Progress review for the Batela Mwana project in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Last November, the annual meeting of the steering committee of our “Batela Mwana” (Protecting the Child, in Lingala) project took place. Aimed at strengthening the skills and knowledge of police officers, justice personnel and social workers in the field of child protection in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the project has been in operation since 2015. Members of the IBCR’s Montreal team travelled to the location to attend the meeting. 

The Steering Committee, the project’s monitoring body, is made up of representatives of the key stakeholders and partners involved in the project. The Committee allows everyone to follow the project’s progress and to take part in its implementation. This meeting is an opportunity to review the progress of the project and the results it has achieved, and to develop the workplan for the year to come.

Present at this 2019 edition were His Excellency Nicolas Simard, Canadian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chair of the Steering Committee, Her Excellency Rose Boyata Monkaju, newly appointed Minister of Social Affairs and Vice-Chair of the Committee, alongside representatives of the Ministries of Interior and Justice, as well as other NGOs and members of the IBCR team. All expressed their satisfaction with the results of the project and the changes that have taken place in the field since its inception. After four years of implementation, we can see an improvement in children’s access to security, judicial and social services that better protect them and enable them to take part in actions that concern them, and professionals who are better equipped and trained to protect children.

As the project comes to an end in 2020, the discussions were oriented towards a reflection on the ways to ensure the sustainability of the actions undertaken and the results observed. Through this project, the IBCR hopes to enable local partners to take ownership of the tools developed and to ensure their use by professionals in the field, thus embedding the achievements made in recent years in the long term.

This meeting was also an opportunity for the Bureau to organise an official ceremony to gift computer equipment to some of the organisations in attendance, involved in the Batela Mwana project. This equipment will make it possible to disseminate and reproduce the training tools and materials developed over the course of the project and made available to partner schools and institutions.