2010 has been an amazing year for local peacebuilder Henri Ladyi – in just one year he has doubled the area his organisation covers across the heart of war-torn eastern Congo. Henri uses a structure of ‘Task Forces’ – coalitions of former militia, army personnel, civil leaders and others with influence in their community who will stand up for the rights of the people they represent, he is currently operating 6 task forces. This is just some of what they have achieved:
- 14,000 people return home after fleeing violence. One of whom, Adirodu, is a 14-year-old boy who spent two years hiding in the bush. Read the story of how Henri helped him.
- 160 child soldier have been rescued from armed forces and given training to learn a skill so that they are no longer dependent on militia groups for food and survival. Read on to find out where they children are now
- 1,020 armed militia persuaded to leave the militia and return to their communities. In the villages the task forces reach they have set up co-operatives of former militia and local people. The co-operatives work in farming, fishing or mining, and with up to 50 households in each, each co-operative can support up to 300 people.
- 2,600 children trained to resist recruitment to armed forced – so that they understand their rights, and the true consequences of living in the bush. You can read Masika’s story of life in the bush.
- Formed a coalition of former militia to build a 16km road between market places, for a cost of just £100.
Henri’s organisation continues to grow in strength and is becoming increasingly respected by the international community. The UN have recently asked him to be a delegate at monthly co-ordination meetings – involving all the major players such as Oxfam and Save the Children. Again and again Henri proves to us that locally led organisations can and will make real lasting change in their communities – at a fraction of the cost of international agencies.
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