The organization provides emergency food needs of conflict-affected populations, including internally displaced persons, returnees and host communities in the DRC. Our teams are working in two territories of Central Kasai, Demba and Dimbelenge, in close coordination with other humanitarian actors which are already active in providing food aid, or are planning to. The project will improve access to food to 8,500 households (comprised of 51,000 individuals ) which will be provided with kits covering half of caloric intake needs for a three-month duration, given the observed limited availability of market supplies for now. Food distributions have so far been identified as the most appropriate transfer means, given the limited capacity of markets.
Humanity & Inclusion (which operates under the name Handicap International in the DRC) has completed its demining operations in the Tshopo, Ituri, Bas-Uele and Haut-Uele provinces of Democratic Republic of the Congo. From January 2016 to December 2017, HI and its local partner, Africa for Anti-Mine Action (AFRILAM) cleared 34,520 meters of land of mines, freeing 5,600 people of the threat of mines and explosive remnants of war, the legacy of conflicts between armed groups in the region which started in the 1990s.
The mines were cleared manually by a team of 19 deminers trained by Humanity & Inclusion. On average, one deminer manually cleared 13 meters each day. Since operations began in 2016, 21 mines have been made safe and destroyed, along with 25 explosive remnants of war (ERW) including F1 grenades, PG7 rockets, and 120 mm mortar shells.
"Despite the very difficult conditions in the zones concerned, due to the rainy season from October to May and the very dense vegetation, the demining operations went very well,” explains Jadot Bamungu, the head of HI's demining operations in the DRC. “HI organized 85 risk education sessions for 6,000 people to raise awareness of the risks of explosive remnants of war. We feel this will help the local populations to feel safer and to go about their day-to-day activities serenely.”
Antipersonnel landmines were first used in 1960 in the DRC when it achieved its independence. Since 1996, there has been widespread use of mines by the various armed groups fighting in the north and east of the country in a succession of conflicts. They still pose a constant threat to the local population today.
HI in DRC
Present in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1994, HI provides rehabilitation care, promotes the inclusion of children with disabilities in schools, and more. Having been heavily involved in demining operations, our previous projects in this area date back to 2014. Alongside AFRILAM, our partner since 2008, we've been deploying new operations in this area over the last three years. A State Party to the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has set itself the goal of becoming mine free by 2021. Learn more about our work in the DRC.
Following ongoing clashes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, more than 10,000 people have left South Kivu and are taking refuge in south-western Burundi. Humanity & Inclusion (which works under the operating name “Handicap International” in Burundi) is on the ground, assisting the most vulnerable, including thousands of unaccompanied children.
“We are preparing to implement protection activities targeted at the most vulnerable people, particularly children, who account for more than 65% of refugees,” explains Audrey Lecomte, HI’s Head of Mission in Burundi. “Many of them arrived without their parents and are particularly at risk from violence, exploitation, or abandonment. We want to protect girls and women by providing them with psychological support and making them aware of the risk of violence. HI needs funding to launch its emergency response.”
“The needs of refugees in transitional camps are considerable. These camps are designed to provide very temporary accommodation and are now operating beyond full capacity. Access to services such as health care and aid remains extremely limited given the needs of these refugees.
“Many people without shelter sleep grouped together in hangars. The shortage of water and sanitary facilities, such as toilets, has increased the risk of a cholera epidemic. The most vulnerable people including children, women, older people, and people with disabilities are particularly at risk. We’re expecting to see a new influx of refugees in the weeks ahead.”
Our work in Burundi
Present in Burundi since 1992, HI helps ensure people with disabilities have access to basic services and rehabilitation and are involved in their social and economic environments. Learn more about our work in Burundi.
When Humanity & Inclusion first met Patrick, the boy was crawling around the rough black volcanic rock of Mugunga 3, a camp for people displaced by the rebel conflict in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo. The front of his white shirt and yellow shorts were smeared with black dust. Due to a congenital malformation, Patrick was born without hands or legs and so he crawled or scooted around as best he can. Patrick lives in a tent with mother and sister; his father abandoned the family when he was born.Read more
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Humanity & Inclusion continues to run programs under the operating name "Handicap International."
