Meet Our New Partner: Congo Nouveau

Micheline Mwendike receives the 2016 Ambassador of Conscience Award on behalf of LUCHA.

Micheline Mwendike receives the 2016 Ambassador of Conscience Award on behalf of LUCHA.

Youth movements for positive change are rising up all over DR Congo. Young people are changing the future of DR Congo in the face of unspeakable adversity. Micheline Mwendike, our 2014 Scholarship for Luminary Congolese winner, recently received Amnesty International's Ambassadors of Conscience Award on behalf of the youth movement she co-founded, called LUCHA.

Congo Nouveau is a non-profit started by Congolese youth leaders for the purpose of teaching youth groups about civics, civil rights and how to help their own communities forward using community mobilization, conflict transformation and nonviolence.

 

Congo Nouveau helps communities recognize their strengths, rights and responsibilities as citizens, and spur them to action at the local level. They are creating connections between the communities to a wider network that can advocate for policy change on the national level and connect with international actors as well in other countries. These goals were not even possible to imagine before the age of internet and cellphones. They emerged from the many youth movements for change in DR Congo - motivated by pro-democracy movements at a time when the present President was nearing the end of his constitutionally mandated tenure of office.

Half of DRC's population is under 18 (and 80% of the youth are unemployed according to a source working closely with the Ministry of Health); opportunities and vision for the future are very hard to find.  People want change. They want an end to corruption and impunity. They want to create a stable future. They want a government and an economy that works for the whole country, not just for elites.

ACT for Congo will assist Congo Nouveau as they build their capacity by providing technical services, building bridges, and helping to ensure that the world is watching.

 

Fred Bauma leads pro-democracy activists in Congo. Credit: LUCHA

Fred Bauma leads pro-democracy activists in Congo. Credit: LUCHA