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Special Projects: Democratic Republic of Congo

No more Special Project Proposals are currently being accepted for implementation in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Support for the Reunification and Reintegration of Former Child Soldiers in the DRC — Save the Children
This project has three main objectives:

  1. To improve understanding of the needs of children associated with fighting forces - including girls - and to promote their rights during transition from military to civilian life. This will entail the following activities: (i) analyze and document the situation of child soldiers in the Kivus; (ii) conduct participatory research to identify strategies to prevent recruitment and facilitate sustainable reintegration; (iii) identify ways of gaining access to girls associated with fighting forces; (iv) train the military on issues of child protection (training of trainers).
  2. To create and strengthen institutional capacity of government and NGO partners to ensure protection of child soldiers in the framework of the national demobilization and reintegration program. This will entail the following activities: (i) support government in participatory policy-making and program design; (ii) prepare training modules; (iii) prepare a framework to monitor implementation and evaluate impact; (iv) train trainers at a regional level; (v) support and monitor training for governmental and non-governmental partners at a provincial level; (vi) evaluate the impact of training.
  3. To facilitate the sustainable socio-economic reintegration of child soldiers into their communities through transitional support, family reunification, and strengthening community capacities. This will entail the following activities: (i) strengthen the capacity of local partners to manage transit and orientation centers (CTOs); (ii) trace the families of the demobilized children; (iii) develop pilot activities for community support to Mayi Mayi children; (iv) strengthen the capacity of local networks to monitor the reintegrated children; (v) support community micro-projects that promote the sustainable reintegration of the demobilized child-soldiers.

Status: Grant agreement has been signed by the World Bank and Save the Children. The first tranche of approximately US$1 million was disbursed in March 2004.
Amount: US$2,500,000

Quarterly Reports: June to December 2003 34.6 KB
  January to March 2004 53.0 KB
  June 2004 - Narrative and Financial reports

Situation Assessment and Pilot Projects for Demobilization and Reintegration of Child Soldiers in Orientale, Northern Katanga and Maniema Provinces — International Rescue Committee (IRC)/ International Foundation for Education and Self-Help (IFESH)/ CARE International
This project will consist of four components that will be implemented in three provinces of eastern DRC.

  1. Assessing armed groups' willingness to demobilize children. Activities will include: (i) an assessment of the willingness of all accessible armed groups to provide access to children and agree to their demobilization, as well as the current dynamics that are leading to recruitment; (ii) the development of a system of identification and verification in collaboration with UNICEF and BUNADER; (iii) the development of a password-protected database accessible by Internet to manage information collected from all field sites (this database will be made available to other organizations working not only with child soldiers, but also with separated children in general).
  2. Community sensitization and training. Activities will include: (i) sensitization and training activities with key community members, to establish the foundation for community-level protection committees; (ii) participatory and action-oriented assessments through household, market and infrastructure surveys and assessments of market possibilities, educational possibilities, and social resources, resulting in a composite mapping of reintegration opportunities and needs in the targeted areas; (iii) tracing and reunification for a sample group of children and researching alternative care for untraceable cases and children who cannot be reunified for the time being.
  3. Development of provincial plans for demobilization. Activities will include the development of provincial plans within a more global framework, with input from national and international partners in the targeted areas-local, the organization of fora in each province to discuss and agree upon definitions, principles and approaches for the child soldier DDR process, and the production of a detailed implementation plan.
  4. Child soldiers reintegration. Activities will include: (i) building the capacity of local partners engaged in child protection work; (ii) strengthening existing or setting up local structures and committees; (iii) training local authorities and military battalions on child protection needs and the demobilization process; (iv) conducting large scale dissemination and awareness-raising campaigns to increase information and knowledge of the national demobilization plan at the community level; (v) conducting identification and verification of child soldiers; (vi) setting up and managing transit centers for demobilized children; (vii) ensuring the provision of psychosocial activities at the CTO and community level; (viii) conducting ongoing tracing, reunification and follow up of demobilized children; (ix) conducting community-based reintegration activities; (x) develop a strategy for education "catch-up"; and (xi) setting up special community funds to facilitate child soldiers' reintegration, prevent re-recruitment and support other vulnerable children. Approximately 35 community-based reintegration activities will include: rehabilitation of buildings, social infrastructure or economic activities identified through participatory research.

Status: Grant agreements have been signed by the World Bank and implemening partners. The first tranches equalling approximately US$2 million were disbursed to all the three organizations in early January 2004.
Amount: US$7,000,000 (between three implementing partners)

Quarterly Reports - IRC: October to December 2003 43.2 KB
  January to March 2004 48.0 KB
  IFESH: October to December 2003 16.9 KB
    January to March 2004 18.0 KB
  CARE: October to December 2003 22.7 KB
    January to March 2004 35.9 KB

Community Recovery and Reintegration of Ex-Combatants in Eastern DRC — UNDP
This project consists of three components that will be implemented in five provinces (North and South Kivu, Orientale, Katanga and Maniema).

