30 human rights activists trained in digital security in Lubumbashi and Kisangani

Between September 2017 and June 2018, we conducted a series of digital security training and awareness in two cities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Thanks to the support of the Access Now grants program, a total of up to 30 human rights activists, bloggers, civil society leaders went through our digital security training curriculum.

The training aimed at equipping these civil society leaders on the latest safety tools to support their work and help them keep their privacy in a society where Internet freedom violations are increasingly present. Many of our participants have either seen their online communications intercepted or being questioned for what they have said on social media.

As a preparation for the general elections scheduled to start in December 2018, our training covered topics such as :

  • Email encryption
  • Using secure mobile apps
  • Protecting their online communication platforms through using strong passwords and using password managers
  • Protecting their devices against malwares, viruses, etc
  • Enabling two factor authentication on Gmail as well as on Facebook
  • How to circumvent Internet shutdown by using apps such as VPNs, etc.

Participants in Kisangani and Lubumbashi gathered for a five days training each (between September and December 2017), which was followed by online discussions, encouraging each participant to practice some of the tools and apps they learned. The online discussion also helped participants ask questions to the trainers and receive real time support on troubleshooting issues.

Follow up sessions were then conducted later on in both cities (between January and June 2018) where participants were also introduced to the ICT policy landscape and the Internet governance ecosystem. They were then introduced to the policy making process and had the opportunity to understand the DRC policy landscape.

Arsene talking about ICT Policy in Lubumbashi

As a result of these efforts, participants reported now being cautious about their online security and some shared the following :

« I now know how to create a strong password and how to no longer worry about memorizing it. I am able to use the password manager that best suits me and store all my different passwords for all my online websites and devices », said Costa, a male blogger in Lubumbashi.

« I used to have my laptop available for anyone to use it but after this training, i now know that i should not because anyone can then install surveillance apps in there and be able to track all my work. I also now protect my laptop with strong password », said Judith, a female film maker in Lubumbashi.

« As a medical doctor, i did not know how to best secure my patients data until i discovered that i can create a virtual disk and keep confidential data in there that i can access through cloud from whichever desk i am using », said Querida, a female medical doctor and civil society activist in Kisangani.

At the end of these series of training, we agreed with the participants that everyone who uses the Internet or a computer needs to be introduced to a basic digital security training because we all can be vulnerable somehow. We are therefore look forward to more opportunities to offer these training all over the country so that people can get ready for the upcoming elections.

« Once you are trained, you need your friends and workmates to also be trained so that you are all secured. You cannot start using encrypted emails if your friends with whom you communicate do not. We encourage Rudi International to conduct more of these training in schools, offices so that everyone is aware of potential risks they may face while online », said Junior, a male participant in Lubumbashi.

« But I have personally decided to do my part in training my colleagues and the clients that are coming to learn basics of computing at our training center in Lubumbashi », Junior concluded.

In May 2018, Arsène Tungali, our Executive Director was part of a panel discussing digital security training in Africa at RightsCon 2018 in Toronto, Canada. He had the opportunity to share our perspectives, the challenges we faced as well as best practices that can help other trainers to better conduct their digital security training.

If you want to learn more or partner with us in these efforts, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Rudi Christmas Project 2017

It is that time of the year again when all over the world, people are celebrating the birth of the Son of God among men. This year, we want to remember the birth of Christ as we celebrate Christmas with the children from Rudi Education, their family, and up to 500 more people from their community. Just for a reminder, the large majority of the people we serve are internally displaced persons living in challenging conditions right outside of Goma, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

We delight in bringing joy to this community that has been affected by war and conflict for the longest of the past 23 years. Many of you have contributed from $1 to hundreds of dollars to make this event possible for the past 6 years.

Please join us again today and let’s bring joy and cheer in Lac Vert together by giving right on this page or by going to our Campaign titled Rudi Christmas Outreach on YouCaring.com. Our goal this year is $2,774 for a two-days event reaching out to more than 500 members of the community. Thanks to the contributions of many, we are getting closer to the goal. Please join!

 

Contribution to Rudi Christmas 2017

(The quantity you pick will be multiplied by $10 to compute the total amount of your donation)

$10.00

Encourage A Mother This Year

While the tension is rising once again in the eastern cities and villages of the North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, while news agencies are reporting the crossing into Congo of numerous armed rebels in the this January 2017, while the majority Congolese population continues to live in fear, trauma, and extreme poverty right in the middle of one of the potentially richest countries in the world, a group of young men and women are focusing on what the Lord God gave them to do.

