|
|Ecole Régionale Postuniversitaire d’Aménagement et de Gestion intégrés des Forêts et Territoires tropicaux (ERAIFT)||DRC||Environment||“The Regional Postgraduate School for Integrated Planning and Management of Tropical Forests and Territories (ERAIFT) is a regional school, placed under the auspices of UNESCO (Category 2 Center). It is funded by many Financial Partners including: The Democratic Republic of Congo, the European Union, the Kingdom of Belgium, UNESCO, Japanese Cooperation through ITTO and RIFFEAC, FAO, Wallonia Brussels International since 2010 and Awac since 2016, the Center for Partnership and Cooperation of the University of Liège, Belgium Pacodel – Ulg, the AfDB and ECAC through the Program to support the conservation of ecosystems in the Congo Basin ( PACEBCO) since 2010, US Forest Service (USFS / USAID), GIZ through RIFFEAC.The originality of the School is its intersectoral and interdisciplinary, participatory, global and integrated approach, ie a systemic approach. This forms the pedagogical and conceptual basis of ERAIFT.”|
|En Classe||DRC/Netherlands||Education||“En Classe invests in infrastructure and hygiene at existing schools and supports teachers and students with additional training. By working closely with school boards, parents, local organizations and the Congolese government, we create a solid foundation for the further development of the schools.”|
|Enabel||Belgium||Development||“We primarily intervene in the provinces in three sectors, which were chosen in function of the country’s policy priorities and for their impact on economic growth and the reduction of poverty : Agriculture and rural development, education and health.”|
|FINCA||USA||Private sector : Finance||“FINCA RDC is a Socially Responsible Company offering innovative and sustainable financial solutions that improve people’s lives.Thus, in order to respond effectively to its #mission, it provides the public with fundamental knowledge # of Financial Education. These aim to help learners better manage their finances, budget, develop a culture of savings, and even learn credit negotiation skills once the need arises.”|
|Fondation Femme Plus||DRC||Women||“Femme Plus is a non-profit association, created on July 31, 1994 at the initiative of Congolese women in response to the difficulties experienced by widows of AIDS, having acquired a strong experience in community care. It is officially recognized by the ministerial decree granting it legal personality. She specializes in Psychosocial Support for People Living with HIV (PLHIV), People Affected by AIDS and Survivors of gender-based violence including sexual violence and in the detection of Tuberculosis among PLWHIV in local communities.”|
& Development Office
|UK||Foreign Government||“Active projects in 2021 : Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund Round 4, Feronia Inc, British Academy Core – Challenge-led grants: Sustainable Development, LegumeSELECT: Science-driven Evaluation of LEgume Choice for Transformed livelihoods, Improving healthcare at the intersection of gender and protracted displacement amongst Somali and Congolese refugees and IDPs, The Law of Protracted Conflict: Overcoming the Humanitarian-Development Divide, Protracted Displacement Economies, Supporting peace and stability in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Public Financial Management and Accountability in the Democratic Republic of Congo, UKAID-USAID ACCELERE! Improving access, quality and governance of primary education in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Private Sector Development programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Increasing sustainable access to water sanitation and hygiene in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chevening Scholarships in Congo (Democratic Republic), Democratic Republic of Congo- Humanitarian Innovation, Response and Reform programme (DRCHIRRP), Support to the health system in the Democratic Republic of Congo – ASSR, Democratic Republic of Congo Food Insecurity Crisis Reserve Project, Tackling Deadly Diseases in Africa Programme, The Evidence Fund – 300708”|
|Greenpeace||Canada||Environment||“The Democratic Republic of the Congo is just one of the countries where Greenpeace Africa operates. We campaign to protect the Congo Basin forest by building resistance to the expansion of industrial logging and other unsustainable industrial exploitation of the precious forest and peatland ecosystems. To this end, we investigate and expose unfair and destructive forest use and work with civil society and local communities to amplify their voices and enable continued sustainable community use of forest resources. Besides, we promote solutions for sustainable development like community forestry that enable local communities to effectively exercise their rights on their own forest management.|
The Greenpeace Africa DRC office opened in Kinshasa in 2008.”
