Helping victims and survivors in the DRC

What a way to start 2021! A big welcome to the Community Support Center (CSC) Asbl, who are joining the Keeping Children Safe members’ network. We are really looking forward to working with them on their child safeguarding measures.

CSC-Asbl provides support, supervision and psycho-social support to children and young women who are survivors and victims of wars, and ethnic conflicts in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In particular the organisation focuses on children recruited to join armed groups, who are often abused, and street children living in extremely precarious conditions.

As always, we like to post a news story about new members, and promote the organisation amongst the KCS network and online following.

By Byolenganya Olo Bernoulli, CSC-Asbl’s CEO and Founder


What made you decide to join the KCS members’network? 

We wanted passionately to join KCS as a member, in order to benefit from capacity building in child safeguarding, and participate in the Keeping Victims and Survivors Safe Programme because:

  • We work in areas of war and ethnic conflicts
  • Whatever the mineral wealth located in the eastern region of the country, the cost of living of the population is very miserable
  • All these increase day by day the rate of survivors and victims in the region.

What is your key driver to implement child safeguarding?

Nous avons étaient témoins de plusieurs massacres, des violences faites aux enfants, aux femmes et à l’humanité dans son ensemble : « les enfants associés dans des groupes armés, les conflits inter-ethniques » occasionnant l’accroissement des enfants vulnérable dans toute la région Est de la République Démocratique du Congo. C’est les fondements de notre travail.

Google translated: We have witnessed several massacres, violence against children, women and humanity as a whole: “children associated in armed groups, inter-ethnic conflicts” causing the increase of vulnerable children in all areas. Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. These are the foundations of our work.

Child soldiers in Eastern DRC

Photo above: Child soldiers in Eastern DRC

Where do you think your organisation will be regarding child safeguarding in a year?

Our safeguarding work will focus on two territories of armed conflict, ethnic and on the territory of Uvira where more than 70,000 families are homeless, and more than 15,000 houses collapsed by the flood of April 16, 2020.
Over the course of this year we would love to achieve the following:

  • Define the protection of the surviving child and victims
  • The importance of safeguarding children in conflict situations
  • Develop together with Keeping Children Safe, the children safeguarding program following the steps below:
    • Step 1. Risk assessment of children in conflict situations
    • Step 2. Gap analysis
    • Step 3. Establishment of a risk notification and treatment system
    • Step 4. political commitment
    • Step 5. Development and deployment of an implementation plan
  • We will consider implementing a strategy of providing psycho-social assistance to child survivors and victims of wars and conflicts.

What message do you want to tell your staff, donors and the wider world?

In the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo is a place where wars and ethnic conflicts have been going on since 1994, and the Ebola virus has infected many families, causing the exponential growth of the vulnerable victims, most of who are children and women. By combining all our efforts we will be able to meet the needs of child survivors and victims in the region.

Cover photo: CSC-Asbl founder Byolenganya Olo Bernoulli with child survivor and victims as part of the psychology support programme.

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