Launched in June 2016, Habari RDC has developed a strong presence, offering alternative perspectives to its young audience. The platform brings together young Congolese from across the political spectrum.
Articles, videos, infographics and photographs are produced by over 100 bloggers and change-makers from across the country, with local offices in Goma, Kinshasa, Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi. Habari RDC encourages free and responsible discussions by its online community on the country’s various political and social issues. Habari also set up a training in Kisangani last year to train local bloggers there.
Highlights of 2019
Coping with Internet shutdown
In early 2019 the government imposed a three-week internet shutdown in the wake of contested elections. Habari RDC relied on a team of three staff members living in neighbouring countries to do the work of a hundred people—bloggers, editors, community managers and webmaster— and keep the platform alive as best they could. A video in which Congolese journalist Lemien Sakalunga reflects on life during the three-week period shows just how destructive internet shutdowns can be.
Face aux Jeunes debates
A series of offline Face aux Jeunes debates were organised in 2019, providing a space for young people to address their issues directly with the relevant authorities. A debate on the role of women in rule of law in Goma led to the launch of a new Committee for Women and Girls as part of the Youth Parliament.
Sexual harassment in universities
A campaign on the issue of sexual harassment in universities included a series of debates around the country. As a result, Habari RDC was invited to participate in the development of the government's "Normes directives de lutte contre le harcèlement sexual dans les universités" (guidelines for combating sexual harassment in universities).
Developing an advocacy strategy
Habari RDC organised two Youth Forums in Goma and Kinshasa with more than 300 participants including vice-governors, mayors and members of Parliament as well as leaders of youth-led organisations, young entrepreneurs, university students and a representative of the Dutch Embassy.
Using the hashtag #YouthForumKinshasa, the Forums reached more than 8,000 other young people through social networks. They aimed to identify the major challenges facing young people in RDC and to formulate recommendations for advocacy around three themes: Inclusive governance; entrepreneurship and youth employment; and health and development, with a specific focus on SRHR. More than 45 challenges were identified, and 65 recommendations were made. These results will be used for advocacy at national and provincial levels as well as with embassies of relevant governments funding development aid.
Habari RDC in 2019
(30% women users)
“I personally appreciated the methodology adopted by this dynamic and inspiring team of young bloggers who have a state of mind similar to Si Jeunesse Savait. Beyond the campaign, it was above all a very beautiful adventure that I ask to start again on the same theme or perhaps on other subjects.”
Message from Richine Masengo, Executive Director of Si Jeunesse Savai