In the eyes of some, two years is a long time. By the age of two, children are able to say simple sentences of two to four words, follow simple instructions, and some may even be beginning to run. The first two years of Mavuno have gone by like the blink of an eye. And what we are creating and accomplishing on a daily basis far exceeds the abilities of a two year old organization. What we have accomplishged in just two years is, without a doubt, incredible! In October of 2014 our founders, Daniel Myatt and David Masomo found themselves in Beni together for the first time. This being Dan's first time in Congo, but for David it was simply returning home, to the place he had spent most of his life. It was two years ago that Mavuno officially received it's non-profit status in the US. And two years ago, there was tumultous conflict happening in Beni. Mavuno has grown at an amazing rate, but this hasn't changed a thing about the way we work. We sprint every day to reach our goal of erradicating extreme poverty. We spend every waking hour thinking of new, creative, sustainable ways to continue to make a positive impact on the lives of our partners in communities across Eastern Congo. Today, having worked towards our goals for the past two years, we stand closer to achieving them. In just the past year, we increased the number of community partnerships created by 145%. The total area of land harvested by our partners increased by 300% and we have issued over 200 micrloans to our partners so they can begin to form the businesses that will catapult them out of poverty. But there is still a mountain of work to do and millions of people out there that we want to work alongside of to achieve greatness. As Mavuno continues to grow and we continue to work towards achieving our goals, we find ourselves extremely grateful for those who have believed in us and our mission and have supported us thus far, and will continue to do work that makes each of you proud. Extreme poverty can be eradicated in Eastern Congo, we have seen how impactful our work is on the lives of our partners. Together, We Will!
In the past three months our community partners in Congo have been making amazing progress with our livestock programs. Currently, we have 19 households participating in our livestock program raising rabbits. At the start, there were 31 rabbits but in just a short time, an additional 140 have been born! The rabbits are multiplying like, well, rabbits! Each of these rabbits is a mobile asset for a family and an opportunity for increased income and prosperity. Many of our partners in the livestock program are also in the agricultural program. As their crops are harvested and waste and scraps accumulate, they feed them to their rabbits! And, as the rabbits process this food they create fertilizer that improves the agriculture side. The two interwoven systems are sustaining one another. In the future, Mavuno's staff and community partners are looking to expand our livestock program to include goats, chickens and other animals that can create additional income for our partners. Many of our partners are beginning to bring their rabbits to market where they are selling their rabbits for up to $10. The success of our livestock program thus far gives us and our community partners great hope for the possibilities of the future. Together, we are building a more prosperous eastern Congo.
Aug 24, 2016
How Social Enterprise Changes Lives in Congo
By Conner Swan - Office Manager
In the recent past the term "Social Enterprise" has been en vogue as many corporations and organizations worldwide have shifted this term into their vernacular. But what does Social Enterprise mean? The 'By the Book' definition of Social Enterprise is an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being as well as maximizing social impact alongside profit for external stakeholders. But what does Social Enterprise mean for Mavuno and for our partner communities in Congo? We at Mavuno believe that social enterprise creates an avenue by which our partners can create their own opportunities to thrive and unlock their vast human potential. Instead of working off of the old models of aid disbursal and relief efforts, we are providing our partners with the framework and resources to define their own future through their own businesses. The grand vision of Mavuno is to create Mavuno Enterprises, a model which will create, promote and develop Congolese businesses by the Congolese for the Congolese. It is businesses like this, businesses in which our partners have a sense of ownership, responsibility and pride, that will succeed, thrive and break the barriers of poverty towards prosperity. Currently, our Director of Enterprise Kirtika Singh is on-site in the Congo working to build this framework. As we have always done, she is there listening and observing the members of our partner communities learning about what kinds of businesses people are interested in building and creating the best framework for developing them moving forward. Over the coming weeks, Kirtika and the rest of our Enterprise Team will be working tirelessly to build Mavuno Enterprises and create the framework that will allow all of our partners to thrive. Stay tuned for more updates on the progress being made by Mavuno and the amazing work of our partners in Congo! Visit us at www.mavuno.org to learn more about our work.