They are volunteering time, energy, and other resources to point a select group of about 10 women and young ladies to the Lord Jesus and the hope He gives while teaching them a skill that would help them provide for themselves and their families.

Through the Encourage Mothers program, Rudi International, a youth-led and Christ focused non-profit organization, is running the second year of Renew Hope. This project is a response to the need of a holistic approach to solving profound and deeply rooted issues among the women and children of Lac Vert, a city where most of the participants in Renew Hope reside. Rudi International partners with Linked Through Love Foundation, a Canadian non-profit organization, to make this project at all possible. Linked Through Love Foundation provides you with a way to give, to join in the work, and to learn some more about the Encourage Mothers project.

Renew Hope consists in classes where the women receive training in sewing skills. These have proven beneficial both to the first group that graduated in 2016 and to the new group that started right after them. Of the first group, Ms. Philomene testifies of her own progress and the confidence gained in one month of training:

When I first came here, everything was hard for me. From using scissors to cutting a piece of tissue, it is a long journey. The month was not too long, now I am proud to present a shirt and a dress I was able to sew. I am thankful to God and to our trainers who are putting in a lot of efforts to help us go through our first steps”.

Philomene is just one of the 10 students who are this year benefiting from the collaboration between Linked Through Love Foundation and Rudi International who are serving Jesus Christ with the immediate goal of “Improving the lives of vulnerable, at risk women by providing them marketable skills they can use to escape the restraints of poverty and/or abusive relationships, providing them independence and an ability to provide for their families.” (LTLF)

Please learn more about the program at Linked Through Love Foundation’s website where you can also choose to sponsor one or more of the women in the program.

Rudi International Year in Review – 2015

“Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” Proverb 31:9
With God’s grace, you have helped us do just that this past year. Let’s walk back to 2015 and count our blessings together!

-Alain Rafiki, Co-Founder & President at Rudi International, non-profit

2015 was a very exciting year for Rudi International.  We are so thankful for your continued support as we strive to make a difference in Goma, DR Congo.  Please read on to catch a few of the highlights from 2015!  We certainly can not contain all of God’s goodness and blessing in one update. So, after reading these highlights, please feel free to check out our website, additional hyperlinks, and our Facebook page for a more in-depth look into our programs.

  • Encourage Mothers
  • Rudi Education
  • Rudi for Women and Girls Online

Please read the entire newsletter here and remember to subscribe to our mailing list so you are first in the know: Rudi International Year in Review – 2015

 

Our Kids Visited the Goma main Harbor

As part of the end of the year activities at Rudi International in December 2015, the children who are part of the Rudi Education program visited the famous Goma harbor on the shores of Lake Kivu in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. Following is a report of this wonderful experience for the children. Our gratitude goes to all of you who supported the end of the year celebrations for these children.

This trip was an innovation since we have never done a trip of this caliber before. We were able to gather 55 of the kids enrolled in the Rudi Education program. Although not everyone was able to attend due to home duties or traveling for the holiday, we still feel it was a great turn out.

It took nearly 3 hours to take the students from Lac Vert to the harbor.  The Rudi International team worked diligently behind the scenes to complete the necessary administrative paperwork and line up the tour guide so it would be a fun learning experience for everyone in attendance. Full report with images available in PDF.

Working for a safer online environment for young people #SID2016

As part of our ICT Programs, Rudi International, non-profit celebrates the Safer Internet Day with the rest of the world as over 100 countries celebrate this day to encourage the safe and responsible use of online technology.

Rudi International agrees with the theme for this year calls you to “Play your part for a better Internet,” where children and the rest of humanity is safe, dignified, respected, and the Lord God honored.

Below is a link from the ITU Blog that shares a SMART way of stay safe on the Internet:

S – Set your limits: beware of sharing your personal information.

M – Meeting online friends offline: take someone else with you that you know and trust to stay safe.

A – Accepting invitations/friendships: there is nothing wrong in declining invitations that you are not sure about.

R – React: if you see something that bothers you, talk to your parents or someone you trust.

T – Tell someone about your concerns: report inappropriate content and behavior to the host of the website or police.

Finally, the ITU also provides a wonderful PDF document that parents can use with their children for educating them and improving their safety both online and offline. Please find the PDF document directly on the ITU website.

Source: Working for a safer online environment for young people #SID2016