Established in 1998, ADEPROSO is a grassroots social development organisation which seeks to involve all members of the community – including schools, churches and local leaders – in building towards peace and overcoming poverty. Operating in the Uvira and Fizi territories of DR Congo, the team of ten full-time staff are engaged in three core areas of work: research into human rights and conflict resolution; the construction of local homes and facilities and the provision of local social services.
Dance of Peace
This groundbreaking initiative draws upon the diversity of Congolese music, sports and cultural events to bring about much-needed dialogue between divided local leaders in the region. Members of ADEPROSO meet with local authorities and musicians and organise ‘dance of peace’ meetings in communal spaces. Competitions are set up and prizes are handed out to villagers who take part. Crucially, these meetings provide a unique chance for local leaders to meet and take the first steps towards reconciliation.
ADEPROSO have begun to use sports in the same way to provide an opportunity for peace. In the region of Mwenga, local communities have been embroiled in violent conflict since 1998. However, through the initiative, territories were recently able to put together a football team made up of a mixed group of players to represent the region at a national level. As a consequence of these sports and music events, ADEPROSO has been able to set up debates between local leaders which have contained encouraging signs.