Congo, Democratic Republic of
Guides de la République Démocratique du Congo
Number of Girl Guides in 2018
Development of the Movement
Guiding was introduced to DRC by Catholic and Protestant Missionaries as early as 1928.
The first official unit was opened in Elisabethville in 1937 and Guiding quickly spread to other towns and rural areas. In 1950, Lady Baden-Powell visited DRC and met Guides and Leaders in Leopoldville. In 1963, Leslie Whateley, the former Director, World Bureau, visited DRC to assist the country in its preparation for Membership of the World Association. L’ Association des Guides du Zaire was accepted into Associate Membership at the 21st World Conference held in June 1972. Five months after acceptance into Membership, the then government banned all youth organisations and created one youth movement under the government. Guiding was restarted in 1991, 23 years after suppression. Between 1992 and 2007 the Association has been rebuilding itself with support from the Africa Region. Today Guiding can be found in schools, cultural meeting places, parishes, other religious groupings and structures where there are youth activities. The activities offered through Guiding give girls and young women an opportunity for self-development as well as responding to the needs of their immediate communities.
Guiding in DRC has made tremendous efforts in relaunching Guiding in the country. Today there is Guiding in nine of 11 provinces in DRC, two more provinces than in 2005. Members are recruited through schools, churches, the Salvation Army and Kibanguistes. Some girls are Muslims recruited through community-based Guiding. Former Guides were recruited to assist in publicising and supporting the Guide Movement (in Kasai Occidental and Lukala). The total number of 7,784 (census 2006-2007) is still a low figure compared to the total female youth in DRC, but this number shows a steady increase for the last two years. The bigger challenge for the Association is to ensure that there are both financial and human resources to support the growth.