details

Network of Congolese Youth Associations against AIDS (RACOJ), North Kivu

RACOJ is a registered NGO with the provincial government.

Location

Walikale, North Kivu province
Walikale territory

Sectors of Intervention

At-risk youth; sexual and gender-based violence; health

History

In 2005, a group of young people in Walikale created a local bureau of Kinshasa-based RACOJ (Réseau des associations Congolaises des jeunes contre le SIDA) to educate youths about reproductive health and HIV/AIDS. RACOJ now has its main office in Walikale and six satellite bases (Itebero, Ntoto, Eliba, Mubi, Njingala, and Lubonga) in Walikale territory. RACOJ is a small but important youth group run by volunteers and has worked with national and international partners such as IMC, Caritas Goma, ActionAid, and HEAL Africa.

Mission

Create a national movement for the development of policies, programs, and projects that promote the participation and protection of young people in education about HIV/AIDS

Objectives

  • Facilitate collaboration and reinforce partnerships between associations involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS
  • Reinforce the technical and institutional capacities of associations to mobilize resources needed for activities in the field
  • Promote local and national initiatives created by young people
  • Reinforce and encourage advocacy and lobbying that places young people at the forefront of the fight against HIV/AIDS.
  • Promote the participation of young people in decision making at all levels of society

Programs

  • HIV/AIDS: RACOJ conducts trainings and awareness-raising campaigns in schools targeting young people and with community and traditional leaders.
  • Sexual and gender-based violence: Similar to its HIV/AIDS program, RACOJ conducts trainings and awareness-raising campaigns around sexual and gender-based violence.
  • Training of trainers: For both sexual and gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS programming, RACOJ trains trainers to carry out its campaigns.

Governance

RACOJ’s supreme governing body is the general assembly, composed of eight member organizations, which meets annually. Each organization sends three delegates. The general assembly elects the board of directors and the controls commission, which both meet four times a year. The board and the controls commission develop strategy and monitor RACOJ’s administrative functioning. RACOJ has ten staff in its Walikale office and 45 volunteers in its six village-level offices.

RACOJ has an account with COOPEC IMARA in Walikale. For financial, administrative, and personnel management, RACOJ has:

  • A procedures manual with policies for financial management; hiring and personnel issues; and purchasing policies and procedures: NO, but it is developing a manual during 2011
  • A computerized accounting system: NO
  • A clearly defined accounting process: NO, but it is currently developing one
  • Clear procedures for management of payroll, petty cash, procurement, and disbursements: NO, but it is developing them
  • Staff with the technical expertise to undertake projects: YES

Strengths

  • Tangible results and satellite offices around the whole territory
  • Well-trained, motivated personnel
  • Has good relationships and partnerships with other organizations
  • Works well collaboratively with provincial authorities and health structures

Needs

  • Increased logistical equipment and supplies to expand its activities
  • Expand projects and be able to pay staff to encourage them to remain with the organization
  • Strengthen present staff capabilities in finance, project cycle management, and IT
  • Improve staffs’ ability to address stigma issues of persons living with HIV/AIDS

Funders and Budget

In 2010, RACOJ’s budget was $13,000. Funders were IMC, Caritas Goma, ActionAid, and HEAL Africa.

Accomplishments

  • Educated students in 11 secondary schools in Walikale about HIV/AIDS and sexual violence
  • Organized a day of study on youth, HIV/AIDS, and sexual violence in Walikale, which complemented a provincial conference on the issue of youth and unwanted pregnancy
  • Organized a workshop with IMC aimed at community leaders on the issue of sexual violence in Walikale territory
  • Trained 80 educators on HIV/AIDS and sexual violence in partnership with Caritas Goma
  • Conducted a training for Handicap International/Atlas logistique on HIV/AIDS and sexual violence in Walikale
  • Carried out sensitizations with teenagers on unwanted pregnancies and drug use

Organizational Vision

Prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS and the end of sexual violence

Project Proposals

  • Education on sexual violence and assistance to survivors: RACOJ seeks funds to organize public information sessions in the village of Luvungi (4,500 people) about sexual violence, to encourage the villagers to support survivors of sexual violence, and to directly support 50 survivors through social and economic assistance. Cost: $71,235 (for six months)
  • Institutional capacity building: RACOJ would like to organize a five-day training for its 55 staff and volunteers to increase their skills for organizational, project, and financial management. Cost: $33,401.
  • Educating former child soldiers: RACOJ proposes to organize 300 former child soldiers from Mai Mai Kifuafua and the 85th brigade to educate them about HIV/AIDS and sexual violence. Cost: $16,248.

 

Contact

Methode Bantea, director, +243.810.316.716, racojwlkl@yahoo.fr

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