The human cost of the war in Eastern Congo is horrifying. In the height of the violence many women suffered systematic rape at the hands of the armed groups and thousands of children were orphaned and left vulnerable.
Local peacebuilder Flory Kazingufu believes that as much of the violence in South Kivu now happens at the community level, any remedy for conflict must come from within these communities. Therefore Flory set up The Chirezi Foundation to ‘build peace and change lives’ by finding alternatives for these victims of war, the women and children and their communities.
For over a decade the warlords have promised heaven to their recruits – it is only through education that you can begin to challenge this promise – Flory Kazingufu
Flory makes use of a traditional structure of community forums called ‘Baraza’, to reach villages across South Kivu through the commitment of trained community volunteers of peace and community parliaments. These structures offer local people a way to handle the conflicts they face in everyday life, without violence.
Chirezi is one of three members of the new Grow Peace Fund. The Fund is specifically designed to give sustained support as the members grow over the coming months and years. Read more about the fund.
In Novemeber 2012, East DR Congo erupted in violence after the key city of Goma was seized the rebel M23 movement. Despite the turbulent situation, and even as as international organisations evacuate staff, Peace Direct partners in the region are continuing their vital peacebuilding work.
For more information, insight and analysis on the conflict in DR Congo, visit Insight on Conflict.