details

Hekima , North Kivu

Hekima is a registered NGO with the provincial government and Central Bank of Congo.

Location

Goma, North Kivu province
The areas around Goma (North Kivu), Bukavu (South Kivu), and Kavumu (South Kivu).

Sectors of Intervention

Microfinance

History

In 2003, USAID funded World Relief to start Hekima to improve the microfinance sector in eastern DRC. The catalyst behind this was the need to address the socioeconomic recovery in the DRC and the realization that this would happen faster with a shift from emergency relief to engagement in long-term development activities. Hekima was initiated as a microfinance project for World Relief, but after four years it registered itself as an autonomous organization with authorization to give loans but not act as a bank for voluntary deposits. Hekima started in Goma but has since extended its reach throughout North and South Kivu. Since inception, Hekima has worked with World Relief, KfW, Kiva, the Grameen Foundation, and other international donors.

Mission

Contribute to the holistic transformation of poor people in the DRC

Objectives

  • Reduce household poverty in rural and urban settings
  • Combat unemployment through the promotion of microenterprises
  • Contribute to reconciliation and peaceful cohabitation through the organization of socioeconomic solidarity groups and peace education

Programs

  • Agricultural solidarity groups: Hekima supports groups of women farmers in Kavumu. It trains them on saving and management of their profits.
  • Teachers and nurses: Hekima supports solidarity groups that help teachers and nurses save money from their meager salaries.
  • