About Us

ABOUT US

Peace

ADECOP’s objective is to contribute to the construction of a sustainable peace in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo by raising awareness among youth and promoting a better understanding of the meaning of community action. For peace, democracy and development, our work focuses on building capacity and expanding spaces and channels for youth participation in public life in initiatives that offer solutions to the challenges facing our society.

The vision, mission, strategy and structure of ADECOP have evolved over the years.

 

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ADECOP (Action des jeunes pour le Développement Communautaire et la Paix) was created on August 18, 2002 in Goma on the initiative of a group of young people from two local communities originate from the province of North Kivu province, a region with a fragile peace and a human rights culture that is still in the making. They were led by Guelord Mbaenda, a young artist who was interested in peace, human rights, democracy and development issues.

The idea behind the creation of ADECOP was to mobilize the youth of that eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo against the wave of serious human rights abuses and the dangerous trend of inter-ethnic rejection that the leaders of the rebel movements that were raging at the beginning of the 2000s.

ADECOP therefore embarked in awareness-raising, advocacy and support campaigns to contribute to the improvement of the situation of vulnerable segments of the community in the context of generalized insecurity, exacerbated poverty and a culture of hatred that plunged the entire region into an uncertain future.

Mobilizing stakeholders in the local movements for the promotion and protection of human rights, ADECOP has been contributing to the effectiveness of human dignity and the mitigation of the conflict cycle through training and education programs for youth, research, data collection and reporting on the human rights violations, empowerment of victims of human rights abuses, etc.

By challenging the social exclusion of youth in decision-making, paternalistic politics and social norms, ADECOP has laid the foundation for its commitment to a more inclusive and participatory vision of governance and leadership in Congolese society.

 

 

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2002 : Creation

2004 : The greatest success of ADECOP during this year was undoubtedly the “Club BARAZA for exchanges of several cultures” implemented with the financial support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Radio Okapi / Fondation Hirondelle and the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Club BARAZA came to meet a legitimate need for constructive exchange and discussion felt by young people from several ethnic groups in conflict. By providing a space for this ” disempowered ” generation, the Club BARAZA offered a space for debates, a forum for open discussion, cultural and artistic activities, a workshop and solidarity initiatives that aimed to illustrate that “diversity is a factor of prosperity; it should not be taken as a source of conflict”.

2005-2006: ADECOP has been actively involved in various projects designed to contribute to the rebuilding of peace and democracy in the DRC. ADECOP intervened particularly in the major concerns of these two years (the elections, the security crisis and the ethnic tensions in the East,…).

ADECOP’s activities relating to the elections of 2006 started early in 2005 with sensitization of youth to the electoral stakes during the identification and enrolment of voters. The main objective of these activities was to equip young people against possible manipulations during the electoral campaign and to popularize the principles of democracy in order to prevent electoral fraud, particularly those involving young people (use of minors, for example).

ADECOP has received numerous reports of rape, murder, kidnapping, and other forms of human rights abuse. Investigations carried out in the field have confirmed the large majority of these allegations, after which ADECOP has carried out monitoring and advocacy activities (messages and letter addressed to the authorities), and human rights trainings and workshops to raise awareness of the situation among the population.

The conditions of the population have deteriorated further in the city of Goma and its surroundings. The generalized crisis resulting from year of war has been prolonged considerably and its impact on the youth increased. ADECOP conducted a small study in the underprivileged neighborhoods of Goma in order to determine and measure the factors and the impact of socio-economic constraints on education access for youth. The findings of this study triggered the creation of “Vijana wa Kesho” (Youth for the Future, in Swahili), an innovative initiative dedicated to promote school reintegration, socio-professional support and cultural and artistic activities (media, workshops, etc.). The implementation of this initiative was effective in 2007, however, by the end of 2006, about thirty students returned to school through ADECOP’s support.

ADECOP organized meetings in 2006 with all its collaborators, youth cfocal points operating at the grassroots level (neighborhoods, avenues, localities, churches, schools) in the rural territories of Masisi, Nyiragongo and Rutshuru. These activities focused on exploring the opportunities and conditions required to build a sustainable synergy of youth efforts within a special branch within ADECOP and that would bring together all segments of youth congolese groups and initiatives. By June, the synergy created by ADECOP became effective under the name “Concertation pour la Participation Démocratique et une Alternative de Développement – COSEPAD” and many other groups joined with interest. At the end of the year, COSEPAD numbered 37 groups working in fields such as research in the field, public education and social assistance. By the end of the year, COSEPAD already had 37 groups active in areas such as field research, popular education, and social support.

Throughout the year, ADECOP regularly participated in the monthly tripartite meeting (Civil Society, Government, UNHCR) organized by the Regional Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for the Eastern provinces of the DRC. These meetings provided an rare opportunity for ADECOP, as a youth organization, to highlight the particular needs of youth within the local civil society and to urge the representatives of the administration to take into consideration the need to elaborate and develop youth policies capable of addressing the issues of youth unemployment, exclusion and lack of participation.

ADECOP also started to expand its horizons and joined regional and global networks, organizations and projects for human rights and peacebuilding, including the following initiatives: World Youth Movement for Democracy, United Network of Young Peacebuilders, Democracy Coalition Project, International Coalition for Respectful and Responsible Tourism: “No to Sex Tourism: Crimes Without Borders,” Taking IT Global, Renossec, Kabissa-Space for Change, Fundacion Cultura de Paz, BuddhaChannel WebTV, and APSEC International.

 

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