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Idjwi: Peace haven in DRC's conflict-ridden East

Idjwi: Peace haven in DRC's conflict-ridden East

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The Congolese island of Idjwi is a small natural paradise nestled near Rwanda on Lake Kivu.

It is the only place in the region untouched by armed militia groups, seeking to impose their rule on rural communities.

Luc spent over a decade fighting for justice at the UN on behalf of victims of war crimes committed in the country.

The potential of Idjwi island is enormous. Here, there's no risk of being harassed, or of being bothered by anyone. You climb on the peaks of the island, you are more than 2,500 m high, you have views of Lake Kivu on the Congolese side, views of the Rwandan coast on the other.

Today, with his wife Esperance, he has taken on a new mission: developing ecological and solidarity tourism in the DRC.

“The potential of Idjwi island is enormous. Here, there’s no risk of being harassed, or of being bothered by anyone. You climb on the peaks of the island, you are more than 2,500 m high, you have views of Lake Kivu on the Congolese side, views of the Rwandan coast on the other,” Luc, an Idjwi resident said.

Breath-taking views, and the perfect climate for growing coffee.

Many of Idjwi’s inhabitants make a living through its harvest and production.

But the seclusion, the views, and the harvests come with a drawback: here, there’s no electricity grid.

Power, needed for communication with the outside world, is generated locally on-site.

As modernistaion slowly trickles onto the island, some dream of becoming tour guides, a chance to show off their slice of paradise to eager tourists from around the globe.

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