Democratic Republic of Congo

Unité, Travail, Progrès

2S°8'21" 29E°4'6"

South Kivu Province

Connect Locally in Democratic Republic of Congo

Situated squarely in Central Africa, and straddling the equator, the Democratic Republic of Congo - or simply the Congo - is the second largest country on the African continent. It is a vast landscape with immense mineral and natural resource wealth and incredible geographical diversity. The terrain is a variation of coastal plains, mountainous regions, plateaus and fertile valleys. About 70 percent of the Congo's area is covered by rainforest, the second largest in the world. From it's namesake the Congo River to active volcanoes, the country's geography is as challenging to navigate as it's recent political history. The current political and economic state of the country is partly the result of the decades long wars, and the high levels of insecurity that ensued. It's estimated that over 90% of the population is dependent upon subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods, with many households augmenting their income with artisanal mining and local and cross-border trade. Congo is divided into 26 provinces, they are Bas-Uele, Equateur, Haut-Katanga, Haut-Lomami, Haut-Uele, Ituri, Kasai, Kasai-Central, Kasai-Oriental, Kinshasa, Kongo Central, Kwango, Kwilu, Lomami, Lualaba, Mai-Ndombe, Maniema, Mongala, Nord-Kivu, Nord-Ubangi, Sankuru, Sud-Kivu, Sud-Ubangi, Tanganyika, Tshopo, Tshuapa.

Idjwi Island Radio with Yves Idjwi Island, South Kivu Province

Yves is an inspiring person who is heavily involved in community development. One project he's working on is the distribution of used computers that he receives from a donor in the EU, which he sets up in local schools. He is interested in computers and gadgets, which is rather ironic as he has lived almost his entire life on the island without electricity (solar panels are slowly starting to change that).

When the financial situation permits, Yves buys diesel for the radio station's generator, so that he can transmit radio for the population. He goes around the island with his dictaphone and interviews fellow Idjwians about topics relevant for them. He knows everyone on the Island and is in particular a friend of the Pygmyes who have historically been marginalized. Yves loves the island and does everything possible to improve the lives of people in his community.

As your guide, Yves will meet you in Gisenyi, Rwanda and facilitate crossing the border into DRC, and boarding the ferry. He'll stay with you throughout the duration of your stay organizing days trips to various parts of the island where you can visit communities of pottery makers, pineapple farmers, fishing communities, and a range of other skilled entrepreneurs. You can practice your hand at each livelihood along the way or simply learn more about the communities and people on the island.