|Handicap International||France||Disabilities||“In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, HI promotes access for children with disabilities to school, provides support to people affected by the chronic humanitarian crisis in North Kivu, and to victims of conflicts in Kasai.”|
|Hans Seidel Foundation||Germany||Development||“Present in DRC since 1979, the FHS development policy program has focused primarily on grassroots communities. In collaboration with its various local partners, the FHS supports actions that allow the strengthening of democracy and good governance in the DRC, for a strong and dynamic civil society.”|
|HEAL Africa||DRC||Health||“For many decades, the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have suffered the serious consequences of a persistent and widespread conflict.|
Using their skills in medicine and administration, the founders Dr Jo and his wife Lyn LUSI created “Doctors on Call for Service” (DOCS) in 2000, an organization whose goal is to train local health professionals to serve the suffering communities of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
In 2005, after integrating a holistic approach to medicine, the organization changed its name from DOCS to HEAL Africa (Health-Education-community Action-Leadership development).
We provide community access to health care. The holistic approach to care that HEAL Africa has put in place goes beyond the physical by integrating psycho-social, economic and spiritual aspects, first affecting the individual and then extending to the community.
Through Health, Education, Community Activism and Leadership Development, HEAL Africa works to transform local communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in partnership with public and private organizations working on the national territory. Although working with international actors, HEAL Africa also promotes local relations for common actions in the face of the adversity that characterizes the daily life of the Congolese.”
|Hub for Kimbondo||DRC||Orphanage||“At the Pediatric Hospital of Kimbondo, the number of children increases day by day. To be able to help and support each and every child we have founded a non profit organization that includes different associations supporting the hospital. These associations are coordinated so that every one of them can cover a different aspect of the needs of the Hospital, without overlapping, while the strategy board controls the financial aspects and guarantees transparency in the process.|
Thanks to this coordination it is possible to support and guarantee the future self-sustaining of the Hospital on the economic aspect while respecting the MISSION STATEMENT of the founders, Padre Hugo Rios M.D. and Laura Perna M.D.”
|Human Rights Watch||USA||Human Rights||“Human Rights Watch investigates and reports on abuses happening in all corners of the world. We are roughly 450 people of 70-plus nationalities who are country experts, lawyers, journalists, and others who work to protect the most at risk, from vulnerable minorities and civilians in wartime, to refugees and children in need. We direct our advocacy towards governments, armed groups and businesses, pushing them to change or enforce their laws, policies and practices. To ensure our independence, we refuse government funding and carefully review all donations to ensure that they are consistent with our policies, mission, and values. We partner with organizations large and small across the globe to protect embattled activists and to help hold abusers to account and bring justice to victims.”|
|IMA Global Health||USA||Humanitarian/Health||“Since 2000, IMA has worked alongside the Congolese government, donors and an array of local and international partners to revitalize the country’s health system, fight diseases and improve the health for a population in desperate need. Such long-term investment in the Democratic Republic of Congo has required resilience, creativity, and an incredible network of staff and partners to navigate successive armed conflicts, political instability, impassable roads and other obstacles that continue to threaten the health and well-being of the population.”|
|Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN)||DRC||Environment||“Strengthen the capacity of ICCN to ensure the conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity in the network of Protected Areas of the DRC, in cooperation with local communities and other partners to contribute to the well-being of the Congolese populations and all of humanity.”|
|Institut Européen de Coopération et de Développement (IECD)||France||Development||“The IECD was created in 1988 on the initiative of entrepreneurs and academics, including Xavier Boutin. Driven by the desire to show solidarity with populations in difficulty, they respond to requests from civil society actors in Madagascar (1989), Lebanon (1989) and Cameroon (1992). From these three countries of presence, the IECD is gradually extending its actions to sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Latin America (1994) and South-East Asia (2004).|
The education and professional training of people are at the heart of the action of the IECD teams, convinced that these are the keys to economic and human development. Their mission is indeed to promote development by building the capacities of people and local partners. “Since 1991, in partnership with its local partner, the Congolese Center for Culture, Training and Development (CECFOR), the IECD has supported the development of a benchmark private hospital, the Mother and Child Hospital (CHME) by Monkole. Then in 2006, the IECD joined the Sickle Cell Disease Support, Training and Watch Platform (PAFOVED) in the fight against the world’s leading genetic disease.
