Marie-Ange Bunga, a graduating M.P.A./M.C. student at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), has started the Congo Initiative at Harvard, a student organization aiming to increase awareness about the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“The scramble for minerals in eastern Congo is the crux of this tragedy,” she says. “These minerals, used to produce cell phones and computers in the U.S. and elsewhere, is fueling the conflict.”

Bunga and advocates are pressing for passage of the bipartisan Congo Conflict Minerals Act and the Congo Relief, Security and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006. They’re also urging the appointment of a U.S. special envoy for Congo.

“We urgently need help from people with interest in the Congo, its politics and economy, and the issues related to its mineral resources,” says Bunga, who collaborated with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Harvard Defense Against Genocide, and the Human Rights Center at HKS, and sought connections with other universities.

Though graduating, Bunga is hopeful her legacy will live on in the capable hands of more concerned students. To express your interest or learn more about issues in the Congo, contact harvardcongoinitiative@gmail.com.

David Rockefeller International Experience Grants Program