HOLD-DRC is Humanitarian Organization for Lasting Development, Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is a Congolese Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), formed in 2012 by a group of professionals who were convinced that more could be done to raise the low Human Development Index ranking of DR Congo.
The staff at HOLD-DRC are longtime colleagues in DR Congo who asked for our help. We formed ACT for Congo to answer their call. HOLD-DRC is an inclusive, community-based organization working to:
- Cultivate Community
- Strengthen Human Capital
- Develop Sustainably
- Provide Social Protection
- Promote Gender Equity
HOLD-DRC works locally, educating and organizing communites to promote health, leadership and governance, economic empowerment, and conflict transformation in and around Goma, DR Congo. Their programs include:
In addition to receiving a state-certified vocational degree, students at HOLD learn basic hygiene, reproductive health, and how to avoid catching and spreading common diseases. They learn their rights under the 2006 Congolese constitution, money management, communication and leadership skills.
Human Development Clubs
All incoming students are assigned to a Human Development Club, with other students in her cohort that share the same vocational skill. They receive support and continued education about health, exercising their rights, and managing their careers. They also learn to manage money and can obtain access to rotating credit to build their business.
Peer Leadership and Education
Graduates have the option of training to become peer educators, who go into neighborhoods and share sound information about diseases, reproductive health, or human rights. Accurate information saves lives, and HOLD's peer educators are trusted by their communities.
Mediation and Counseling
When she arrives at HOLD, a woman is paired with a counselor who determines her overall health and monitors her stability. A counselor might refer her for medical care, legal assistance, or help with family mediation. Close contact with the counselor both at HOLD and through home visits helps a teen mom address her problems and build a better life.
There is a culture of silence around difficult issues everywhere, and DR Congo is no exception. HOLD graduates use poetry, drama, and music to start dialogue in their communities. They perform plays at local churches and produce music videos that are distributed by DVD and the internet. Be sure to watch the videos linked here!
Sustainable development is key to quality of life in DR Congo. Environmental Club focuses on teaching communities about the connection between health and the environment, clean water, and quality food. Their first action was a successful neighborhood clean up, and they now promote composting and plant urban gardens.
HOLD-DRC frequently publishes a newsletter filled with current events, activism, and news about their programs. We republish the English version of their letter here on this site, so you can see how they work and what they accomplish -- in their own words!