We are in 2008…

For the past two decades the Democratic Republic of Congo in general and particularly the province of North Kivu

has found itself in extremely challenging socio-economic circumstances.   

This situation, triggered mainly by war and ethnic tensions in the province, has brought about insecurity, internal displacement of people, the partial destruction of arable land and a loss of revenue for the local population. The events occurred for a large part due to a previously already weakened social fabric in the country.

This hostile socio-economic environment that persists until this day has resulted in the incapacity of the government to meet the basic needs of the population and thereby the continuous deterioration of the quality of education and teaching. 

The poverty in which the majority of the population of Butembo and its surrounding areas (approximately 650,000 in 2008) finds itself, is further exacerbated by the widespread lack of jobs and the absence of professional skills amongst the majority of the working age population; a combination which creates a volatile socio-economic environment and an insecure future.

For lack of alternatives, children have enrolled in the armed forces and went to war, where many have lost their lives. The few that survived, having been abandoned and left to their own devices without skills, these youths have become a preoccupation for the community, since they are prone to vandalism and criminal behaviour. This situation reinforces the already insecure future of the community.

Given this context, initiatives of good will are needed in order to provide durable solutions.

It is with this in mind that we launched our not-for-profit initiative JODECA (Jeunesse en Œuvre pour le Développement des Capacités - Youth Work for Capacity Building) in September 2009. It is essentially a school that provides recuperation classes and technical and vocational training for unskilled youths who are behind with regards to their educational level.