Through our Center for Professional Development and Vocational Training, we seek to promote justice in Congo by elevating the voices and influence of those charged with doing so. We train and support lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals from eastern Congo to elevate justice in the context of a broken system.
The legal professionals we serve are doing extraordinary things to transform lives, such as the following:
- Aggressively prosecute those who commit violent crimes against women.
- Advocate for the wrongfully imprisoned and help to set them free.
- Give legal counsel to the poor, free of charge.
- Defend widows whose property rights are unjustly denied.
One exciting result of our work in this area is that Congolese Christian lawyer associations have formed and are meeting regularly for encouragement, mutual learning, and accountability.
The goal of these groups is to promote and advocate for transformation in the justice system, starting at a grassroots level. Active associations are now operating in the cities of Beni, Butembo, Bunia, and Goma.
Through the relentless pro bono services offered by the Bunia association, over 500 cases have been opened since 2013 of those suspected of being unjustly imprisoned, with more than 150 of those cases resulting in exoneration!
In April 2015 Congo Initiative’s 4th International Justice Conference was hosted on UCBC campus. Since then, the International Association of Christian Jurists has formed and has released an inaugural edition of a new magazine called Christian Jurists, telling the stories of transformed justice in eastern Congo.