The sheer size of the Democratic Republic of Congo could be dizzying: Africa’s second-largest country (and the eleventh-largest in the world) with its 2,345,410 km2, a population estimated at over 105 million, with 9 neighboring countries, and inestimable wealth, particularly in mining resources. However, the DRC is also one of the world’s poorest countries, and the scene of bloody wars: the first from 1996 to 1997, which ousted Zaire’s President Mobutu Sese Seko from power, and the second, from 1998 to 2002, involving 9 neighboring countries. The latter claimed nearly 6 million lives, mainly from famine and disease. Since 2004, the Kivu war has been ongoing. The country is home to over 140 armed groups.

For this 4th project, we decided to set down our suitcases in the province of South Kivu, one of the 3 provinces most affected by armed conflicts involving child soldiers. One of the most devastated provinces in the DRC.

The population lives in permanent insecurity. More than fifty armed groups occupy the territories (Fizi, Shabunda, Kalehe, Kabare, Uvira, Mwenga, Walungu).


  • 1/ Preventing recruitment

    By raising awareness and informing FARDC officers and warlords that recruiting and using children under the age of 15 is a war crime and a crime against humanity. And by raising awareness among grassroots communities, opinion leaders, elders and religious leaders, as well as children and young people, that children have rights and should be respected and protected.

  • 2/ Liberating the children

    By negotiating the release of the children with the commanding officers, without any financial compensation.

  • 3/ Reception and psycho-social care

    By taking in released children (girls and boys) in separate CTOs (transit and orientation centers) for girls and boys, for a maximum of 3 months, in order to offer them psychological, social and medical assistance. They are also offered education (behavioral, basic literacy or remedial schooling), access to housing and balanced food and nutrition. At this stage, the search for the children’s biological families has begun.

  • 4/ Family reunification

    Reuniting former child soldiers (children released from armed forces and groups) with their biological or extended families as quickly as possible. In 15% of cases, family reunification is difficult (foreign children, children whose communities are still prey to rebel groups, children who no longer know their addresses, children requiring family or community mediation of varying lengths). These 15-16 year-olds are then joining an independent youth homes (FJA).

  • 5/ Follow-up

    By following the children for 6 months (or longer, when reunifying new released children with a close eye on former reunified ones) after their family and community reunification. What is their psychological state? Are they still addicted to drugs? How are they reintegrating into the community?

  • 6/ Educational support and vocational training

    Based on the child’s wishes and life project, he or she can be re-enrolled in school, follow a vocational apprenticeship and/or develop an income-generating activity (IGA).


With this platform you can easily set up a fundraising campaign (sponsoring a sporting achievement, wedding, birthday, baptism, second-hand clothing sales, dinner parties with friends,…) for WAPA and share it with your loved ones. You can also join a pre-existing campaign.