In this evaluation of COVID-19 preventative response programs in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), we aimed to explore community understandings of COVID-19, assess operational successes and challenges of COVID response activities, and identify barriers to practicing COVID-19 preventative behaviors. We interviewed a total of thirty-one community members (n = 16) and programmatic stakeholders (n = 15) (healthcare providers, government officials, and developmental and NGO staff engaged in COVID-19 response) between April and September 2021. Findings suggest that community-informed approaches are needed for effective COVID-19 preventative response programs in South Kivu, DRC. Our study identified successes and challenges in COVID-19 response activities. Future research should assess the effectiveness of integrating preventive programs with COVID-19 vaccination efforts.