In previous generations in Democratic Republic of Congo, dowries were often livestock or home furnishings. But today, prospective fathers-in-law are asking for smartphones, televisions and motorcycles, and would-be grooms are wondering how to pay for it all.
Unmarried women say access to birth control has declined significantly here. Unlikely to receive contraceptives at a hospital or clinic, single women turn to pharmacies, where expired or fake birth control is taking a toll on their health.
The Congo Wars, which devastated Democratic Republic of the Congo in the late 1990s, continue to affect citizens’ access to civil services and their ability to register for birth certificates. Now, humanitarian organizations are encouraging citizens to register by raising awareness about just how much that document can do.
Wherever you turn in the city of Kisangani, you’ll find makeshift eateries where hunger is economically satisfied – and diseases like typhoid fever may lie in wait. One health official states that none of these establishments in Kisangani meets hygiene standards, and many operate without officials’ knowledge.
In Lubero, DRC, rampant violence and economic hardship have made health care even more essential, but an average annual income of less than $400 puts health insurance out of reach for most. Now, a mutual aid fund hopes to change that by harnessing the country’s communal spirit.
Tobacco is one of DRC’s most valuable agricultural exports, and traditional healers there often tell patients to sniff tobacco as a remedy for common health problems. But sniffing tobacco carries many of the same deadly health risks as smoking tobacco, and addiction to snuff is on the rise.
The terrain around Hutwe, a village in DRC’s North Kivu province, has long been rich and fertile, but armed violence there in the 1990s and 2000s isolated the area. Now, the violence has abated, and a cooperative is helping farmers process and sell their high-quality coffee.