Quaker Congo Partnership UK (QCP UK) has worked with Congolese Quakers in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since 2009. Our core projects - a rural hospital, trauma counselling, supplying clean water, peace building and a scheme giving women the skills and resources to improve their livelihood - benefit 40,000 people living close to Lake Tanganyika and the Congolese border with Burundi. Our partner is called CEEACO (Community of the Evangelical Friends' Churches in Congo). Its vital services are available to those of all religions and none.
This is one of the poorest areas in the world, with incomes of less than $1 per day. Although very rural, it is heavily populated. Levels of poverty, malaria, malnutrition, infant mortality and illiteracy are high as are incidences of trauma and sexual violence. The area was beset by terrible wars from 1996 – 2003 in which some five million people died.
To this day depleted militias roam, causing occasional violence and bloodshed. There is little infrastructure and funding from national and regional governments is virtually non-existent. Apart from QCP UK, there are few other NGOs working in the area.
Despite the terrible effects of war and unrest in the eastern DRC, CEEACO has done remarkable work, managing to keep its services going and to develop its project work.