Democratic Republic of Congo
In 2016, with a population of 225,000 people, Bukavu, South Kievu, Democratic Republic of Congo is a bustling capital with a lot of personality despite the various conflicts that have occurred in the region over the last two decades. Rampant corruption has made it difficult for entrepreneurship to thrive. The unemployment rate is over 60% and the average life expectancy is around 49.6 years of age. With 66% of the population under the age of 25, our focus was supporting the future leaders of Bukavu because we believe that this is where true change from within will happen.
2016 was our first trip to DRC. With the partnership of Nicolas Kyalangalilwa, Redeemer City to City church planter and pastor of Le Phare, we held leadership and management workshops for traditional university-aged future leaders and entrepreneurs as well as established community and business leaders. Le Phare was founded in 2013, and holds services in both English and French. About 80% of their congregants are unemployed, and we will be equipping them with valuable skills through these courses.
Our goal is to expand upon the entrepreneurial and leadership workshops delivered in the first trip and to further train and equip young leaders to implement actionable change in serving their community. Holding these workshops and hosting lunches for the participants have been very fruitful in developing relationships and getting to know and understand the needs of the community. We also hope to host the church’s second annual retreat and provide an opportunity for deeper fellowship and growth together. The retreat is located a few hours from Bukavu in Rwanda, and it is a great opportunity for the church as a whole to foster their communal relationship. The team stays in private homes and attends community group Bible studies, which will provide further opportunities to be immersed in the culture and in community.
We would like to have teammates who are in the Business and Finance fields, but the trip is open to all. As the DRC is a French-speaking country, French speakers are very much wanted! While it is not necessary to speak French for this trip, it is especially useful in collaborating and interacting with participants. Our 2016 & 2017 trips went very well and we are excited about deepening the relationship between Le Phare and Redeemer August 23-September 3rd, 2018!