Beni, the provincial capital of the Northern Kivu region in the Congo resembles a beleaguered city. While the city centre is secured by the presence of UN peacekeeping troops and the Congolese Army, the outlying districts of the city and the hinterland are a death zone to which lives are lost daily. It is the women and children in particular who fall victim to the rebels. More and more people are fleeing from their fields to Beni. Currently the UN estimates that 20,000 people have fled. The consequences for the refugees are hard, but the whole region is also suffering at the hands of the situation.
Women of Hope
Around 20,000 women and children fled from the violence of rebels to Beni (Congo). The project supports Women’s Self-Help groups to open businesses with the aid of small loans. From the repayment of the loans further women are also supported.
Women of Hope
Dolsys e.V. was founded in 2007 by Hartmut Hofman in Wetzlar and helps people in need in Africa and Germany. The main principle is "helping people to help themselves" by utilising sustainable approaches.
Ziel des Projektpartners
The aim is to help Women’s Self-Help Groups of 60 women per group to support the start-up of small street businesses. The start capital is given in the form of a small loan, the repayment of which (until now 98% of loans have been paid back) is then used for the benefit of supporting other women.
Ziel der BeA-Stiftung
Opening a further Self-Help Group of 60 women, who will each received USD 150 in start-up aid.
Escape from the Rebels
However there are signs of hope. As is frequently the case, it is the women who are taking their fate in to their own hands to help their children. Numerous Women’s Self-Help Groups have sprung up in which women come together and develop ideas about how they can create income and become independent from the help of their relatives. The women are well organised with elected leaders and clear rules. All of the decisions are made together. Decisions are discussed before they are made and arguments are shared. Ideas are only implemented when they are supported by the majority.
Donations don't just help once
Together with our partner on the ground CHAM (Community Hope Action Ministry) we are supporting multiple Women’s Self-Help Groups in the Beni region. The Women’s Self-Help group selects 60 women who receive a small loan to open a business and earn a livelihood. This loan is paid back by the borrower and flows back in to the finances of the Women’s Self-Help Group. The group can then select the people to form a new Women’s Self-Help group who then receive the funds from the repaid loan. Through this method a donation doesn’t just help once, it helps time and again and as a result has a bigger impact. People have a reason to live again and can look after themselves and their families, they can eat until they are full and buy clothes, organise the most basic needs and do it in a way that is self-determined and confident. Through the support of the Women’s Self-Help Group when they are choosing their business idea and borrower, the risk is minimised and the repayment quota is increased. Experience demonstrates that more than 98% of the loaned resources flow back in to the project.