In order to meet the needs of a population living in great poverty, the IECD took an interest in other sectors of activity such as Support for Small Businesses (TPE) in 2010, or Family Agricultural Schools (EFA)) in 2012. The Support program for small businesses has endeavored for several years to reach new audiences in new neighborhoods, particularly street vendors and women. The EFA Program, meanwhile, is moving towards official recognition of its training. Thus, Family Farm Schools increase their visibility and strengthen their attractiveness to young people. “
|Konrad Adenaeur Stiftung||Germany||Development||“Freedom, Justice and Solidarity are the guiding principles of the work of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS). KAS is a German political foundation, which is close to the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU). As co-founder of the CDU and first German Federal Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) brought together socio-Christian, conservative and liberal traditions.|
KAS has been represented in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1966 and is committed, throughout the world, to the promotion of democracy and the rule of law as well as to the implementation of the principle of the social market economy. and human rights. The Foundation organizes numerous activities in order to achieve the above-mentioned objectives and aligns them with those of the donor, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), at regular intervals, which take place under in the form of seminars, workshops, dialogue forums, debates and round tables. In addition, we produce publications, provide specialist advisory support to political decision-makers and organize exchange and contact programs. Depending on the theme, the Foundation orients its work towards several target groups and supports, for example, political parties, entrepreneurs, journalists, women and youth representatives.”
|Lutte pour le changement (Lucha)||DRC||Activism||“Lutte Pour Le Change (LUCHA) is a group based in Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo who fights for a class of rights that protect Congoleses’ freedom from infringement by governments, social organizations, and private individuals. They ensure one’s ability to participate in the civil and political life of the Congolese society and state without discrimination or repression. ” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutte_pour_le_changement|
|Malabo Group||DRC||Art||“MALABO was formally established in October 2012 to promote DR Congo’s best gems: its artists. The country is awash with artists in the largest sense of the word, raw, pure talent at every corner. Whether in the hustle and bustle of the capital city Kinshasa, or in the hills of Goma, or in the mineral-induced heat of Lubumbashi, we dare to say that the country is also an “artistic scandal”. When we started in 2012, we were involved in music, mainly collaborating and working with the late Papa Wemba.|
In April 2014, we bought our first painting, a 100-cm square piece made by young Congolese artist Mbela Mambueni. Several weeks later, we teamed up with Wess Itshiri, another gem. Since then our family has grown, you will discover them on our website.
But if our heart is in Congo, we are keeping our eyes open to other African artists, across this vast continent of 54 nations, not only painters, but all artistic expressions-that’s our definition of the African union.”
|Medecins du monde||France||Humanitarian||“Our humanitarian mission in Congo took place on several axes, highlighting health issues mainly for the most vulnerable populations. Projects: a humanitarian emergency program in the province of Tanganyika, health monitoring, curbing the Covid-19 epidemic in Kinshasa, health program for young people and adolescents in Kinshasa and prevention in schools.”|
|Mercy Corps||USA||Humanitarian||“Since 2007, Mercy Corps has been providing urgent relief to millions of people in the DRC, at the same time building longer-term security and stability so that the Congolese people can build a stronger future. We focus on five priority areas:|
Water, sanitation and hygiene
Conflict resolution and governance
In response to COVID‑19, we’ve adapted our programs in order to continue reaching communities with lifesaving support. We have also introduced new programming to prevent the spread of the virus.”
|MONUSCO||International||United Nations||“UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION STABILIZATION MISSION IN THE DR CONGO. MONUSCO took over from an earlier UN peacekeeping operation – the United Nations Organization Mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) – on 1 July 2010. It was done in accordance with Security Council resolution 1925 of 28 May to reflect the new phase reached in the country.|
The new mission has been authorized to use all necessary means to carry out its mandate relating, among other things, to the protection of civilians, humanitarian personnel and human rights defenders under imminent threat of physical violence and to support the Government of the DRC in its stabilization and peace consolidation efforts.”
