The Democratic Republic of Congo is a land of unparalleled beauty and natural wealth. Mineral resources, rainforests, and an abundance of lakes and rivers make Congo one of the most richly endowed countries on Earth. Congo’s greatest strength though is its people, who are rich in faith, courage, and hope.
We work in a place of great pain and suffering as well as incredible hope and opportunity. We approach our work with prayer and reflection as Congo’s history and much of its current reality is marked with tragedy. Through decades of colonial rule, dictatorship, civil war, and environmental degradation, the Congolese people remained resilient and held its first democratic national elections in 2006.
More recently, the government led by President Jospeh Kabila postponed elections, raising concerns Congo may “slide into anarchy and possibly civil war over Kabila’s decision to remain in power” when his term expired in December 2016. Efforts by Congo’s Catholic Bishops Conference helped reach an agreement to hold elections by the end of 2017. Though the implementation of this accord remains fragile, it is a welcomed sign of collaboration that may lead to a peaceful transition of power.
Congo Initiative is based in North Kivu province, eastern Congo, in the city of Beni (population: approximately 250,000). Beni is located 75 kilometers (46.5 miles) west of the Ugandan border and the Rwenzori Mountains. The North Kivu province stretches along Congo’s eastern border with Rwanda and Uganda. The provincial capital is Goma, located 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of Beni.
We began serving local communities in the Beni area as early as 2002 before establishing the Christian Bilingual University of Congo (UCBC) in 2007. Today, our growing organization continues to serve this community through five initiatives and a global community on three continents.