Social Action: Investing in Small Businesses26th September 2016

EN: Young people from The Congo Tree started a new social action project in Goma last month with the aim to help and give hope to mothers living with HIV. The project, called “Tushikane Mkono Tulishe Watato Wa Ma PVV”, translates as ‘United hand in hand to feed the children of those living with HIV’. In general, women who have HIV here in DRC, as in many other places, are discriminated and marginalised by society, leaving them to live in constant insecurity and difficulty: this has a heavy impact on their children. The project aims to support the small businesses of women who are living with HIV: women who are already known by the Nutritional Centre in Birere due to their involvement with a programme that helps them improve their way of life and decrease the malnutrition of their children.2

As with all projects that The Congo Tree supports, the maximum that can be awarded is $100. The group decided that the best use of the money was to help 5 women who would each receive $20 to build a small business of their choice; be it selling cornflour, waffles or even chapatti. The women who were chosen to benefit already had a small commercial activity and the additional $20 enabled them to strengthen their business.

This money was given as a loan, and would then be paid back after a year with a 4% interest rate each week which is about 40p. The group devised a long term plan which allowed them to then reinvest this money into another group of women, increasing the number of women supported by 1 each time. So next year they will help 6 women, meaning that in 5 years time, 35 women will be benefiting from this project.

On the 7th September 2016, this project was launched from the Nutritional Centre in Birere and 5 ladies have benefited from it: One is selling doughnuts called mandazi, another is selling cooked corn, one is selling milk and two are selling tomatoes. The group will be checking in with the women on a regular basis to see how things are going!


1FR: Un nouveau projet social a commencé pour nourrir les enfants des PVV (Personnes vivantes avec le VIH Sida). L’objectif de ce projet est de soutenir les petits commerces des femmes PVV encadré par le centre nutritionnel de Birere pour améliorer leur condition de vie.

Etant limité financièrement le groupe avait décidé de venir d’abord en aide à 5 femmes, dont chacune aura 20$ à utiliser pour un petite commerce de son choix. Elles seront redevables car elles auront l’obligation de rembourser le groupe ce $20 avec l’intérêt de $4 apres une année (soit un équivalent de 500 Francs Congolais) chaque semaine.

En date du 7 septembre ce groupe a eu á lancer officiellement cette activité et 5 personnes ont pu bénéficier. Chaque an, l’argent sera investir dans une autre groupe des femmes, augmentant par 1 chaque fois. Donc par la fin de 5 ans, 35 femmes seront aidés par ce projet. Une femme est vendeuse de beigner; une est vendeuse de maïs, une est vendeuse du lait, et deux vendeuse de tomate.