The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been afflicted by internal strife for the last ten years. This has led to the displacement of 4.3 million people and the fact that around 8 million children do not go to school. Extreme poverty and severe violence have led to the deaths of millions of people, and ensured that whilst the DRC has some of the biggest mineral, timber and agricultural reserves, it is one of the poorest countries in the world.
Sexual violence against women was only outlawed in 1996. But enforcing this law is difficult because members of the security forces have long been the worst perpetrators. The situation in the DRC has improved somewhat of late, with the democratic election of President Joseph Kabila, however, his government faces massive challenges as they seek to stabilise and develop the country.
ActionAid is a development charity with a strong commitment to working alongside local people and organisations in order to establish better rights for the world's poorest people, and the provision of basic needs that most in the developed world take entirely for granted. More than that, ActionAid are committed to tackling the root causes of poverty and have made education, HIV and AIDS, food, emergencies, women and girls their main priorities.
ActionAid's work in DRC has been very much geared towards the specific challenges being faced there. Since 1996 it has been delivering aid and providing relief and assistance to millions of displaced people, many of whom have fled from strife in neighbouring Rwanda. ActionAid's work has also focused on strengthening local civil society partner organisations. In this way it hopes to strengthen the support available to the poorest people who get lost in the gap between the state and the private sector. ActionAid have also worked very closely with the police and army forces to enable better dissemination and enforcement of the law.
In the 37 years since its inception, ActionAid has reached many millions people in Africa, Asia and the Americas, and it has developed a wealth of expertise in fighting poverty. ActionAid partners with local organisations and recognises the need to work with communities on their own terms, and not to impose solutions. By getting to know the culture intimately ActionAid workers have the best possible opportunity to effect a lasting end to poverty.
Sponsoring a child in the DRC  today will cost you only 50 pence per day. Your money will also go towards development efforts in the town in which the child you sponsor lives. This will ensure the most efficient and effective use of your money. It's as simple as filling out ActionAid's secure online form and waiting for your e-mail confirmation.
As a child sponsor you will be able to communicate with the child you sponsor, and you can look forward to receiving special letters and drawings from them. Additionally, you get to see where and how your money is being spent through regular editions of Common Cause, ActionAid's newsletter.
You may also like to consider sponsoring a child through the following trusted agencies: