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06.28.10

How to Help Congo

If you’re enraged by Congo’s mass rape crisis and violent mineral trade, don’t stay silent! See our list of seven effective nonprofits working to change the country’s course. Donate and take action now!

HEAL Africa is the Congolese nonprofit that pioneered fistula repair in North Kivu and Maniema provinces. The group's staff of 18 doctors and 28 nurses performs more than 300 fistula surgeries and 1,000 orthopedic surgeries annually, and treats hundreds of rape survivors. HEAL Africa also runs a 200-bed hospital, trains health-care professionals, and works on public health education and community reconciliation in villages in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. USAID and UNICEF are just two of the renowned international funders that have invested in HEAL Africa, recognizing its impressive track record. HEAL Africa's website offers many ideas of how to help, and if you'd like to support their work through a general donation, click here

South Kivu Women's Media Association is the nonprofit co-founded by Chouchou Namegabe, the Congolese journalist who bravely airs the graphic, personal testimonies of rape victims. The organization supports Namegabe's work, trains aspiring female journalists, and supports women's radio listening clubs, an important forum for political debate and discussion in a nation where 70 percent of the rural population is illiterate. To support AFEM-SK, order the group's T-shirt for $40. All proceeds benefit the nonprofit. Contact Chrisse Lam at Create for a Cause to order shirts and learn more.

RAISE Hope for Congo works in Washington, D.C. to promote policy solutions to Congo's mass rape crisis, through educating the public and media about conflict minerals and sexual violence in the DRC. The group, which is hosted by the Enough Project, asks consumers to take action by committing to purchase conflict-free cellphones, laptops, and other electronics. Learn how here.

The Georges Malaika Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to empowering Congolese girls through education. The group helps families pay for girls' school tuition, provides girls with essential school supplies and meals, helps young women apply for college scholarships and pay college tuition, and is planning to open its own primary school. GMF's goal is to permanently alter the cycle of illiteracy and poverty within the DRC. Donate here.

Friends of the Congo was established in 2004 to advocate internationally for peaceful political and social change in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The nonprofit is active in Washington, D.C., lobbying on behalf of Congolese reformers and grassroots human-rights groups. Donate here.

Panzi Hospital was founded by Dr. Denis Mukwege in 1999, in response to the onset of the Second Congo War and the many atrocities being committed against the Bukavu area's civilian population, including mass rape. Dr. Mukwege has become an internationally recognized authority on physical and psychological care for rape victims. Panzi specializes in reproductive care, including treatment for women devastated by brutal rapes, fistula repair, and more typical maternal medicine. Learn more here and contact info@panzihospitalbukavu.com to inquire about donating.

The Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic seeks to provide medical care to poor and isolated communities in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa, which includes Congo. The organization, founded by Dr. Amy G. Lehman, hopes to set volunteer doctors and nurses afloat a boat-borne clinic, which will include two onboard operating rooms, intensive-care facilities, and a small inpatient ward. The ship will dock for one to two weeks in each lakeside community before sailing on. Help float this boat by donating here.

Plus: Check out more from Giving Beast, featuring news, video, and amazing photographs of people, places, and issues that need our support.