(Courtesy Good Deed Day DRC)

In 2015 at an African Regional Conference, Good Deeds Day, was first introduced to Gilbert Mugisho Kakira, the coordinator of the National Coalition of Volunteer Organizations for Sustainable Development (CNVOD). CNVOD is a network that brings together 120 volunteer organizations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The idea of a day of doing good resonated with Kakira. “I immediately fell in love with the ideology of Doing Good to others and to the planet. Since that year, I have discovered the joy of doing good,” he told Goodnet.

What is Good Deeds Day?

Good Deeds Day (GDD) was founded in 2017, in Israel as a day of kindness and volunteering by philanthropist and business woman Shari Arison. It went global in 2011 and today, GDD has united millions of volunteers from 110 countries. GDD 2024 will take place on April 14.

“I believe that if people will think good, speak good and do good, the circles of goodness will grow in the world,” said Arison.

This is the mission that Kakira took to heart when he helped bring GDD to the DRC in 2016. Since then, the number of people who are engaged and mobilized to do good has increased every year, Kakira told Goodnet .

“Indeed, since 2016, several volunteer organizations have joined the GDD each year and we work in a network with these volunteer organizations to spread the good deeds throughout the country with an influence in other neighboring countries,” he said.

How does Good Deeds Day help?

The country, located in the middle of Africa, is rich with natural resources but the people live in dire poverty, according to a report on the Good Deeds  Day website. There is a need for access to clean drinking water, healthcare, electricity, and education.

Due to the long-running political upheaval that is leaving many people displaced and the Covid 19 pandemic, these problems were exacerbated. This is especially true for children and that’s why GDD DRA has been focusing on children for the past three years. Especially for children who are orphaned, former child soldiers, or those living in refugee camps.

In 2023, a GDD program offered breakfast for children who were living in the streets. A street school was also launched for abandoned street kids who do not have access to an education. Volunteer teachers were slated to come from partner schools to give math, reading and writing lessons.

There were also environmental activities, an art competition for young Congolese artists and students, and volunteers building shelters and improving sanitation in refugee camps.

But one inspirational project was the setting up of “Visions for the Future” walls in three districts of the capital city of Kinshasa where people were asked to share their hopes and dreams for the future of the country.

Gearing up for Good Deeds Day 2024

For 2024, the plan is to promote GDD in as many cities and towns as possible, according to Kakira. Through CNVD, the organizers are looking for more support, more collaborations, and more volunteers in order to be able to help as many people as possible. Here are some of the planned activities.

In keeping with the sustainable development goals of the UN, one of the activities planned is cleaning up the Congo River after recent floods in Kinshasha, as well as in Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo. Sanitation workshops and clean-ups will also be held in Kinshasa.

In Goma, in the eastern region of the DRC, a project will help support displaced people living in refugee camps by building shelters and in preparing hot meals for the 300 children who live there.

A peace marathon is being organized in the city of Bukavu and over 2,000 people are expected to participate including the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr Denis Mukwege. This is very meaningful for a year that has seen so many conflicts.
“This year on Good Deeds Day, let’s all amplify the good and illuminate it while emphasizing our unity and our togetherness. Because we are all one,” expressed  Arison.

This article was originally published on Goodnet and appears here with permission.


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