|Mukwege foundation||DRC||Women||“The Mukwege Foundation supports victims and survivors of conflict-related sexual violence to unite and stand up for their rights.|
Not only do survivors of sexual violence face a cascade of long-term physical, psychological, social and economic consequences, they live with the burden of being shunned or silenced by their communities. Stigma can have lasting, potentially lethal, repercussions, including ‘honour killings’, suicide and high-risk survival behaviour. It prevents survivors from seeking justice, excludes them from their communities, and often leaves them to care for themselves and their children without any support.”
|Music Beyond||DRC/USA||Art/Music||“Music Beyond, Inc. was founded by Kaori Fujii and Nana Aomori in August 2014. Music Beyond empowers communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo by engaging local musicians and youth through education, performance, collaboration, and mentorship.”|
|Ndako Ya Bana||DRC||Education||“The NGO has been educating 38 disadvantaged children in Congo since 2016”|
|Norwegian Refugee Council||Norway||Humanitarian||“The crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is intensifying and displacement is reaching historically high levels. NRC strives to meet the needs of people affected by displacement. In 2020, our teams assisted 699,361 people in DR Congo. Our strategy aims to provide assistance and protection to families during all phases of displacement. NRC provides a multisectoral rapid response (cash support, emergency shelter and water, and emergency education), support to prolonged displacement (securing access to land, transitional shelters), and when possible, support to returnees or local integration. NRC has developed skills to reduce community tensions and work with communities to find alternatives to violent conflict resolution.”|
|Nuru Energy||DRC||Energy||“Nuru (Swahili for “light”) is a company dedicated to enhancing connectivity in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Nuru deployed Congo’s first solar-based mini-grid in 2017 and is currently constructing a 1.3MW solar hybrid site in Goma, the largest off-grid mini-grid in sub-Saharan Africa.|
Nuru was first established under the name Kivu Green Energy in August 2015. We changed our name in September 2019 to reflect our expansion beyond the Kivu regions into other parts of DRC.”
|OXFAM||UK||Humanitarian||“Oxfam has worked in DRC since 1961 and currently operates in six provinces namely North Kivu, South Kivu, Equateur, Ituri, Tanganyika, and Kasai. Our work is mainly focused on humanitarian and development projects in the most vulnerable communities. In the DRC Oxfam is one of the few organizations that can engage in influence and advocacy as drivers of change.|
Our vision is a DRC where women and men have a greater capacity to make their voices heard in policies and decisions that affect them, benefit from a responsible government, and access resources to enable them to improve their quality of life.”
|Panzi Foundation||DRC||Women||“The Panzi community of supporters, health and wellness practitioners, lawyers, and activists work to help survivors become whole—and put an end to the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. Twenty years ago, we opened our doors to the first woman who had been sexually assaulted by soldiers of opposing forces. Little did we know how continually needed our expertise would be—and how much we’ve grown.|
Today, we’ve treated more than 85,000 women suffering from rape- or birth-related complications, with thousands regaining their whole selves through our innovative, holistic healing model.
We also serve as a general hospital for nearly 500,000 underserved people, from treating broken bones to cancer.”
|Première Urgence Internationale||France||Humanitarian||“Première Urgence Internationale has been working in the DRC since 2001, and has deployed in several provinces since, in response to emergencies and salient humanitarian needs.|
After having long been recognized as a pilot NGO in the coordination of IDP camps in the east, since 2017, the NGO has also demonstrated its ability to deploy and respond to major epidemics (Ebola, measles, COVID-19 ) as well as population displacement. The heart of its action revolves around the issues of primary health, sexual and reproductive health and the fight against malnutrition.
In 2020, Première Urgence Internationale was operational in Kinshasa, North Kivu, Tanganyika and Kasai. At the end of the year, the NGO opened a project in Mai-Ndombe.” Certified by Do Good (SGS).
|Rainforest Foundation Norway||Norway||Environment||“Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) has been working in close cooperation with environmental and indigenous organisations Central Africa since 2003, specifically in DR Congo. |
Our work in the region promotes the recognition of forest-dependent peoples’ access and rights to land and is geared towards achieving a sustainable, community-based management of the rainforest. It is our experience that the rainforest is preserved most effectively in areas where its traditional populations secure the legal right to manage it.
