Report on the training of human rights defenders in Goma DRC by COJESKI Nord Kivu

Report on our first two days human rights training in Goma, North Kivu the Democratic Republic of Congo between COJESKI North Kivu and the United Nations Human Rights Offices in Goma.


The Collective of Youth Organizations for Solidarity in the Democratic Republic of Congo known as COJESKI-DRC, Coordination of North Kivu in collaboration with the United Nations Human Rights Offices organized two days of training in human rights starting Monday October 30th, to Tuesday October 31st 2023.

Background information

Why did we come with this project?

Many factors contributed to the debate about this human rights training including: The confusion among various actors in Goma about who is a human rights defender and who is not, the need to continue documenting human rights violations and engage on strong advocacy, and lastly the existing of various forms of demonstrations which are viewed as violent by some actors in Goma,….

How did the idea start?

While COJESKI North Kivu is making trainings on Human Rights one amongst our key activities, the UN Human Rights Offices organized a meeting where the participants engaged on the issues about demonstrations in Goma. The meeting resolved to have a training which was to be organized by COJESKI North Kivu.

The message about the training was shared in various social media and in total 82 people registered on the list from various organizations, associations, groups and other youth initiatives in Goma and around Goma. Among them only 30 were maintained after the consultations with the UN Human Rights Offices as the starting point. These 30 people are various fields of work for young people, as this was done as a pilot project.


To promote peaceful promotion of the right of free expression in Goma and in North Kivu,

To strengthen the capacity of the existing human rights defenders in Goma and in North Kivu,

To provide participants with skills and knowledge in order to document human rights violations,

To empower participants in advocacy and lobbying in order to ensure human rights are observed in DRC,

Invitations to participants  

Invitations were then sent to the selected people mainly from established organizations and youth initiatives in Goma, because the training did not provide transport and any other eating for the participants.

Consultations meetings

Three (3) consultation meetings took place in order to agree with various groups before the trainings were programmed, the first meeting brought together key youth networks who wanted all their members to participate, the second meeting was with the UN Human Rights Offices and the third was with the trainers in order to come up with key points to focus on during the two days.

The training place:

The training took place at the office of COJESKI-DRC Coordination of North Kivu, in Goma.


Our offices need people to pay transport in order to reach because it is located in the northern periphery of Goma, so those who could not have transport were not able to attend the training,

The office is on the main road and this affected the training with the noise of cars from the roadside,

The toilets were not yet enough and there is a need to ensure that other toilets are functioning for other events,

The time:

The training started generally from 8:30 am up to 1pm,

While the time was fine for most of the participants the challenges were mostly on questions and topics which needed more time, as the participants wanted to continue up to 4pm but which we could not do because this would require to provide lunch for the participants,

The trainers:

The trainers were from the United Nations Mission in DRC Human Rights Officer known as (BCNUDH) and COJESKI North Kivu, who actually organized also the training.

The main challenge is that the trainers were only two yet this required to have at least five trainers, this was because we did not have money for their allowances,

The Participants

Participants were 29 people out of the 30 invited from various youth initiatives around Goma, among the 6 females and 23 males. It was observed that most of the female did not attend because the training was not facilitated.

Topics covered

The topics included: General introductions to Human Rights, Monitoring human rights violations and ethics of human rights defenders.


29 people out of 30 actively participated in the training, the other one person claimed to failed to get money for transport,

The trainers covered what they planned to do during the two days,

The topics where interesting and new to the participants who were happy to get the right information about human rights issues,

There were at least six female among the 13 invited and that was a great move for this training,



The main challenges in this training included the lack of funding in order to cover the preparatory meetings, to circulate invitations and to ensure all those who showered interests were trained,

The training did not provide Tea Breakfast, lunch and transport to the participants, and not even drinking water to people, not even notebooks and not even pens, no projection and other necessities,

The trainings should have been done outside Goma in order to keep people focused,

Way forward

To mobilize funds in order to cover fully the trainings and make them more attractive,

To provide Certificates to participants and work on the effective participation of female, refugee leaders and other marginalized people in the communities,

To organize a whole week training on various human rights issues,

To encourage the participants to create a strong team of human rights defenders in Goma, North Kivu- DRC,


Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos

COJESKI- North Kivu


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