Friends of the Congo

4,066 Supporters

Background
The Friends of the Congo (FOTC) is a 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt advocacy organization based in Washington, DC. The FOTC was established at the behest of Congolese human rights and grassroots institutions in 2004, to work together to bring about peaceful and lasting change in the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire.

The Friends of the Congo is led by people of African ancestry and others of goodwill. We believe that with strong support from friends of the Congo throughout the globe , the vast human and natural resource potential of the Democratic Republic of Congo can serve as an instrument to meet the enormous needs of the people of Congo and Africa.

Mission
• Work with Congolese institutions from diverse sectors of the society who are working on behalf of and in the interest of the masses of Congolese.
• Provide opportunities to help develop and reconstruct the Congo.
• Work to elevate the quality of life of the people of the Congo and by extension African peoples throughout Africa and the globe.

Vision
The ultimate vision of the FOTC is to see a strong vibrant Congo where the Congolese control their own destiny and utilize their country's vast resources as an engine for their own development and that of Africa and the African diaspora.

Become A Friend of the Congo
BREAK the silence
STOP
the pillaging
PROMOTE Justice
DEFEND the women and children
PROTECT the environment
SUPPORT
the people

You can become a friend of the Congo by visiting our website (www.friendsofthecongo.org) or calling our office at 202-584-6512 or 1-888-584-6510.

Started 2 petitions

Victory
Petitioning Eduardo Castro-Wright, Vice Chairman, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

STOP YOUR OFFENSIVE AND PREJUDICED CONGO AD

On August 9th, 2011, Walmart released an ad for its Back-to-School campaign series titled “Urgent Care.” The video, originally posted on their Walmart YouTube channel, features three teenage boys communicating by smart phone to identify an unknown skin condition. As part of his diagnosis, the boy using Web MD as a medical reference asks the one with symptoms if he has “been in the Congo recently” while simultaneously browsing a page on “Leprosy.” When the answer is “no” he responds: “Okay, well it still might be contagious. I think maybe you should call 911.” The commercial is only 30 seconds long, but, in its brevity, it manages to misinform viewers, entrench negative stereotypes, and endorse a cavalier attitude about the conditions of serious struggle in the Congo. Many mobilizing a global response to this ad. Facebook Group started on August 22 to protest Walmart has already garnered more the 2000 members, most of them Congolese, who are calling the ad an “insult,” “offensive,” and “utterly inappropriate.” The Congolese community is demanding that the corporation take responsibility for this ad by: 1. Remove the “Urgent Care” ad from all forms of media circulation (TV networks, web, etc.), 2. Issue a press release delivering a public apology to the Congolese people about the ad, and 3. Educate and sensitize a.) Walmart's staff (especially the Marketing Department who approved the release of this ad) and b.) Walmart's customers by providing teaching materials that explain the situation in the Congo and what Walmart is doing to practice responsible sourcing as it relates to the Congo’s mineral resources. Eyewitness reports confirm that the commercial has been airing on tv from Houston to New York City, so the problem is not limited to internet exposure. A simple retraction is not likely to satisfy those who recognize the seriousness of such public misinformation. Corporations like Walmart need to understand that the American public will not support companies who promote aggressive forms of ignorance, especially when it comes to an unreported conflict in the world. Congolese and activists everywhere await an official response from Walmart that acknowledges this serious offense and explains how the company will answer demands for taking responsibility.

Friends of the Congo
380 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Secretary of State, US Congress and President of the United States

Secretary of State John Kerry, Help End the Conflict in the Congo

Take Action! Let Secretary of State Kerry know you want US to change its policy in the Congo.The Democratic Republic of the Congo, located in the heart of Africa and vital to the future of the African continent, has experienced the deadliest conflict in the world since World War Two. An estimated six million lives have been lost since 1996 when U.S. allies Rwanda and Uganda first invaded the Congo. Both countries invaded the Congo again in 1998 and continue to sponsor proxy rebel groups inside the Congo resulting in tremendous suffering on the part of the civilian population.Recognizing the destructive role that Rwanda and Uganda have played in the Congo, as Senator, Barack Obama sponsored a bill that was co-sponsored by Senator Hillary Clinton, called the Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security and Democracy Promotion Act, Public Law 109-456. Although the bill was signed into law by President Bush in 2006, very little has been done to implement the law. There is a key provision in Section 105 of that law that if implemented could play a constructive role in addressing the current instability and conflict in the east of Congo, which has displaced over 100,000 Congolese since March.Section 105 says "The Secretary of State is authorized to withhold assistance made available under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.), other than humanitarian, peacekeeping, and counter terrorism assistance, for a foreign country if the Secretary determines that the government of the foreign country is taking actions to destabilize the Democratic Republic of the Congo."  Click here to take action.  

Friends of the Congo
3,686 supporters