CENEDI, the Center for Mentoring Children in Difficulties (Centre pour l’Encadrement des Enfants en Difficultés), is our second partner


education in uvira, Congo

In 2006 a group of Congolese activists in Uvira, in eastern Congo, organized a non-profit to address the situation of women and children in their war-torn region where militia of many allegiances had been fighting for a decade. They named their project The Center for Mentoring (Encadrement) Children in Difficulties, with the French acronym CENEDI. Since the conflicts in the borderlands among Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and Congo began in 1996, the whole region has been unstable, racked with violence. Rape, hunger, the breakdown of almost all social services, especially schools and hospitals, are the story of daily life – and death. The main focus of CENEDI has been education.

Since 2007 CENEDI has been partners with the American school club Hands Across the Water. By 2019, thirty-two young men and women in eastern Congo had studied from primary through secondary school, thanks to their American friends.

One of the very special days for the children is the International Day of the African Child on June 16th. Annually, all of the students across the continent of Africa honor those lost in the riots of Soweto in South Africa in 1976. The students peacefully demonstrated against the new law that all teachers in South Africa speak Afrikaans and and that limited exposure to native South African history and culture. In these protests 176 students were killed and over 1000 were injured.

Due to CENEDI, the children of Kaboke Village in Southern Kivu are now able to join in this national holiday. The local celebration, hosted by CENEDI, provides songs and skits performed by school children to demonstrate the importance of attending school.  The attendees and participants are given a hot meal and a beverage — often the only one they will have for days.

uvira womens day 2019 e.jpg

women and girls in uvira

In 2014, Hands Across the Water in NJ asked to become a branch of Woman Cradle of Abundance, Inc. Mme Monique of FEBA in Kinshasa and Mr. Innocent Nunda wa Nunda, the head of the Uvira project, met virtually and began a conversation which led to a new partnership between their non-profits in Congo.

Now linked to Woman Cradle of Abundance, the project in Uvira has expanded its activities to give more attention to the women of the community. The numbers of women and girls – as young as eight! – who have been raped in recent years in these small villages around Uvira is heartbreaking – nearly one hundred! One was attacked again later as she worked in her field, gang raped and murdered. Mme Monique has sent money to help with women and girls; American partners at Woman Cradle of Abundance, Inc., support women’s gatherings for recognition and celebration, and practical needs for medical care and food, and the beginning of income-generating projects such as sewing.

There are a march and speeches and a celebratory meal on the International Women’s Day on March 8th. The women are able to demonstrate in a public way that they claim their rights as women and as human beings. With the help of their American sisters, food and sometimes a new dress wrap can bring special tangible joy to the women of Uvira.

Officers & Leaders

  • Pastor Innocent Nunda wa Nunda — Uvira

  • Mr. Bahininiwa Saidia – Goma