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Legal Scholarship and Internship Project in the DRC

ABA ROLI, through the generous support of private donors, the Isabel Allende Foundation, and Cynthia’s Sisters, has provided legal scholarships to women at the universities of Bukavu, Goma, and Kindu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The program, now in its 12th year, seeks to empower women in eastern DRC and provide them with the skills necessary to both participate and lead in their communities. The program currently supports 16 students across three universities.

In 2023, ABA ROLI increased its focus to providing more than just scholarships—supporting students through internships, the creation of a university library in Goma, and regular learning sessions with former scholars to provide career guidance for those soon to graduate. Students of this program have gone on to become lawyers, government staff, and university faculty members—such as two former graduates who were recently appointed to the faculty of law at the University of Bukavu.

Twelve years ago, the program began with only five beneficiaries, and has since aided 72 women to enroll in law school. At the University of Kindu in Maniema, the program supported 20 female students, 17 of whom have graduated from law school and are now employed in the sector. In their journeys, four ABA ROLI-supported graduates are now retained as assistants at the Law Faculty of the University of Kindu. This achievement is especially significant because the University of Kindu currently has no female professors in the Faculty of Law and previously only employed one woman as Head of Section at the Faculty of Law. The four recipients are Kalume Feza Sylvie, Roda Ndonde Vanelie, Mutulwa Feza Beatrice, and Milambo Anifa Monica.