The Story So Far…

Our Mission:

To equip, inspire and support young leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Our Values:

INSPIRING: Everyone can be inspired and be inspirational, and every person is called to inspire within their own environment – this comes from a heart of integrity and is played out in the home, community and further.   

YOUTHFUL: We want to embrace the energy and vibrancy of youth, the passion and determination of youth, and to capture the hopefulness of youth, looking at the world with fresh eyes – regardless of age.    

TOGETHER: We believe that we flourish when we come together as individuals, each bringing our specific qualities that contribute to a strong team. We work together. We reflect together. We journey together.    

INCLUSIVE: We celebrate the diversity of each individual. We strive to be an organisation that provides a safe, equal, and welcoming space regardless of background, experience, race, tribe, ability, wealth, gender, ethnicity, belief or none.   

CREATIVE: We believe that everyone is creative in their own way. We know that change often comes through approaching things in a fresh way. We encourage creative thinking and creative action. 

SERVANT HEARTED: We aspire to embody and promote leadership that serves with honesty, integrity and compassion. Our actions promote the wellbeing of others in our families, communities and world. 

Our Foundation:

The Congo Tree is rooted in the desire to see positive change in DRC through developing the skills and realising the potential of young people – the next generation of leaders.  

We work to promote leadership that serves with honesty, integrity and compassion. We believe that the figure of Jesus Christ is an embodiment of these characteristics, and his example of leadership is reflected in our programmes and organisational values.  

Our Story:

Our story begins with a chance meeting between four aid workers in Goma, the capital city of the eastern North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our founders became fast friends, sharing a love of the DR Congo, a background in youth and community work, and a determination to support the country’s passionate, hopeful, and very bright young people. Four months later, The Congo Tree was born. 

We ran our very first leadership training programme, WYLD, back in April 2013. Since then, more than 1,300 young people have been a part in WYLD and have gone on become leaders in their own community, open their own businesses, and have even been chosen to represent young people in the DR Congo at a provincial and national level. We’re 10 years old, but our story is just beginning. 

Click here to meet the team

infographic-1c

story-so-far
The Story of DRC

The Democratic Republic of Congo is approximately the size of Western Europe and is extremely wealthy in natural resources, beautiful rainforest and dramatic landscapes, as well as a vibrant and hospitable culture. Yet for decades, DRC has been characterized by extreme violence and rebel forces, mining and illegal smuggling of resources such as gold and coltan, mass population displacements, recruitment of child soldiers, widespread rape, corrupt leadership, lack of governmental infrastructure and justice, a collapse of public health services, and acute poverty.

Ongoing conflict in the eastern part of DRC has resulted in the loss of more lives than any other conflict since World War II – a reported 5.4 million since 1998 – and in the last year alone, 2.7 million people were forced to flee their homes. According to the UNDP’s Human Development Index, DRC is the most underdeveloped country in the world.

The conflict has had the largest impact on women and children and, with an average of 48 women and girls raped every hour, it is one of the most dangerous countries for a woman to live. In some areas as many as 1 in 5 children die before the age of 5, most often due to preventable to diseases. Over 4 million children are orphaned. More than 25% of children ages 5 to 14 are already working. Tens of thousands of children in DRC have fled their families due to abuse or being accused of witchcraft, and most of these children now live on the streets of towns and cities, vulnerable to further violence and abuse. The 2008 Child Soldiers Global Report suggests that approximately 30,000 children were involved in armed forces and other militias at the end of 2003.

Sources: UN Data (data.un.org), UN Development Statistics (hdr.undp.org/en), World Bank study on Education in DRC 2009, Unicef, Save The Children, War Child, Child Soldiers Global Report 2008, IRIN News (irinnews.org) and BBC News (bbc.co.uk/news)

TCT_Infographic4