In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), the second largest country in Africa, conflicts have raged for more than a decade killing over 5 million people and forcing 2.5 million people to abandon their homes. Here, local peacebuilder Henri Ladyi has dedicated his life to building a peace that will last.
Henri is the co-ordinator of local peacebuilding organisation Centre Résolution Conflits (CRC) based in the Eastern Congo, a region which has been most vulnerable to conflict. The CRC works to:
- Rescue child soldiers and find a place for ex-militia members within communities and work with them to reintegrate into society, finding them work and supportive networks so that they will be able to leave violence behind them. The CRC understands that, although many boys and men who have been drawn into militia groups want to stop fighting, they often cannot see any other way.
- Provide assistance to communities to manage the return of people forced to leave their communities during the conflict.
- Help communities to reject violence in the long-term by supporting communities to help themselves through conflict prevention committees.
In November 2012, the Eastern DR Congo erupted in violence after the key city of Goma was seized by the rebel M23 movement. Despite the turbulent situation, and even as international organisations evacuate staff, Henri and the CRC continue their vital peacebuilding work.