AAIDRC is a Country Programme of ActionAid International. ActionAid International’s operation in the DRC which commenced in 1987 was in response to emergency relief need of Burundian refugees who had crossed into Uvira in Eastern DRC as a result of the civil war in Burundi. After this first intervention in the Eastern DRC, AAI officially commenced operations as a DRC-based agency in June 2003 with an emergency initiative to respond to the 2002 Nyiragongo volcano eruption. Staffs seconded from three neighbouring AAI Country programs of Burundi, Uganda and Rwanda led the relief support to displaced people. In June 2006, AAIDRC became a legal entity by officially registering as a national organisation operating in the DRC. We have since expanded our operations to 15 locations in North and South Kivu Provinces that are home to an estimated ten million people. We have also established a functional Liaison Office in Kinshasa.
ActionAid is better known in the DRC for its participatory approach, its passion for community empowerment and solidarity with the poor. We are also recognised for our values which include humility, transparency and solidarity. AAI is also appreciated in DRC as a pro women organisation, having emphasised more on women’s rights in all its interventions. In December 2010 AAIDRC became a full-fledged Country Program of ActionAid. AAIDRC’s approach is based on the ActionAid International’s human right-based approach (HRBA). This means that basic needs are stated as basic rights that people should claim from the state.
We believe that an end to poverty and injustice can be achieved through purposeful individual and collective action, led by the active agency of people living in poverty and supported by solidarity, credible rights-based alternatives and campaigns that address the structural causes and consequences of poverty. Our main role is strengthening the capacity of human right organisations and activists who in turn support the people living in poverty to claim their rights from duty bearers including the government.
AAIDRC also works in solidarity with human rights activists to ensure that the State representatives are aware of their role as primary duty bearers, and they in turn benefit from the AAIDRC capacity building activities including training, exposure/visits and experience sharing, policy formulation, advocacy at the community, national and the international levels. These stated approaches will be sustained and improved on by: • Developing participatory innovative and integrated programmes that involve sponsored children in order to influence changes in the lives of the community, the women, youth and the children. • Continuously invest in building the capacity of our key stakeholders including children, youth and women in order to equip them with necessary knowledge, skills, behaviour and attitudes that will help them contribute to the intended changes. • Empowering our partners through our participatory approaches, ensuring their active involvement in the design, execution and monitoring of all programmes activities. We will also strengthen local CSOs that represent people living in poverty. • Working in solidarity with networks, alliances, and organisations committed to poverty eradication. • Supporting campaigns leading to influencing policy, practices, attitudes and behaviour change at local, provincial, national and international levels. • Providing technical support and capacity building to strategic partners with whom we work together in alliance to influence duty bearers. Participatory approaches The Country programme has been implementing AAI’s participatory method¬ologies and approaches including REFLECT for development and adult literacy, STAR for tackling AIDS through Rights, PVA for involving vulnerable people to address their vulnerability especially in the situation of disasters and in fighting against VAW, ELBAG for empowering community to track budget; etc.