In Eastern DRC, we are working with Centre Résolution Conflits (CRC) to support their ‘Peace Gold’ initiative. CRC has been working with two artisanal and small-scale mining cooperatives since 2017.
The project is helping to produce environmentally friendly and ethical gold as a way of consolidating peace. In 2020, CRC helped 140 child mine workers, including 86 girls, to go back to school.
Girls like Lotsima.
My name is Lotsima.
“I’m 11 years old and an orphan. I joined the mine to earn some money for my survival. I don’t know how to read or write since I’ve never been to school. Sometimes I get paid and sometimes the bosses don’t give me anything. I sleep in an abandoned building with others who don’t have any family to live with. In the mine, our main activity is the transport and sifting of minerals. When CRC came to raise community awareness of our rights, I realized that adults trample on children’s rights. My uncle took this opportunity to forbid me to continue with the work of the mines. Then I was selected by the CRC among the children to be reinserted into school. At school I found an atmosphere quite different from that of the mines. My uncle supported me to study. Thanks to CRC.”
Illustrations by Nash Weerasekera // The Jacky Winter Group