details

Woman Stand Up! (Mama Amka), Maniema

Mama Amka is a registered NGO with the provincial government.

Location

Kasongo, Maniema province
The Kasongo and Lusangi health zones of Maniema province

Sectors of Intervention

Food security; gender and justice (sexual violence); small-business development

History

Mama Amka started in 1996 during the first DRC war, when already difficult living conditions in the Kasongo area became even worse. In particular, women had difficulty taking care of their gardens and families, compounding hardships in this rural area. Eight women started Mama Amka to create activities for women that would keep them occupied, give them a reason to assemble and talk, and provide them with training that would enable them to help themselves and their families. At the beginning, Mama Amka was open only to women and women’s groups; however, since 2005 men have been allowed to join the group to expand its reach and influence. Mama Amka currently has 22 grassroots member organizations in the Kasongo area. Mama Amka has worked with many local, national, and international partners, including CARE International, Caritas, HEAL Africa, UNDP, Concern, RAFDEKA (Network of Women’s Associations for Development in Kasongo), and RAPPER (Network of Associations for the Protection and Promotion of Children). Mama Amka currently works with another Maniema group—UWAKI—in the campaign “We Can,” launched by UNICEF to fight sexual violence toward girls.

Mission

Enable women in villages and rural areas to express themselves, and teach them ways to improve their socioeconomic conditions

Objectives

  • Improve the living conditions of women and children
  • Create a social space that gives its members the opportunity to come together and reflect on various issues that affect the life of the community
  • Educate women about their legal rights and responsibilities
  • Promote and encourage people to invest in agro-pastoral activities
  • Give women the opportunity to learn professional skills

Populations Served

Mama Amka primarily targets women and children, although it indirectly serves the entire population in its areas of operation.

Programs

  • Income-generating activities: Mama Amka provides women and women’s groups with training on managing small businesses and loans to enable women to start or improve small businesses.
  • Food security: Mama Amka provides tools and seeds to its member groups. Mama Amka also processes groundnuts and makes peanut butter, which it sells, with profits shared by the women involved and the organization.
  • Gender and justice: Mama Amka conducts trainings to sensitize communities about sexual violence and women’s rights.

Governance

The supreme legal authority is the general assembly, which meets at the end of every year. The general assembly sets general guidelines for programs and administration, and elects members of a board of directors. The board guides the strategic development of the organization and meets every three months. An executive committee of the board coordinates all hiring of staff and manages personnel issues. Mama Amka has seven permanent staff and six part-time staff.

Mama Amka has an account with the financial cooperative CADECO in Kindu. For financial, administrative, and personnel management, Mama Amka has:

  • A procedures manual with policies for financial management; hiring and personnel issues; and purchasing policies and procedures: NO, but it has a less structured guide developed by CARE International.
  • A computerized accounting system: NO
  • A clearly defined accounting process: YES
  • Clear procedures for management of payroll, petty cash, procurement, and disbursements: YES
  • Staff with the technical expertise to undertake projects: YES

Strengths

  • Members who are unified and committed to their work
  • Its own sources of revenue
  • Well connected to local civil society and various government agencies and donors
  • Strong community support, and support from donors

Needs

  • Capacity building, especially in finance and management
  • Institutional support for administration and logistics
  • Greater financial support for programs and activities

Funders and Budget

Mama Amka’s annual budget is approximately $20,000. Funders include CARE International and Caritas.

Accomplishments

  • Has 67 goats and 220 chickens that it provides to women as part of a rotating credit program; it also uses sales of animals as a source of revenue
  • Conducted community trainings on good governance and used the radio to publicize information about the law on gender-based violence
  • Used media space to disseminate the law about gender-based violence
  • Provided microcredit to more than 250 women
  • Constructed a women’s maternity in Lupai (15 kilometers/9 miles from Kasongo)
  • Runs five adult education centers

Organizational Vision

Eradicate ignorance among women and eliminate hygienic diseases and poor eating habits in the community

Project Proposals

  • Capacity building for good governance: This project will train female community leaders so that women take a greater role in the management of public affairs, and encourage women to become involved in the electoral process. Cost: $6,325
  • Income-generating project: This project will train women to become bakers and to establish bakeries in their communities. Upon completion of a training program, Mama Amka will provide each woman with a start-up kit to enable her to launch a business. Cost: $6,413
  • Microcredit project: Mama Amka will provide microcredit to women and women’s groups it has worked with in the past who have demonstrated success and achievement using microcredit. This will enable already successful women and businesses to grow. Cost: $56,000

Contact

Mama Marie, coordinator, +243.812.473.229, +243.991.744.236, agathe.amka@yahoo.fr

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