In 2003, Congolese Christian leaders gathered as gunfire and mortar rounds echoed through the air on the outskirts of Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo. Together they lamented the historical and current violence and trauma suffered by Congolese communities. They asked how Christians–people of faith and committed to justice, hope, and peace–should respond to the suffering of the Congolese people. Out of these early conversations, a community of Christ-centered Congolese leaders and global partners emerged, united in their passion to transform lives and restore communities in eastern Congo.
Not long afterward, on September 8, 2005, Congo Initiative was officially registered as a nonprofit organization in the United States. So on September 8, 2020, we will celebrate Congo Initiative’s 15th anniversary!
For 15 years, Congo Initiative (CI) has boldly responded to what we, along with several African scholars, consider to be Congo’s greatest challenge: a lack of ethical leaders who truly serve the common good. Through the sacrificial efforts of a dedicated community of staff, faculty, and volunteers, thousands of lives have been positively impacted through our work in education, counseling, peacebuilding, mentoring, and capacity building. Among these are the 652 alumni from CI’s flagship institution, the Christian Bilingual University of Congo (UCBC), who are now giving of themselves to create a better future for Congo as they serve in a wide range of professions and industries.
But this community also includes you, our supporters. For the past 15 years, you have helped sustain CI through your friendship, prayers, and generosity. Despite continued reminders that peace and prosperity in Congo are fragile, we believe that together, we can realize a more just and flourishing Congo.
And so we invite you to join us over this next year as we celebrate this exciting milestone. We are planning some exciting events in 2020 that we hope will be an encouragement to you and an inspiration to others to join us. To that end, we hope you will help us to grow and multiply our impact through your continued support, inspiring others to join the global CI community. As you do so, you will transform the lives of thousands more Congolese women, men, and children.