Since more than 20 years, the NGO “Action des Volontaires Unis pour le Développeent et la Santé” (United Volunteers Action for Development and Health, AVUDS), puts man at the center of its actions. Thanks to the support of its local and international partners, the organization is carrying out community empowering activities. In this perspective, it is constructing the Lake Tanganyika fishermen’s cooperative, health and maternity facilities. AVUDS has also initiated more than one hundred mutual support groups known as “mutuelle de solidarité” thanks to which the long-marginalized Twa communities are now living together with the Havu community in the Idjwi Territory. Thus, AVUDS activities are promoting people’s economy.
Challenges of humanity, our major concern
This Congolese organization focuses its actions on the promotion of human economy. With the construction of health centers, AVUDS is addressing challenges faced by humanity. These facilities are seen by the population as a solution to their sufferings since they will no longer have to walk long distances to get to a health center. At Lweba, we met Noella Kazibyo, a woman who had to walk more than 10 kilometers to reach the maternity center when she was to deliver her first child.
“I’m very happy. Before, we had to leave the home and stay at the maternity center until the time of delivery, living far from the family. It was taking more than 10 kilometers to get there on foot. Having this maternity center, relieves us”, she said. She assures that she is ready to support and buy services which will be provided by the center so as to make it sustainable because it will also serve future generations.
Achieving common interest goods, our struggle
The South-Kivu province has got several potentials such as rivers and lakes full of fish, but paradoxically, cases of Kwashiorkor among its population are reported. This is because fishing is always done in an artisanal way and individually. After exchange with the community and the stakeholders, AVUDS has set up mechanisms leading to a solution to these problems. After analysis, a cooperative was created at the request of the communities. With this cooperative, which brings together fishermen from Lake Tanganyika living in Kalemie in the Tanganyika province, fishermen have access to standard fishing equipment and as a result, their incomes have increased.Likewise, ecological fishing kits were given to Lake Kivu fishermen from the Territory of Idjwi. Thanks to this equipment, their production has increased as well.
Meeting human needs, our leitmotif
AVUDS also builds bridges to ease the transportation of people and their goods in different communities. Recently, it built a bridge at Luhihi (40 Km away from Bukavu town) in the territory of Kabre, allowing farmers and traders to conduct well their activities and reach the market easily.Additionally, 100 mutual support groups have been initiated in Kalehe territory, gathering vulnerable women and former combatants who are supporting one another to address socioeconomic difficulties. Thanks to this solidarity at the community level, members of the support groups are improving their income and meet many of their basic needs such as food, schooling, health care, etc.
Man at the center of our action
The activities are carried out to solve community problems with community members and to make sure man is put at the center of any action.It is in this context that the establishment of community fishing has been a social cohesion strategy as it allowed different community come and live together. Today, the Twa people live in harmony with the Havu community. Also, army demobilized youths who were seen by many as thieves are conducting income generating activities thanks to solidarity loans they get from the mutual groups of which their members, they are supporting their family members and they are now living in their communities contributing to the development of their communities and the country in general.
Murhula Nkumbarhi Justin