SLDP: Uvira

Democratic Republic of Congo

Sustainable Livelihood Development Program (SLDP) is being implemented in Uvira area of the South-Kivu province of Democratic Republic of Congo to create new livelihood opportunities. SOCEO is working as the consultant to the implementation of the project offering all-round support to the Congolese implementing partner OPDE. The project is funded by ChildFund Deutschland and Hand in Hand-Fond.

Uvira

Uvira is the district town of South-Kivu, a province of Democratic Republic of Congo. The area has been an epicentre of the Congolese wars in 1996-1997 and 1998-2003, which highly affected the lives of 10 million people in Eastern Congo. Limited by poor infrastructure, inhabitants also face challenges in terms of availability of quality educational or health facilities. The opportunity for a sustainable livelihood is very limited in the area. There is no real scope of industrial or commercial employment. Agriculture provides livelihood and escape from hunger for 95% of the population. However, problems such as lack of electricity, lower productivity, over exploitation, pests, etc. negatively affect the agricultural income from time to time. Therefore, development of alternative sources of livelihood is an imperative for the area.

The project and its objectives

In the post-war process, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programs aimed at supporting the re-integration of armed men and women into civil life, but have not eliminated armed conflicts, tensions and poverty from the area. Young men and women afflicted as soldiers, orphans and victims have to be given the opportunity to integrate themselves in society and to find opportunities for escaping poverty through sustainable livelihood.

Sustainable Livelihood Development Program (SLDP) is being implemented in Congo since 2016. The project was conceived through an “estimation study” conducted by SOCEO in 2015. The study shaped the strategy and implementation milestones of the project. Under the activities of the project, six selected local youths have been trained as ‘Trainers’ & ‘Mentors’ by SOCEO in the initial “Training of the Trainer (ToT)”, which took place in early 2016.

Since the ToT, two groups of 30 local youth, selected through selection tests and interviews are participating in entrepreneurship trainings under the local trainers and mentors every year. The Entrepreneurship Training takes three weeks of time and includes topics such as business ideation, creativity techniques, market research, developing a business model and writing of a business plan. Following the Entrepreneurship Training, participants with excellent business plans are awarded with seed funding to foster the planned initiatives.

One of the important aspects of SLDP is its focus on sustainability and ownership. As a part of its strategy, SLDP aims to empower the community to take over the ownership of community-based entrepreneurship development. In Uvira, the same has been targeted with the creation of the ‘Business Forum’, a community based organisation (CBO) of the entrepreneurs for the entrepreneurs, working for counselling, peer-learning, troubleshooting and start-up funding. It is a space that binds the likeminded, entrepreneurial local youth together in their journey as a closely-knit group.

SOCEO monitors the entrepreneurship trainings through remote guidance over the internet and scheduled visits to Congo. Wherever SOCEO is involved as consulting partner in the implementation of a project, it works closely with the local partner to ensure the sustainability of the initiative and to profit from local know-how.

To know more about SLDP in Congo, please contact us.

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