Dem. Rep. of Congo, Africa

DRC08 - ACLUP Tuungane Project : Partnership Reports

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Report Date: May 13, 2022

Report from BHW DRC Partnership Facilitator

Recent Events


Over the past year ACLUP has carried out a lot of activities related to the loan programme. This included visiting the beneficiaries to encourage them, carrying out further training, hearing their stories, distributing funds, and collecting repayments. 

As is the custom, at the end of a period they organize ceremonies to celebrate their achievements. During the ceremonies the members of the programme present their projects to the group and pray for each other. Then the women are presented with a wrap-around dress. 

This work is ongoing, and the team are constantly on the move around the groups. 


grown capitalPersonal Stories 

Christine Faida Matabishi

Christine is 32 years old and is married with five children. She is a fervent servant of the church where she participates in crusades and meetings of the mothers of the church. She manages quite well to raise her children. She is now selling yams and sweet potatoes. At the beginning, when ACLUP first gave her the capital, she received a sum of US$50 and bought a bag of sugar and some other miscellaneous items. Within nine months Christine has now realized a capital of US$100 and works hard so that she can continue to grow her capital.


Annonciate M'Mkobojoka

sells small fishMrs Annonciate was born in 1978 in Kalonge. She is married to Pastor Jean Pierre Bisimwa. This couple has had 19 children but unfortunately nine have died. She has led a very difficult life since her husband is a servant in the church and, as with all churches in the DR Congo, there is no salary.

Mrs Annonciate started by selling agri-food products that she collected in her field. After some years she heard about ACLUP through Paulin who came to preach the gospel in her area of Kalonge. She quickly became interested in the offer to have a loan of $50. With this sum, she began the trade of frettins (small fish). So, she left Kalonge and travelled 95 km on foot to the city of Bukavu because there were no roads or vehicles. With her goods on her back, she managed to sell her products and return to town the following week. Mrs Annonciate manages to pay school fees for her children and provide them with food because she finds the hand of God in everything she does. Today, this lady has a capital of US$120 from the US$50 that she received from ACLUP. She is so thankful to ACLUP for pulling her out of the hole. 


six childrenMoseka Bujiriri

Madame Moseka was born in Bukavu in 1975. She is the mother of six children, two boys and four girls. This woman has been a member of ACLUP since 2019. Initially, within ACLUP she saved money and said that this money had been used to buy a plot for her children.

After she got the plot of land, she was not able to manage life well because all her financial means were exhausted. She therefore got a loan and with the credit given to her by ACLUP she was able to start a small hair salon. From this she is now able to earn enough to provide bread for the children and also pay their school fees. She is a woman who knows how to work hard and generate money. Today she has capital of US$150 but she would like to borrow more to grow her business further so she can become fully financially independent.


Partnership's Influence within the Community

ACLUP has become a large church in the middle of the village. From out of this church has emerged a Christian NGO organization which is much appreciated by the population, especially since ACLUP is very involved in the collection and supply of drinking water (DRC08a). They write, "today we have many requests that require our intervention, many more than we can say yes to."

Apart from that, ACLUP has many members who need to be helped to have capital for trade, the purchase of cattle, seeds for cultivation etc.  


Plans for the Future 

The ACLUP people are not short of ideas. Their dream is to serve more women involved in the project and in the community. Here is what they would love to do, and these are the people and the ways they would like to serve them:

1) There are many women who are "petty cross border traders" who carry out trade between the DRC and Rwanda. There are more than 250 of these women today in their network and they are asking for help from ACLUP to strengthen their capital.

2) As well as these women, there are many who need capacity building to enable them to better keep the capital that is offered to them. Paulin writes, "... as I mentioned, we have 11 beneficiaries who are in trouble, no longer managing to repay as they should. There are also three who have changed their residences and fled away. ACLUP would like to:
a) build their capacity (all beneficiaries) on fund management;
b) create village savings and loan associations (VSLAE) and train them;
c) connect them with the banking system to prevent them from losing their money (subscribe them to telecos that ensure transactions in sim cards);
d) train women on sexual rights, health and reproduction so that, with family planning methods, they manage to properly plan births. Bringing 19 children into the world is a disaster for a family; e) set up a legal clinic (with at least two lawyers hired and paid by ACLUP) to help follow up on the complaints of these women who are most often victims of police harassment in different local markets."

As you can see, the needs are great, as is the vision. 


Current Issues and Challenges

There are several challenges at present:
Most of the beneficiaries have large families to care for and this puts great strain on their time and the amounts they are able to earn. The temptation is always to use capital for their costs and in emergencies.

There are currently 60 beneficiaries in the programme, but most have less than US$100 and it is difficult to increase that from their businesses. The small amount of funds currently available is an issue. 

The pressures of COVID on businesses has had a major impact on everyone in the programme. There are currently 11 members who are struggling to repay their loans and there is a high probability they will not be able to repay. This places great strain on the others in the programme. 

Those who manage the programme face several challenges but the major one is travelling to visit the beneficiary groups. ACLUP doesn't have its own vehicle and they use a lot of money for transport. Villages like Kalonge, Katana, Kabare are not easy to reach, especially in the rainy season. 

Along with that, as they do not have funds to well support their staff, there is always the temptation that funds may be misused on real needs. 


Prayer and Praise Points

Please pray that ACLUP church will be able to serve their community better and model a very different way of reaching into the lives of people by ministering to their whole needs. There are too many needs in the community and even a large church can help only a few people. They write, "we really need prayer that the Lord may grant us the means possible in order to serve his nation."



These guys are doing a good job in trying circumstances. I would suggest the following:
1) We add 10% to the regular amount of US$2,000 twice per year to cover bank fees at that end.

2) We add US$1,000 from the COVID fund to the US$2,000 we are due to send at the end of June to help with the issues faced and the businesses that failed due to Covid.  

3) The BHW facilitator is planning to meet Paulin and some of the key people in July 2022 in Rwanda. From there another report will be done with some more clarity about the best way forward. There is the constant issue of not enough capital and too many people. Without a large dump of money into this it will be hard to grow I feel. At the moment the capital being inserted is not keeping up with inflation and the losses due to Covid.