Glistening with one of the richest deposits of mineral resources, Congo's land brims with potential. It holds an estimated $24 trillion in copper, diamonds, gold, and more than 50% of the world’s coltan and cobalt (used in electronic goods like cellphones).
American consumerism plays a key role in the demand for these minerals, which are mined in perilous conditions, often by children, who are subjected to health risks, armed violence, and hunger. It is a cycle that has been plaguing Congo for centuries.
Despite the wealth of these natural gifts, our people suffer in poverty.
As we are all indirectly contributors to this humanitarian crisis, we have a role to play in reversing it.
A prosperous time with a highly organized monarchy, flourishing agriculture and trade supporting a US-sized region in Africa.
In 300 years, more than 5 million Congolese are enslaved and sent overseas, disbanding the potent empire.
Forced labor enriches Belgium's King Leopold II, who exploits Congo for its valuable rubber and minerals.
International outcry compels Leopold to relinquish Congo into a Belgian colony, yet inhumane practices continue.
Riots demand independence from colonial rule. Mobutu Sese Seko leaves Congo in massive debt. National elections lead to political unrest.
Uganda, Rwanda, neighboring nations, and armed factions fight on Congo soil, fueled by political-economic power struggles.
Fighting does not cease. Global demand for electronics relying on Congo’s minerals generates profits for only the most corrupt, while Congo’s people remain in poverty, suffering from systematic rape, deadly violence, and crippling instability. Until the world takes notice...