New Cuso International project prioritizes supports for vulnerable youth and women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

New Cuso International project prioritizes supports for vulnerable youth and women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

May 25, 2022—Cuso International, along with its partners, is embarking on a widespread project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that will provide important supports to vulnerable youth and help to create more inclusive and equitable economic growth.

Funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Talents Pluriels project will address the many challenges and inequalities facing young women and other vulnerable groups. This is done by focusing on creating economic opportunities, improving safe, inclusive, and gender-responsive work environments, and building community awareness of the situation of marginalized communities, and social inclusion in the cities of Bukavu, Kinshasa, and Lubumbashi.

“This multi-faceted project will provide critical support to marginalized populations and address the discrimination they face on a regular basis” says Nicolas Moyer, CEO, Cuso International. “We are grateful to Sida and GAC for their significant contributions to this project and are excited to move forward with the activities that will have an important impact on the livelihoods and future prospects of thousands of youth in DRC.”

Over four years, more than 4,000 young entrepreneurs will participate in the project, and 6,000 youth will gain access to a digital e-learning platform, which will contain training materials and other resources, including courses provided through partnerships with educational institutions.

More than 600 of these marginalized youth will receive support from 30 African business mentors, and 2,000 youth will be supported in their search for a job or an internship. Twenty companies will also receive support to develop or strengthen their human resources policies to be more inclusive, safe, and gender-responsive, and 800 staff members from these companies will be educated on gender equality and social inclusion issues.

“We are proud to support youth capacity and access to real jobs, as well as to help businesses use diversity as an advantage in their operations. This project can spearhead sustainable business models in the DRC,” says Henric Råsbrant, Ambassador of Sweden to the DRC.

Through the project, 1,200 community members and 700 family members will share their views, assumptions, and experiences about gender identities and sexual orientations in a safe setting to develop support networks for the vulnerable youth.

“Canada is committed to building a better world where marginalized women, girls, and communities are empowered to reach their full potential,” says Benoit-Pierre Laramée, Canadian Ambassador to the DRC.

Cuso will work alongside established Congolese organizations to implement the project, including Jeunialissime, an LGBTQ2I organization, Si Jeunesse Savait, a feminist organization, and SODEICO, a company specialized in HR management.

Project activities will be launched at the end of May, and co-working spaces and training courses for the young entrepreneurs and job seekers will begin soon after.

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About Cuso International:

Cuso International is a Canadian charity committed to ending poverty and inequality. Cuso works with local partners around the world to improve economic opportunities for all, enhance women’s and girls’ empowerment, and advance gender equality. By sharing skills, we are building sustainable futures. Each year, we amplify our impact by mobilizing hundreds of professionals who volunteer their time and share their experience.  Learn more at: www.cusointernational.org