Present in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since 1994, Handicap International provides rehabilitation to people with disabilities and victims of violence, promotes the inclusion of children with disabilities in schools, works to prevent disabilities in babies, and provides logistics support to other NGOs. To carry out its development and emergency activities in the DRC, Handicap International employs 95 national staff and 15 expatriate staff.
The DRC is among the poorest countries in Africa, where 89% of people live on less than $2 per day. It is the second largest and one of the most multi-ethnic countries in Africa. It is also considered to be the world's largest French-speaking country. Over the last 20 years, civil war in eastern DRC has resulted in millions of deaths and injuries and massive population displacement. According to UNHCR, as of July 2017, more than 452,000 refugees are hosted in DRC, which is also home to more than 2.2 million internally displaced people (IDPs), while 467,000 Congolese refugees live in neighboring countries. Faced with the DRC’s staggering needs, Handicap International employs its full spectrum of services, from rehabilitation and preventive care to emergency assistance.
- TEAM CONGO
- Food Distribution
- Inclusion Technical Unit
- Rehabilitation and Demining
- Inclusive education
- Maternal and child health
- Logistics services
- Support to DPOs (Disabled People's Organizations)
- Road safety
The goal of TEAM CONGO (Training, Economic Empowerment, Assistive Technology and Medical/Physical Rehabilitation Services) is to enable people with disabilities, especially women and girls, living in Kinshasa and Kananga to achieve independence and fully participate in all aspects of life. The project provides quality rehabilitation and orthopedic training to rehabilitation professionals, socio-economic opportunities for 400 women and girls with disabilities, technical and mobility aids for those who require them. This program is generously funded by USAID Leahy War Victims Fund.
INCLUSION TECHNICAL UNIT
Handicap International's Inclusion Technical Unit is a team of individuals who work to ensure that the activities and structures of HI's partner organizations are accessible to vulnerable people and people with disabilities in North Kivu.
REHABILITATION AND DEMINING
Handicap International introduced physical therapy to several hospitals in North Kivu, setting up services, training physical therapists, and supplying hospitals with equipment. The organization is currently training physical therapy students and strengthening the technical skills of existing physical therapists. In addition to working with victims of armed violence, Handicap International also provides rehabilitation to other people with disabilities, and has set up mobile clinics in order to reach children with disabilities living in isolated areas. The organization also clears mines and explosive remnants of war to secure the land and improve the living conditions of communities living in conflict-affected areas.
Only a fraction of children with disabilities in the DRC go to school due to discrimination and a lack of accessibility and special education resources. Handicap International works with ten primary schools in Kinshasa to ensure that children with disabilities, particularly girls, are included. The organization trains teachers, improves the accessibility of school buildings, and reaches out to parents in the community to encourage them to send children with disabilities to school.
MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH
Handicap International has run a mother and child health program in the neighborhood of Bumbu Selembao in the capital of Kinshasa since 2008. The program's goal is to prevent and diagnose disability in newborns. Community volunteers distribute information about disability prevention, organize weekly awareness sessions with mothers, and encourage pregnant women to seek prenatal care at the Kitokimosi Health Center. Around 132,114 mothers and 119,531 newborns have benefited from this project.
Handicap International offers free logistics services to 50 national and international organizations and to the United Nations agencies, enabling them to come to the aid of affected populations living in areas that lack infrastructure. In addition to transporting humanitarian material and providing storage space, Handicap International is also one of the five members of the steering committee for a humanitarian helicopter, which enables better access to the country's most remote and vulnerable areas. This project is generously supported by USAID OFDA.
SUPPORT TO DISABLED PEOPLE'S ORGANIZATIONS (DPOs)
Since the United Nations adopted the disability treaty known as the CRPD (the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities), it has been easier to take a rights-based approach to helping Congolese with disabilities. Based in Kinshasa, this program builds the institutional and operational capacities of three local DPOs, so they can advocate and raise awareness about the problems facing people with disabilities, particularly among the general public, and government institutions. These advocacy actions aim at achieving the ratification of the CRPD in the DRC, which will further strengthen the inclusion of people with disabilities in Congolese society.
Handicap International works in conjunction with the Ministry of Transport and Highways to improve road safety by building the capacities of Road Traffic Police officers and raising community awareness, particularly in schools. As part of this program, Handicap International supervises and trains police officers in 24 communes in Kinshasa to enhance road safety deterrence and enforcement measures.