We provide resources for capacity building and the strengthening of local organisations and national networks of non-governmental organisations, and support their advocacy work as well as their field work with forest-dependent peoples. This work is geared towards achieving a policy shift, towards one that respects human rights, maintains the integrity of the world’s second largest rainforest and combats poverty through sustainable community-based forest management.”
|Rien sans les femmes||DRC||Women||“Nothing Without Women is a civil society movement and various Congolese activists defending women’s rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This movement, born in March 2015, aims to achieve equal representation of men and women in decision-making bodies in the DRC at all levels.”|
|Soins de Santé Primaires en Milieu Rural (SANRU)||DRC||Health||“SANRU (Primary Rural Health Care) is a Non-Governmental Organization based on the Christian faith, headquartered in Kinshasa at number 149 A / B Boulevard du 30 Juin in the commune of Gombe.|
SANRU ASBL has a long experience in the field of public health in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This dates back to 1981, three years after the concept of “health for all and by all” was launched at the ALMA ATA Conference by WHO. Indeed, SANRU was among the first organizations to implement the project to create and revitalize health zones in the DRC for more than three decades.”
|Save The Children||UK||Children||“By building classrooms, training teachers and distributing learning materials, we’re increasing access to quality basic education for thousands of children.|
We’re helping strengthen family care systems and training local leaders and communities to prevent and respond to exploitation and abuse.
We’re urging the government and relevant authorities to call for the recruitment of children into armed groups to stop; to put mechanisms in place to protect children who have been arrested and for survivors to access support.
We’re calling for schools to become neutral zones, to be free from the presence of violence and be safe and secure places for learning, caring and nurturing.
We’ve deployed our innovative Emergency Health Unit to provide essential healthcare to children and their families.
We’ve also set up child-friendly spaces to provide children with a safe space to play and regain a sense of normality in the midst of crisis while teaching them about their rights. Adults are also trained on child safeguarding and the Child Protection Act.”
|Si jeunesse savait/Mwasi||DRC||Women||“Association of Young Feminists of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Currently in the DRC, in 4 provinces: Kinshasa, Kongo-Central, North Kivu and South Kivu as areas of action.|
We aim to strengthen the leadership of all adolescents and young people, in particular girls and sexual minorities in urban and peri-urban areas of the DRC.
Our actions cover three areas:
Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
Entrepreneurship and Economic Justice”
|Solidarités International||France||Humanitarian||“Present in the DRC for 20 years, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL intervenes in the hotbeds of emerging and recurring crises by responding to the basic needs of the most vulnerable people.|
The projects are being implemented in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu, areas which alone record the majority of population movements and the greatest presence of internally displaced persons in the country. Rapid response projects to population movements are being carried out, that is to say emergency multisectoral interventions, triggered very quickly in order to meet the immediate needs of populations affected by armed clashes.”
|Stand Proud||USA||Disabilities||“By providing free mobility-enhancing treatment and equipment, U.S., U.K., and Swiss charity StandProud improves the dignity and social integration of impoverished children and youth with motor disabilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo). Partner : ACDF”|
|Street child||UK||Children||“Street Child, through its subsidiary Children in Crisis and its local partner Ebenezer Ministry International (EMI), has been working in the remote, conflict-affected High Plateau region of Uvira, Mwenga and Fizi in South Kivu since 2007, to revitalise the education system and improve communities’ ability to support their families and their children’s education.”|
|Tropenbos||DRC||Environment||“Tropenbos DRC is a Congolese environmental NGO member of the Tropenbos International network. It is a broker of knowledge and development in the tropical forest sector. Tropenbos International was founded in 1986 by Dutch students concerned about deforestation and degradation of tropical rainforests.|
Tropenbos has been in the DRC since 2010. In 2017 it became a national legal entity of the DR Congo. Its objective is to promote the use of valid and adequate information to enable forestry partners to formulate and implement appropriate policies to manage forests sustainably for socio-economic development and ecosystem conservation.”
|UNDP||International||UN||“The UNDP carries out specific actions that contribute to helping the Democratic Republic of Congo to face the challenges of poverty, good governance, socio-political stability and sustainable development.|
Our objectives: Contribute to achieving by 2017 the following changes: The institutional framework and civic structures are strengthened to ensure the promotion of human rights and development in the DRC.”
