Justice Rising brings peace to communities affected by war by providing quality education to children at risk. Our work builds schools, develops programs, and raises up community leaders toward the goal of promoting peace and breaking the cycle of war.
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There are over 3 million out-of-school children in the DRC today. We are looking to change that. Over the next several years, we plan on building 40 new schools in various war-affected communities, believing that schools will produce the future leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators of tomorrow. We currently have approximately 300 students attending each of our 7 schools. Monthly support helps cover teacher salaries and learning materials to keep the schools in operation.
Amidst armed conflict, a tragic common side effect is children being abducted into the army. After sitting with numerous parents who had lost their children to rebel armies or were in perpetual hiding after escaping abduction, we sought a homegrown solution.
The Freedom Boys Project relocates boys into the city, organizing new and safe living situations for them - often foster housing with a relative. This geographical move frees these young men to focus on their education. The boys are paired with mentors to ensure that they receive holistic care.
We saw a significant increase in the number of teenage boys being abducted into the rebel army or, feeling powerless against this inevitability, choosing to join the army in order to protect their families from threats. Our response was Leadership League, a simple soccer league, in hopes of providing the boys a healthy outlet, as well as a community where they could learn to stick together and gain a healthy vision for their futures.
Our coaching aims to teach and model what it means to be an honest leader. Play time on the field is accompanied by group counseling. Both on the field and off, these young men are learning to cultivate lives of peace, taking hold of their futures without being backed into the corner of war.
Having grown beyond a soccer league, the program now extends opportunity to these young men to earn a GED and attend vocational programs, offering the hope of opportunity and good jobs in the future.