Uvira is located in South Kivu province at the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Though it is a region with significant reserves of natural resources, the majority of its half a million inhabitants live in poverty and do not have stable employment.
Due to their strategic military location, civilians in North and South Kivu suffer frequent attacks by armed groups and government forces.
A lack of adequate health and education services mean that thousands of children are undernourished and without access to schooling.
Since 1997, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Uvira
Living and working in Uvira is full of challenges due to the lack of infrastructure and frequent natural disasters like flooding. This can mean an inconsistent supply of safe drinking water and electricity. Torrential rains in April 2020 caused heavy floods in the South Kivu province and left 80,000 people affected. The local community and a large population of displaced people compete for limited resources. When water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities are damaged by floods, the risk of disease increases. By September 2020, South Kivu was the first province to report the highest number of suspected cases of cholera (5,232) that year.
Across the Democratic Republic of the Congo, child mortality and malnutrition are high. 48% of children are chronically malnourished in the province of South Kivu. Factors driving food insecurity include conflict and political insecurity, which trigger displacement and loss of livelihoods for families. In turn, weather extremes, diseased crops and economic crises undermine food production. Moreover, public health crises, such as Ebola, measles and cholera exacerbate food insecurity. Improvements to roads, agriculture, healthcare and sanitation are necessary to combat food insecurity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Children and young people must attend school and trainings to flourish in these difficult circumstances.