Local leaders and visionaries are at the center of everything we do to end exploitation and violence in vulnerable communities. Maurille is one of the many resourceful leaders developing innovative solutions to keep communities safe from violence. Maurille works with our community partner in the Central African Republic (CAR), Vie et Espoir.
In marginalized communities like Maurille’s own town, cycles of violence are often fed, in part, by a lack of economic opportunity. This is especially true for communities facing the challenges associated with welcoming home former members of armed groups like the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). When individuals, especially young people and members of other vulnerable groups, struggle to provide for their families, an increased perception of insecurity and scarcity of resources can raise tensions across the whole community. As a result, outbreaks of internal conflict are more likely, which often result in vulnerable members of the community being marginalized, and possibly deciding to engage in armed conflict.
Maurille and his colleagues at Vie et Espoir recognized that one of the most significant barriers to economic growth for young women and men in their community was a lack of skills that could provide an income for themselves and their families. So, with support from Invisible Children, they developed training programs, which are now equipping countless young people throughout their community, including former members of armed groups, with the technical skills they need to make a living. As a mechanics teacher, Maurille is helping young women and men in his community learn to repair everything from the motor in a Toyota Land Cruiser to the milling machines local farmers use to make flour.
Beyond helping to create economic opportunities for their students, the trainings that Maurille and his fellow teachers at Vie et Espoir provide also help to reinforce their sense of worth and belonging within the community. With skills that allows them to play an active role in community life, Vie et Espoir students become more invested in the success and security of the community as a whole.
Maurille alone has trained fourteen students in mechanics who are now using their skills to provide valuable services to their community. Dozens of Vie et Espoir graduates are now mechanics, carpenters, and tailors, and all of them are actively engaged in their own success and the prosperity and safety of their community.
Together with Vie et Espoir and other community leaders, our teams in DR Congo and CAR are helping communities across the region become more resilient and prevent violence. From ensuring that teachers like Maurille have the resources they need to teach their students, to equipping communities with tools that help individuals heal from trauma, to connecting isolated communities into our Early Warning Radio Network, we’re making sure that every family in central Africa has the opportunity to live free from violence and to thrive.
Join us in supporting Maurille and dozens of other local change-makers like him as they work to end violence in their communities. Make a donation or become a monthly donor today.