Sober Youth – Healthier Communities: Transforming Violent Youth in Kinshasa

The World Federation Against Drugs’ three-year project: Sober Youth, Healthier Communities – Transforming Violent Youth in Kinshasa, builds on the experiences of member organisations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The project is a joint implementation between five NGOs, Living Peace Institute (LPI), Dynamic Actions for Solidarity and Development (Dasod), Inter-Actions, Synergies des Femmes (SYFES), and World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD).

The project aims to support young persons to leave, and prevent others from joining the violent street gangs of Kinshasa. Breaking cycles of violence should include appropriate psychosocial support strategies, including the reinforcement and restoration of family relations and social support mechanism at community and society levels to support social inclusion and reintegration. Thus, this project focuses particularly on mental health and psychosocial support services, including parental support groups. Whilst offering recovery support, and a socio-economic reintegration component, to facilitate hope, reintegration and sustainability of change among participants. The project follows the young person from onset support in leaving the violent gangs, including psychosocial support on individual, family, community and institutional levels; to reintegration.

The project offers a holistic approach, following the youth by providing appropriate psychosocial support, increasing empowerment and vocational training, offering income generating activities and supporting reintegration through supporting parents, and creating awareness in communities and amongst authorities. The project includes a clear gendered approach, as well as positive, sustainable and environmental aspects, whilst contributing to broader Anti-Drug policy in the country.