Association des Volontaires pour la Réconciliation et le Développement des Pays des Grands-Lacs (AVRD – PGL)
The Association des Volontaires pour la Réconciliation et le Développement des Pays des Grands-Lacs (AVRD-PGL) is a grassroots organization which aims to combat gender-based violence and child marriages in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Established in 2002, AVRD-PGL focuses on promoting girls’ leadership, strengthening girls’ employment capabilities, and advocating for human rights within the DRC. In previous years, AVRD-PGL implemented a project titled “All Against Early Marriage in Tumbwe Village” which served forty girls at risk of child marriage and early pregnancy. The project also trained many other community leaders, teachers, and parents about the importance of promoting girls’ education and empowerment.
Within the Democratic Republic of Congo, and particularly in the Tanganyika Province, where AVRD-PGL is based, girls face many challenges due to social discrimination, lack of financial resources and restricted economic mobility, and a general lack of recognition for girls’ capabilities. AVRD-PGL aims to change social attitudes by expanding its early child marriage prevention program. AVRD will continue targeting both girls and community members to change harmful social norms which prevent girls from reaching their full potential. The Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund will help support 100 girls through life skills and empowerment training, and 40 girls will also receive scholarships and scholar kits with school supplies each year. 20 educators will be trained on girls’ empowerment to implement the program in schools, and AVRD-PGL also aims to reach over 500 community members through advocacy and mobilization.
Through a participatory leadership approach, AVRD-PGL will empower young girls by nurturing their well-being, building their confidence, and harnessing their ability to use their voice. In turn, these girls will serve as examples who show the power of girls’ participation and leadership within communities.