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Featured, Notes from the Field, Success Stories

The Lake Kivu Coffee Alliance: Helping farming families in Congo regain lost ground.

Posted on Apr 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

In 2013, while fleeing fighting between DRC government forces and rebel groups in Masisi, Venancie Nyirazoba survived a bomb explosion that killed her husband and three of her nine children. Her leg was badly injured in the attack and had to be amputated. "This incident completely changed my life. I was left alone and that’s when my leg was badly injured," she explains. After the war Venancie tried to farm her land but her leg made that work impossible. "I suffered a lot with my leg, I couldn’t move around or do anything, no matter what I tried." Today howev...

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Economic Development, Featured

Assessing the Growth Potential of Eastern Congo’s Coffee and Cocoa Sectors

Posted on Mar 13, 2018 | 0 Comments

This piece first appeared on the Center for Strategic and International Studies website and accompanies a new report from CSIS and ECI examining challenges and opportunities in the DRC cocoa and coffee sectors. Assessing the Growth Potential of Eastern Congo’s Coffee and Cocoa Sectors Richard Downie, CSIS March 8th, 2018 During the past decade, donors and companies have begun to build viable coffee and cocoa sectors in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The locus of activity has been in eastern Congo, where decades of conflict and poor governance have di...

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Economic Development, Featured, Peace and Reconciliation

The Amani Festival gives center stage to Congolese entrepreneurs

Posted on Feb 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

The Amani Peace Festival began in 2013 when the notorious rebel group, M23, occupied the city of Goma in eastern Congo. Now in its fifth year, the festival is inspiring proof of Congolese resiliency. It's also just a lot of fun. A day of music and art, the Amani Festival attracts people from across Goma's multi-ethnic landscape to celebrate and encourage cultural harmony. While creating much-needed smiles with music, acrobatics, and art, the Amani Festival also creates opportunity for aspiring Congolese businesses. Amani's organizers believe that peace and economic sta...

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Child Soldiers and Vulnerable Children, Economic Development, Education , Featured, Notes from the Field, Peace and Reconciliation, Success Stories

ECI and partners bring new hope to survivors of landmine-related violence in eastern Congo

Posted on Feb 2, 2018 | 0 Comments

(Photos by Gerry Kahashy, ECI) In the Lake Kivu/Virunga National Park region of eastern Congo, landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) are a constant danger to coffee workers and their families. Indiscriminate as to their victims, mines and ERW have killed thousands of Congolese civilians. Children, especially, have been affected, accounting for more than three-quarters of victims in recent years. Beyond the tragic loss of life and limb, landmines undermine economic development. Often disabled, survivors are unable to return to work, especially in the labor-inten...

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Economic Development, Featured, Peace and Reconciliation, Success Stories

New York Times Opinion: Ben Affleck reflects on his engagement in Congo

Posted on Dec 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

(This article was printed in the New York Times Opinion section on December 4th, 2017) When I first visited eastern Congo in 2006, it was difficult to understand how anyone could be hopeful about the region’s future. The Congolese had just emerged from a decade of some of the worst violence the world had known since World War II: More than 3.5 million people died as a result of conflict, according to estimates. The genocide in neighboring Rwanda had flooded the region with over a million refugees, including fleeing armed combatants. The emergence of militias and t...

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