A story from our Founder

I funded the Anti-Corruption Research Center based on a lifelong passion to see DRC institutions more accountable, inclusive, free from corruption and responsive to expectations and aspirations of Congolese citizens.

I was born and raised in Eastern Congo, a region characterized by war and poverty, fostered by endemic corruption. Although I was deeply affected, I was fascinated by the strength and inspiration of young people to find solutions to these most pressing accountability and governance challenges. I felt a powerful sense of responsibility to help these young people. Wanted to give a voice to these extraordinary unsung leaders and share their valuable lessons with the world. At the age of 20, I made a conscious decision to make it my life’s mission.

Since then, I have directly trained over 3,000 young people as community monitors, including in South Kivu, North Kivu and Kinshasa, who together have created and implemented solutions ranging from accessible and clean drinking water, accessible and safe schools, access to education for children at risk of exclusion, to sorting rubbish in urban areas. It can be shown that their work has benefited over a million people through social impact projects created, and through improved services and infrastructure.

Through these experiences, I had the chance to meet hundreds of local champions from the poorest regions of DRC, Nepal, Uganda Burundi and Kenya. I have found that the answers to corruption lie in the participation of young people who live in the environment plagued by corruption. These unsung leaders had implemented solutions to lift their communities out corruption and bad governance. My dream is to bring the unique leadership and successes of these young local heroes to the world’s attention, with the aim of creating an innovative approach for youth participation in building integrity.

And from this passion, the Centre de Recherche sur l’Anti-Corruption was born.

Warm wishes,
Heri Bitamala