  1. Sensitisation and Community mobilisation activities are aimed at creating a favourable environment for the implementation of the project through creation or reinforcement of local community based networks, village committees, community workshops, discussions, etc. in order to: (i) disseminate objectives of overall project; (ii) promote community participation in socio-economic rehabilitation; (iii) promote confidence and peaceful co-existence between the local communities and ex combatants.
  2. Community reconstruction and development in order to (i) strengthen the capacity of communities through rehabilitation of social infrastructure (rural tracks, wells, sanitation facilities, etc.) and initiate a participatory process of long tem development; (ii) promote income generation by increasing economic opportunities through the financing of community production initiatives; and (iii) progressively including ex-combatants into these projects.
  3. Sustainable reintegration of ex combatants through the financing of micro-projects. Each micro project will cost approximately US$500. The micro-projects will be implemented through NGOs and the identification of the different micro projects will be based on election criteria following procedural standards of UNDP. Technical procedures will be standardized to ensure coherency in project implementation. Each project will benefit from technical experience during the implementation cycle of the micro project (identification, formulation, start up). There will be no introduction of new technologies within the communities, nor the development of major work projects. The micro projects will support the ex combatants in activities that are already traditional economic and social activities in these areas.

Status: Grant agreement between UNDP and the World Bank was signed. The first tranche of US$2.8 million was disbursed at the end of January 2004.
Amount: US$5,000,000

Quarterly Reports: November 2003 - January 2004 43.9 KB (French)

Rapid Response Mechanism to Support the DDR of Ex-Combatants in the DRC — UNDP
This project has two main objectives:

  1. To facilitate the national DDR program through the conduct of exploratory activities; evaluation missions; quick surveys of targeted populations;, analysis of preliminary conditions for DDR; sensitization activities, peace-building and reconciliation; information exchanges; consultations with targeted groups and other affected populations.
  2. To respond to other contingencies and programmatic and operational urgencies by rapidly deploying experts, materials and other inputs, as well as the preparation of services for DDR in areas of program implementation (demobilization sites, transit centers, community welcome centers, etc.).

Status: Grant agreement between UNDP and the World Bank was signed. The first tranche of US$3.2 million was disbursed at the end of January 2004.
Amount: US$4,629,870

Quarterly Reports: Sept. 2003 - January 2004 60.0 KB (French)

Family and Community Reintegration of Demobilized Child Soldiers— Belgian Red Cross
This project consists of three components that will be implemented in Kinshasa and in the southern part of the Equateur region focused around Mbandaka:

  1. Training of Personnel: Personnel of the Red Cross in the DRC will be trained to work with demobilized child soldiers at transit centers (CTO - centre de transit et d'orientation) as well as to mediate with their families and conduct sensitization activities at the community level. This training consists of: psychosocial development and evolution of children and child soldiers, techniques of communication and observation, mediation, active participatory research, counseling/psycho-therapy, education activities, preparation for return to and reintegration of child into the family and community.
  2. Sensitization and Prevention: The Red Cross will undertake sensitization activities aimed at several different groups to increase understanding of the need to better protect children, the legal framework of child protection, the situation of child soldiers and their reintegration back into family and community. The groups to be targeted include: government, local authorities, communities, families, teachers and students. This component will include the training of Red Cross volunteers on the situation of demobilized child soldiers, who are then to monitor the situation of demobilized child soldiers and their communities and intervene when they see children or families having trouble adapting.
  3. Reintegration of demobilized child soldiers back into their families and/or communities: CTOs (transit centers) will be opened that will have the capacity to accommodate 50 children divided between houses that can lodge 10-15 children. A "parental couple" will act as parental substitutes in each of the houses and will undertake the daily care of the children, in cooperation with educators, mediators, a doctor, a psychologist, guards and chauffeurs. The children will remain in the CTO for an average of three months, during which time their situation will be analyzed and they will be prepared to re-enter their families and communities. This preparation will consist of a minimal education (reading, writing, etc), psycho-social counseling, some skills-oriented training, as well as sportive and religious activities. A file will be created for each child that includes a medical evaluation, a psychological evaluation, level of instruction reached, family history, socio-economic situation of the family, and the behavior of the child at the CTO. Individual plans will then be drawn up, including being reunited with families or alternative care arrangements, individual and family counseling needs, the amount of follow-up to be conducted once the child leaves the CTO (with a minimum of one visit a month for a year), reintegration of the child into school or an apprenticeship, etc.

Status: Grant Agreement has been signed and documentation for the first disbursement is being prepared.
Amount: US$2,157,754


Prevention of Recruitment, Demobilization and Reintegration of Children Associated with Armed Forces — UNICEF
The main objectives of this project, which will be implemented throughout DRC, are to:

  • To help the government of transition in the development and implementation of the Programme de Désarmement, Démobilisation et Réinsertion (PDDR) with specific reference to children;
  • To establish coordination mechanisms at the national and provincial levels for the implementation of demobilization and reintegration programs for children in the armed forces;
  • To establish and support monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for programs for children in armed groups;
  • To train government and NGO personnel in the approach, mechanisms and tools of the PDDR;
  • To support national NGOs for the family and community reintegration of demobilized child soldiers;
  • To develop and assist with the implementation of information/sensitization activities;
  • To develop the capacities (through training) of the national partners (governmental and non-governmental);
  • To establish a rapid response mechanism for the demobilization and reintegration of children from the armed forces.

Status: Grant Agreement between UNICEF and the World Bank is under preparation.
Amount: US$4,997,000

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Photo Credits: First picture on left Guy Tillim. Others by UN/DPI