Caritas Congo Launches Education Program to Tackle Child Labor, Targets Some 7,500 Youth

Officials of Caritas Congo ASBLduring the launch of the education program aimed at fighting against child labor in mines in the DRC.

The Church leadership in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has, through its development and humanitarian arm Caritas Congo ASBL, launched an education program aimed at fighting against child labor in mines in the Central African nation.

Launched in the Diocese of Wamba in Haut-Uelé Province in DRC, the partnership of Caritas Congo ASBL, Caritas Norway and the Norwegian youth organization, Operasjon Dagsverk (OD) is expected to benefit some 7,500 young people in the region.

“The objective of the access to education program for young people and the fight against child labor in the mines of Mwenga and Wamba is to enable vulnerable young people aged between 12 and 19 years in the territory of Mwenga (South Kivu Province) and Wamba (Haut-Uelé Province) to improve their well-being and future opportunities by 2024 and no longer be forced to work in the mines for the benefit of armed groups,” the leadership of  Caritas Congo ASBL reported Monday, August 3.

According to Amnesty International, thousands of children as young as six work without protective gear in artisanal mines in DRC’s Southeastern region. 

The National Institute of Statistics has also indicated that 15 percent of children aged 5 to 17 across Congo are engaged in child labor – with most doing dangerous work.


Speaking at the launch of the initiative that will run for four years, the Vicar General of Wamba Diocese, Fr. Justin Amboko has been quoted as saying, “Caritas Congo has just given us a new lease of life by turning its gaze to the mines so that children and young people working in these environments can benefit from education.”

For this reason, the Congolese Cleric called for active participation in the launched program “so that the results are achieved for the well-being of the young people who are the beneficiaries.”

"The initiative is only meant to support the government’s efforts in educating young people,” Fr. Justin said, adding that Caritas is a technical and specific tool of the Bishops’ pastoral care at the service of evangelization and integral human development.

The education initiative is expected to ensure quality education for vulnerable youths, facilitate the participation of young people in the elaboration of their own educational programs, and support local authorities and communities in providing protection and opportunities for Congolese youth.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.