The Democratic Republic of the Congo is in the midst of the world's deadliest conflict since World War II. Nearly 6 million people have died. The conflict has been called "Africa's World War". Several countries and corporations are involved in the massive plundering of DRC's rich natural resources. Congo's vast natural wealth of gold, diamonds, coltan, copper, cobalt, uranium, tin, and many other precious and strategic minerals are used to make cell phones, laptops, and other electronics. Therefore, these minerals are also known as "conflict minerals".
YOUTH SOCIAL JUSTICE NETWORK
"Use those cell phones to help organize, create political movements, expose crime and violence and corruption, empower the poor with information, access to credit, and social networks,"
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s appeal to the Congolese youth
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is located literally and figuratively in the heart of Africa. It is central to the future of the African continent. It has a population of 65 million people, of which a majority is under the age of 18. The future of the Congo lies in the development, nurturing, and support of its youth.
Keenly aware of the underlying dynamics of the Congo, Friends of the Congo has partnered with several youth groups to advance the cause of social justice in the Congo through creative and innovative means using art, music, and technology to promote social justice. One such innovative effort is the establishment of Social Justice Networking Cells (SJNC) to serve primarily the youth but also other sectors of the Congolese society. The SJNC is a product of Congo Week and the efforts made by Congolese youth each October to highlight the challenges of the Congo and mobilize youth throughout the country to explore Congo’s challenges and produce prescriptions for moving the country forward.