Empowering Communities to Build Businesses in DRC

by Mavuno Vetted since 2015


Mavuno mobilizes communities to create their own business solutions to the problems of extreme poverty. We often start with agriculture, given the market demand and immediate need for food security. Mavuno organizes communities, provides basic inputs, and supports activities with technical training. Last season, Mavuno partnered with 206 households. They harvested 17 hectares of land,cultivating over 60,000kg of crops, 88% of which have been sold at local markets generating over $13,000.

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Eastern Congo is home to the world's deadliest conflict since World War II, claiming over 5.4 million lives. In 2011, DRC was ranked the least developed country in the world. Extreme poverty, malnutrition, infant mortality, and lack of education are a way of live. Rebel groups continue to terrorize communities, and the cycle of poverty and violence persists, limiting opportunities for employment or economic development. Many Congolese say they feel hopeless and see a future with no opportunity.


Mavuno's process is designed to place local interests and ingenuity at the center of a community's development. Organizing communities and building capacity of local leaders is key to Mavuno's approach, allowing for long-term sustainability. Mavuno not only provides the basic inputs and technical training needed, but also the structures through which communities can work together and effectively address needs.

Long-Term Impact

Mavuno's theory of change states that this combination of human and economic develop leads to ending extreme poverty. Communities become more cohesive and resilient. Individuals have increased knowledge, capacity, and belief in their ability to produce change. Income generated from businesses is invested in education, health, sanitation, housing improvements, and savings in the event of setbacks.


Mavuno Web site
Mavuno's Facebook Page

Organization Information


Location: Seattle, Washington - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.mavuno.org
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @mavunocongo
Project Leader:
Sarah Sommerkamp
Seattle, WA United States

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