Flamme d’Avenir (‘Flame of the Future’ in English) is a human rights, genocide prevention and peace-building organization that was founded in 2008 and formally registered as a Congolese NGO in 2013. Flamme d’Avenir works to improve the socio-economic conditions in the Democratic Republic of Congo and ensure that peace is achieved and human rights are respected.
Flamme d’Avenir works directly with children and women affected by conflict, hunger and poverty in the eastern region of the DRC. It does so through the promotion of agricultural, entrepreneurial and commercial activities of small industries, farming and other income generating activities as well as by the promotion of the culture of peace and respect of the human rights in the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It also works to enhance the youth’s capacity to analyze the root causes of conflicts, and facilitate dialogue among peers in order to generate ideas and activities that work towards sustainable peace and social-economic development.
To achieve its vision of a future where sustainable peace and development is driven by creative, involved, and critical-thinking youth Flamme d’Avenir focuses on six core programmes in DR Congo:
- Governance and Human Rights.
- Economic and Social Development Programme.
- Peacebuilding Programme.
- Research and Advocacy.
- Handicraft Programme: using arts as tools of conflicts transformation.
- Health and Education.
To implement these programs Flamme d’Avenir conducts various projects in the community. Some of them include:
Peace Building Institute
Each December, Flamme d’Avenir organizes a ‘Peace Building Institute’ in Uvira. There they meet with the youth, exchange ideas and learn by sharing ways in which DR Congo can find peace. The students have the opportunity to engage in critical thinking and problem solving, analyse complex issues and develop skills as global citizens in cross-cultural dialogue.
Peace building & Commemoration Project
In order to engage youth in dealing with the past constructively, Flamme d’Avenir works to conduct peace building training and workshops that equip youth with the tools they need to build sustainable peace. It organizes national and international public speaking competitions and conferences to help them understand how the past can be rebuilt upon in order to build a brighter future. Young people address topics related to dealing with the traumatic past, as well as civilian courage during war and the effects of ethnically-targeted violence.
School & Youth Peace building Clubs
Flamme d’Avenir has peace building clubs and associations in different schools and universities throughout the DRC. These clubs and associations empower young people through youth-led activities and projects that engage their intellect and ideas, develop their capacities as leaders and positively contribute to building sustainable peace in their communities and nation. Each of the clubs build on the talents of the youth to create and lead activities that promote critical thinking, dialogue, building sustainable peace, and socio-economic development. Youth have independently generated projects such as commemoration events, debates, theatrical performances, sporting events, community service projects and income-generating activities.
Empowering Young Women Entrepreneurs
The goal of the Empowering Young Women Entrepreneurs project is to contribute to the empowerment of Congolese women through vocational skills in tailoring, hairdressing, catering, welding, electronics, carpentry, Beauty Salon, Culinary Art (Kitchen), Welding, Shoe making, embroidery and hand knitting, barber, micro business, sculpture, painting / decorating and construction. This program enrolls women in leadership and entrepreneurship training as well as lessons in micro-finance to strengthen their skills as entrepreneurs and to develop projects that positively contribute to the community. The EYWE Project targets more than 100 out-of-school female youth between the ages of 18-27 to gain paid employment, or to become self-employed, and to understand and defend their rights.
Human Rights and Democracy Training
The Congolese government has put in place various agencies and policies to promote human rights and encourage citizens to work together towards sustainable development. However, these reforms will not be successful unless they reach the youth to help them understand their human rights as established in the Congolese Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Flamme d’Avenir is working to develop a Human Rights and Democracy Handbook for Congolese youth which will be used to train youth leaders at local and national levels. These trained youth will then educate their peers at the grassroots level to develop a better understanding of human rights, peace building and foster youth participation.
Flamme d’Avenir has seen tremendous accomplishments and continues to impact the society in DRC positively. To mention just a few of these accomplishments; sponsored former child solders to attend school, sensitized them on HIV/AIDS, sponsored physically disabled children, provided skills and vocational training to former child solders and creation of micro-loans through a saving and credit union in order to introduce young women to productive work in North Kivu.
To continue with these projects and even implement more, Flamme d’Avenir seeks to forge partnerships with people, companies and NGOs that would be willing to help in terms of time, expertise and resources especially for the Peace and Cultural Centre set to build in Goma and Uvira.