|UNEP||International||UN||“In 2011 UN Environment undertook a post-conflict environment assessment. The assessment proposes that the Government of the DRC consider four policy actions to promote sustainable wealth creation, poverty alleviation and long-term peace building. These options include:|
– Capitalising on the DRC’s emerging social economy to generate employment;
– Maximising synergies through area-based development programming;
– Integrating economic valuation of ecosystem services into all development
– Planning and engaging in a ‘green economy’ transition to achieve sustainable development.”
|UNHCR||International||UN||“Through our 19 offices in the DRC, we provide protection and assistance for those forced to flee their homes, helping to find long-term responses and supporting them on the way to self-reliance.”|
|UNICEF||International||UN||“UNICEF has been present in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1963 to reach the most disadvantaged children, to save their lives, to defend their rights and to help them fulfil their potential.”|
|USAID||US||Foreign government||“The goal of USAID/Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC’s) 2020-2025 Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) is: A More Peaceful and Prosperous DRC with Improved Opportunities for Communities and Individuals to Thrive. This high-level goal encapsulates USAID’s long-term vision of a DRC where all communities and people are empowered to move their country closer to self-reliance.|
USAID’s new strategic approach emphasizes three points: partnership, integration, and adaptation. Over the next five years, USAID will partner with individuals, communities, and institutions and increase their ability to generate and achieve locally-led solutions. Recognizing the complexity of DRC’s development problems, USAID will employ an integrated, multisectoral approach to solving them, building on lessons learned under the previous CDCS. In particular, USAID will better align its humanitarian and development programming, ensuring that short-term, emergency programming is layered and sequenced with longer-term development programming. The DRC’s difficult and uncertain operating environment, which is subject to recurrent crises, makes programming challenging. Consequently, this strategy will employ an adaptive approach focused on risk mitigation and management throughout the program cycle.”
|Virunga National Park||“The Virunga Alliance was founded on the principle that the Park’s survival depends on its ability to act as an asset for its surrounding communities. Through the responsible and sustainable development of the Park’s key assets – tourism, clean energy, and sustainable agriculture – the Virunga Alliance is working to kick-start a green economy in eastern Congo, for the benefit of its neighbouring communities.”|
|WarChild||UK||Children||“Child protection. |
War Child’s free helplines (called ‘Tukinge Watoto’ – ‘Let’s Protect Children’) are a lifeline for violently abused or mistreated children. Children can speak directly to trained counsellors and social workers who can refer them to local child protection organisations. In an emergency or high-risk situation children can be taken into protective care. We’re also building the general capacity of the Congolese child protection system, strengthening detection, prevention and response to child neglect or exploitation. We also deploy teams to monitor protection issues affecting communities in Kasai. We provide an evidence-based response to the most urgent cases of protection through innovative “cash for protection” interventions. This has led to support children and their communities in extremely vulnerable situations. This includes survivors of sexual and gender based violence, unaccompanied children, and former child soldiers to access urgent medical, transportation and shelter services.
War Child’s education programming in DRC supports children early, providing safe spaces for Early Childhood Care and Development activities (ECCD). These activities provide children with opportunities for interactive play and learning while supporting their parents to provide care and support at home. Communities ability to support families during these vital early years has been severely disrupted by conflict hindering children’s development and future well-being. We are also providing catch up classes and support to teachers, providing students the opportunity to return to education.
We work with local partners and community networks to run campaigns raising public awareness and informing children, parents, community leaders and officials about child protection issues.”
|Wildlife Conservation Fund (WCS)||USA||Environment||“The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has worked in DRC since the 1950s when Dr. George Schaller undertook the first studies of Mountain and Grauer’s Gorillas in what are now known as Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega National Parks. Today, WCS supports the DRC Government in saving wildlife and wild lands in three National Parks (Salonga, Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega) and three Natural Reserves (Okapi, Itombwe, Kabobo). Four of these protected areas supported by WCS in DRC are UNESCO World Heritage sites (Salonga, Virunga, and Kahuzi-Biega National Parks, and Ituri Faunal Reserve).|
The WCS-DRCongo strategy is articulated on three main pillars namely conserving priority species, conserving priority landscapes, and mitigating critical wildlife challenges. Several objectives are assigned to each pillar and most of them rely on the discover and protect global objectives. In addition, the inspire global objective has one specific objective per pillar in the WCS-DRC conservation strategy.
