Exchange visit from Let Africa Live partners - October 2019

The Mwendo Congo board is excited to be hosting a three-week exchange visit from our partners at Let Africa Live. Let Africa Live (Laissez l’Afrique Vivre or LAV) is a non-profit organization in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) founded and led by Congolese professionals. LAV provides job skill training and psychosocial support to vulnerable youth, including victims of war, former child soldiers, victims of sexual abuse and survivors of violence. Read more about the 3 visitors here.


"Building Together: A Mwendo Congo Benefit"
Featuring the voices of our Congolese partners along with Twin Cities actor and musician T. Mychael Rambo.

Friday, October 11, 2019 7:00 PM
Grace University Lutheran Church
324 SE Harvard St., Minneapolis

Vision:  

To promote community development in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) through health work, education, and relationship building between the people of the U.S. and the DRC.

Objectives:

  • Provide financial assistance for education and job skill development of Congolese youth with our local partners in the DRC

  • Facilitate access to health care for the communities of South Idjwi Island, with special programs for women and children

  • Organize exchanges between the USA and the DRC to raise awareness and build solidarity

Context:

The DRC is in the middle of a long political and economic crisis caused by repeated wars and armed conflicts.  The principal victims of this violence and instability have been women and children.  In spite of the DRC’s ratification of the UN Conventions on Women’s and Children’s Rights, women have been and continue to be raped and sexually exploited by militias, while children are recruited to fight as soldiers.  Since the conflict began in 1996 more than 6 million people have died, more than 400,000 women and girls have been raped, and more than 30,000 boys and girls have been used as child soldiers.




Accomplishments:

  • Mwendo Congo raised funds to buy sewing machines and other materials for 10 graduates of the Let Africa Live (LAV) tailor training program. These "insertion kits" equip graduates to start their own businesses.

  • Land on Idjwi Island has been purchased and dedicated to the purpose of promoting health in the community. A local organization has been formed around this initiative with the ultimate goal of building a clinic for this underserved community.

  • Mwendo Congo raised funds for a building project in partnership with Let Africa Live that currently provides housing for 20 female students and their children as they receive vocational training. Learn more and see pictures here.

  • Mwendo Congo helped purchase a water taxi to be used on Lake Kivu to raise funds for health projects and transport women in need of maternal care to and from Idjwi Island. Find out more here.

  • Mwendo Congo has contributed more than $100,000 to projects supporting health, education, and peace in the DRC. Since Mwendo Congo is completely volunteer run, more than 97% of all donations received over the last 2 years has been dedicated directly to our projects in the DRC.