Sons of Congo is a men’s mentorship program which aims to create a social change movement for the protection of Congolese women. It does so in a unique way — by tackling the root cause of the violence against them: the mindset of the perpetrators.
Sons of Congo is a comprehensive approach to educating men about their roles as protectors and builders of their communities and country, focusing not on preaching but on opening a conversation about typically taboo subjects — such as sexual violence — in an engaging and acceptable way.
Utilizing a curriculum that draws on biblical lessons to demonstrate how women should be valued and respected, the program provides men with leadership training, while also developing small support groups to address the broken and wounded masculinity that has contributed to the violence and destruction of society in the DRC.
The program provides the men with leadership training, while also focusing on developing small support groups that come together to learn and take action.
Since its inception in 2010, over 23,000 men have completed the program. Sons of Congo is also able to cast a much wider net through a radio broadcast; by using the power of the airwaves, countless number of men have been touched by the message of Sons of Congo.
“Some of the most rewarding testimonies after someone completes the curriculum come from the women,” says Esther Ntoto, one of the founders of the program. “When a woman calls me and says, she knows that her husband is going somewhere, but the only thing she knows is that women are not allowed. Then she notices that her husband or uncle or brother is different, is changing. We get calls where women tell us: “I don’t know what’s happening to my husband. I don’t know what you’re doing to him. But I tell you, keep doing it. Because we’re seeing a transformation.”
For more information on Sons of Congo and how the program started, see our blog post Working to End Rape by Educating the Men of Congo.