WCS is directly engaged in strengthening law enforcement activities in protected areas. This mandate has provided WCS with the opportunity to spearhead effort of expanding implementation of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) to improve law enforcement and adaptive management activities through few protected areas as pilot site. But also, WCS interventions targeted to boost capacity at national level by working towards implementation of a coordinated unit at National Park Service (Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature) Headquarters.
WCS-DRC is embarking in direct Protected Areas management through the public-private partnership for the direct management of the Okapi Faunal Reserve. This ambitious project as well as the current growth in activities will require more resources and capacity to better respond to different challenges.”
|Wonder foundation||UK||Women||“In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we seek to improve access to education and professional training to women and girls.”|
|WorldVision||USA||Humanitarian||“Our teams have been working in the DRC since 1984. Today, we are working to contribute to the measurable and sustainable improvement of well-being for 5,311,208 children and their communities through transformational development and humanitarian relief programmes focused on: health and nutrition, education, water and sanitation, protecting children, livelihoods and resilience, food aid, psychosocial support and the reintegration of displaced people.”|
|WWF||Switzerland||Environment||“However, the new REDD+ national strategy and international mechanisms bring some hope of developing a virtuous cycle of investment where the private sector, government and communities could be rewarded for sustainable management. WWF works to protect the DRC’s unique and diverse biodiversity and wildlife. Through the development of its energy and infrastructure pillar, WWF aims to ensure that convenient energy development and supply mechanisms are well identified at the national level and around key conservation landscapes. The objective is to positively impact the urban and rural energy supply system and facilitate more livelihood alternatives for communities living around key conservation areas.”|
|XSML||DRC||Private sector : Finance||“International investors are increasingly interested in emerging markets. Yet small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) continue to have difficulty finding the right financing. XSML bridges this gap. By providing capital and know-how to SMEs and entrepreneurs in frontier markets in Central and East Africa, we help them grow in a sustainable way. We work with investors who share our passion to invest with impact. And with our experience in private equity and debt, and a local presence in these markets paired with a focus on operational discipline, we generate attractive returns for those investors.”|
|World Agroforestry/ICRAF||USA||Environment||“World Agroforestry (ICRAF) is a centre of science and development excellence that harnesses the benefits of trees for people and the environment. ICRAF has been implementing agroforestry projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 2006. Project sites included Bas-Congo, Bandundu, Equateur and Tshopo. The organization has also partnered with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to improve livelihoods of vulnerable households in South Kivu and Tanganyika through the dissemination of agroforestry-based land improvement and rehabilitation practices, as well as the promotion of multipurpose trees for nutrition and income.”|
According to the World Bank, the Democratic Republic of Congo is ranked as the 8th country to have received the most aid money in the world (received from 1962 to 2019), behind Syria, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Yemen, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Kenya.
There are some that are of the opinion that aid is not helpful and will not help anyone in the DRC in the long term.
Others will say that private business is the only solution. That government assistance and NGO work will never be the answer.
That only an end to corruption, good governance, entrepreneurship, open markets and a good business climate will sustainably improve the lives of the Congolese.
I am still unsure where I stand on that debate, both sides have valid points but I do feel that aid is still absolutely necessary, be it to the small local orphanages or the huge MONUSCO presence. They have proven to be helpful in many instances. To cut them out completely would spell disaster for many.
I am not an expert on aid. I have lived in the DRC many years and have seen some of these in action. I can’t say one is better than another, but these seem to genuinely try to make an impact to improve living conditions of the Congolese. This list is simply to inform the reader of various efforts to aid and understand the DRC. Feel free to contact me to correct the list or add other NGOs or non-profits that should be included and why.
NGO certifications and ratings : Do Good, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch
If you need some guidance when choosing which NGO or agency you want to donate to you can check out the sites Do Good by SGS, Charity Navigator or Charity Watch but they are focused on American charities. They rate the charities using standard formulas and financial information.
See the list of partner NGOs in France with the Do Good label.
Extra reading material : Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo
Thanks to my friends Nuno and Martina for many NGO names on this list!