Congo’s Disabled Young Men and Women Stand Proud

When the Congolese Association Standing Proud in Goma celebrated the opening of their brand new Cyber Café, ECI was invited to see first-hand the success of the space we helped fund!

The ACDF’s Goma center currently houses 35 disabled young men who run the space and as future funding allows, the center has planned space for young disabled women as well.

A low polio vaccination rate, combined with frequent medical mal practices, has resulted in a high number of people with physical disabilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

The Congolese Association Standing Proud works with the young beneficiaries at the center to build metal braces fitted to second-hand shoes that help keep weak joints straight and legs and feet in a more comfortable position.

The Cyber Café opened its doors in October and the director of the center, Pascal Nyonzima, hopes that it will help finance orthopedic surgery and equipment, as well as the education of young disabled people.

“Our center serves many functions, including educating our members in computer sciences, and it’s also a way for us to generate revenue and thus become financially independent,” Nyonzima told ECI.

Désiré Sabato, one of the students who live at the Goma center, told ECI that the Cyber Café truly functions as a company within the association, and has a particular importance because it allows its students to become financially independent, all the while learning about new technologies:

”ACDF truly helps us by providing a good education and knowledge of the outside world, and by teaching us how to become more efficient in our work.” 



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