CUPRA – Congolese United for Peace and Reconciliation in Australia

ECCQ has been assisting Queensland’s multicultural community associations for over 40 years. The Multicultural Community Sector Development Program helps community associations develop and grow to meet the needs of their community members. 

CUPRA is a Congolese community association working to achieve open conversations about reconciliation and peace building among Congolese people living in Australia through various projects, workshops and events.

Leandre Nkuriza is the President of CUPRA. He arrived in Australia with his wife and children in 2013 and later managed to bring over his sister, nephew and two cousins. Leandre tells us he is very happy and that his children are now studying.

Due to existing conflicts and issues in the community and a desire to bring people together to work out differences, Leandre and some of his friends formed CUPRA and started the process of registration in 2015. In 2016 CUPRA became an incorporated association.

Leandre participated in ECCQ’s Leadership Program to develop his individual leadership skills and was then connected to the Multicultural Community Sector Development Program to assist with developing CUPRA.

‘‘Words cannot express my gratitude for the help I have received from ECCQ,’’ says Leandre.

‘‘We needed to figure out how to write an annual report, apply for public liability, and apply for grants.

‘‘We had a vision of how we should run our organisation but lacked some of the practical knowledge. Without Support from ECCQ we would not have been able to get our organisation going.”

With ECCQ’s assistance, CUPRA was successful in securing a grant from the Ipswich City Council Community Donations Program to conduct a community forum with Congolese community leaders.

‘‘Our recent event was a success. We brought together an array of Congolese community leaders residing in Queensland for a panel discussion to reconcile and bring together all Congolese community members regardless of past and existing conflicts that have separated the Congolese people for decades. They are all ready to help us reach our vision.

‘’In 2020 we will start conflict resolution activities where we invite tribe members and Congolese groups. I think it is time to discuss the problems we have in our home country and to think about how we can solve these problems; to live in peace in this country, and why not, to send a message to our home that we are now united.’’

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