1) A young girl eats dinner in Beka, an Mbuti (pygmy) village in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mbuti communities in DRC often suffer from the compounding effects of extreme poverty and societal discrimination and exclusion from nearby majority Bantu populations. The village of Beka, with around 60 inhabitants, has engaged with Mavuno through community-driven agriculture and sanitation, and has shown remarkable progress: in the second season of 2016, Beka achieved a 100% repayment rate on their agricultural microloans.
2) A reluctant goat receives an injection of antibiotics during a Mavuno veterinary inspection in Irango, North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mavuno provides a host of technical assistance to farmers in its Grassroots Organizations, aimed at boosting profitability and sustainability in their agricultural businesses
3) A makeshift ferry shuttles goods and vehicles across the Semiliki River after a bridge collapse in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. DRC's infrastructure is famously poor, suffering from government corruption and mismanagement at all levels. Individuals and communities are often left to make up for governmental inadequacy; this ingenious ferry is a prime example.
Mavuno just wrapped up a week long staff retreat reflecting on 2016 and looking ahead to 2017. 2016 was a big year for Mavuno; we expanded from 3 villages with 206 households to 10 villages with 888 households. During the year community members harvested 42 hectares of land, generating 177,005 kg of crops!That’s equal to the weight of nearly 30 elephants! These crops generated $32,900 for families to use for healthcare, school fees, housing improvements, business development, and savings for the future. Over 400 rabbits were born through our livestock program, further contributing to household income. The economic impact has been significant, but the social impact has been even greater. We have seen families strengthened and communities come together. Children are healthier and happier, parents have hope in the future, and individuals believe in their ability to produce change.This is just the beginning; we look forward to partnering with you as we continue to empower local leaders to end extreme poverty in eastern Congo. From all of us at Mavuno, thank you for making 2016 a success!We couldn’t do it without you!
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 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 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.
2016 is off to a great start for our partner communities in eastern Congo. We have now expanded to 3 additional villages, and a fourth is in the works. We are currently partnering with close to 200 households! This expansion happened through organic, village-to-village collaboration. The village of Bunzi has been sharing their success stories with their neighbors, encouraging them to take on the same program that has changed their lives. Spring is a time of planting for our partners and they are collectively cultivating 15 hectares of crops. That equates to about 20 football fields!
They are planting cabbage, tomato, eggplant and corn, all of which will be harvested in the summer and sold at the local market! Keep an eye out for the next report for updates from the harvest and how families are able to invest earnings into education, health, and business development!
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