Dem. Rep. of Congo, Africa

DRC07 - Community Hope Action Ministry Self-Help Groups: Partnership Reports

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Report Date: August 31, 2022

Update from BHW DRC Partnership Facilitator 

Key Person: Jean-Paul Musubi

Current Situation 

The two Self-Help Groups (SHG's) which includes 50 women who have been assisted to become self-sustaining through the microloan project in Beni town, are all safe despite threatened security and a generally unsafe environment in which they live and do their businesses. They have no option but to carry on as their lives and the lives of their families depend on them continuing to trade.  

Currently, 40% of the beneficiaries have been affected negatively or weakened by the several riots, guns shooting in the town, and by receiving IDPs (Internal Displaced People) fleeing for their safety from the surroundings of Beni town into their households. Almost all families in Beni have received family members because of this insecurity.  

There is one other major issue the local populations of Eastern Congo are facing right now. The local people are fed up with the UN forces (MONUSCO) and there have been several major clashes in major towns including Beni. People have been killed including UN forces. This has given militia the opportunity to become more active and they are taking it.  

It is also noted that the global crises of the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine have had a significant impact on the local economy. People have less money with which to purchase goods for sale. The price of several foodstuffs has sky-rocketed and enforced lockdowns have weakened the SHG activities. These international events and the local instability have caused a slow emergence back to normal as would be expected. Even so, their businesses are still ongoing at the local market, but it is much harder to earn a living and make a profit.  

some hope for the future 

Personal Stories

Charmaine (name changed) is a beneficiary of the project and says: “if it hadn't been for the current troubles, the Ebola virus disease and the Covid pandemic I should already have been able to procure a second-hand motorcycle thanks to the microloan project to extend my business towards strengthening my household economy." Her living has improved, and she was saving.   


Partnership's Influence within the Community

This programme is a lifeline for the women involved and their families. None of them have access to enough funds to establish a small enterprise and they are all very poor, most of them widows with children. The groups they belong to are their friends and peer accountability groups, and where they obtain encouragement and strength. They help each other when they suffer loss, injustice or abuse. These groups are a lifeline for the women and most say they would have given up on living without the group to encourage them.  


Ideas for the Future

BHW is due to send the next amount of funding for this partnership. A participatory vulnerability analysis by our partner CHAM and involving the CHAM team and the beneficiaries’ community has suggested the following ideas for the near future:

1) Strengthening the existing microloan project among the existing SHGs. This will assist some whose enterprises are under pressure for reasons out of their control. 

2) Increasing the number of SHGs. Two new SHGs will be formed to grow the capacity of vulnerable women to improve their livelihoods in Beni. 

3) Launching an agricultural project in the safe areas of Beni town (agro business). This will entail renting a piece of land on which women will be able to grow their own food for personal use and for sale. They will work together on agricultural projects. 

3) Promoting psychosocial support through local evangelical churches in Beni town. This is very important as the churches can provide spiritual and emotional support for the women and their children. 


Current Issues and Challenges

· Sudden increases in the cost of living due to the change at the microeconomic environment which is severely affecting the livelihoods of everyone in the community.

· Safety and security threats due to the anti-UN campaign going on in all the major towns and cities including Beni. 

· Global crises impacting business flows at the local markets. 

· The IDPs flooding into Beni is putting a huge strain on all aspects of life. Families have to take in relatives, people are traumatised, there is less food to go around as it cannot be grown in the areas that people have fled from, children are not going to school, there is an increase in poverty and desperation leading to an upsurge in crime and petty theft. 


Prayer and Praise Points

1) Praise that despite the difficulties the groups are still functioning and there is now some light at the end of the tunnel for them. They have more hope. 

2) That the investment of new funds will see more women and their families involved and blessed. 

3) That there would be a resolution to the UN forces issue and peace would come to this region despite all the obstacles. 



This is a tough place to be involved, therefore it is somewhere we need to be.  

In October I will be visiting Uganda and will meet with Jean-Paul to get more stories and listen to his thinking about the future. He has been living in Uganda for years having fled as a refugee with his family. He is making plans to go back to Beni, but it is proving difficult.