25 Sep Updates From The Field
The Project Director, Jean Pierre Jobogo Mirindi, recently returned from visiting the women’s cooperatives in Kafulumaye, Kiwanja and Goma. Distributing funds raised this year from Rangers Legacy USA, the Just Trust and with the help of volunteers Ramelle Kabasele and Emmanuel in the UK.
The Project Director confirmed that PRWOP has provided direct assistance to forty-one beneficiaries during the past year, with indirect benefit being received by their families and community.
- Five additional sewing machines, cloth and thread to expand the sewing initiative in Kiwanja.
- Seeds and tools to expand and diversify the agricultural project in Kafulumaye.
- Micro funding for start-up businesses and raising capital for the women’s group in Goma.
The portion of funds earmarked for the livestock raising initiative for the women’s group in Kanyabayonga has been temporarily postponed due to rebel activities in the northern region making it unsafe to travel but are expected to be distributed in late 2023 when travel is permitted.
Evidence of impact
It was confirmed that all three established livelihood initiatives in the cooperatives visited are ongoing, generating income and are being capably managed by the women.
The five young adults who completed driving school training and catering training in 2020 have all successfully found employment.
From first hand testimonies we established the women are applying their experience to improve their business approaches. For example, the group in Goma have delayed launching a new initiative in favour of seeking training from an experienced local chicken farmer ahead of setting up their own new business venture. The group of women who are growing crops have opted not to transport their produce to market but instead sell it wholesale to buyers from the field, removing the cost and complexities of maintaining a market stall.
Information is gradually being collected on the level of income generation, returnable profit, where the profit has been directed, and the number of persons indirectly benefiting from the initiative’s outcomes. It has been a slow process establishing this kind of quantifiable data as it is not an immediate priority to the beneficiaries, however as the field assistant Busasa becomes more experienced and skilled, and the purpose and value of the data becomes more apparent to the participants, this is expected to improve.
In all groups, the women reported being able to buy food and medicine more easily due to the livelihood initiatives. They are positive about their plans and keen to access additional training. They are working well together.
In between visits the Project Director continues to support the groups by keeping in touch with them by phone, encouraging them to build their endeavours and helping to mediate any differences or uncertainties if they arise.
Collectively, the beneficiaries’ aspirations are to raise sufficient funds to send their children to school, purchase school uniforms and materials, repair housing and build their businesses.
- The women in Kiwanja are seeking permanent premises for their business enterprise.
- The women in Kafulumaye are expanding their crops to include onions as a higher yield and less labour intensive product to add to their range.
- Busasa is exploring options for securing additional land close to another village in the Kahuzi Beiga area to enable another group of widows to commence their own business start-up initiative.
- The Goma women’s group is using the micro-credit to raise core funding for a new venture in chicken farming.
- A new cohort of orphans including four young adult men and one young adult women in Goma have come forward requesting driving school training.
- The women in Ishasha are seeking to start livestock raising with pigs.
- The women in Kanyabayonga are likely to require additional support to recover from the rebel attacks in their area.
During 2023, Renew and PRWOP have also been supporting the development of a new local community agricultural project in Kabari and Katana (South Kivu, Kahuzi Biega region) in the hope that we will be able to build partnerships with that project. Working in collaboration, we are seeking to draw in training and good practice guidance for the beneficiaries on managing soil erosion and developing sustainable agriculture in their region.
Funding permitting, the Project Director will revisit the cooperatives within six months to gather updated evidence on their progress, specifically to improve the data collected on the income being generated to ensure these can become self-sufficient.
We hope that all the friends and supporters of PRWOP will continue to bring hope and support to support the success of the widows and children of park rangers. We are grateful to acknowledge your kindness and generosity.