With the elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo only three weeks away, media, delegates and nonprofits worldwide are looking to the elections as an opportunity for the Congo to invest in their future: the children.
UNICEF recently published an article emphasizing the need for education, social and health reform for children in the DRC. Current statistics provided by UNICEF show that 1 in 7 Congolese children die before the age of five, a great number considering roughly half the population in the DRC is under the age of 14. Unless Congolese children are given the opportunity to learn, innovate and succeed, progress in the DRC’s future will be at a standstill. The upcoming election provides a much-needed chance for that opportunity to become reality in the Congo. Children’s rights are at the forefront of debates and how the candidate who is elected addresses that social need is crucial to determining the prosperity of Congolese youth.
UNICEF Deputy Representative Steve Lauwerier summed up the idea, ”Whoever the winner of the coming elections will be, UNICEF wants him to put his heart into children’s rights. And by that I mean the right to education, health, and protection, so that we can hope that the progress we have seen in this country the last few years are confirmed.” Continuing the progress and betterment of programs and education for children runs parallel to the Congo Leadership Initiative’s mission and purpose: to provide leadership development that allow the young Congolese to rise up and serve their nation, and in return, have their nation flourish.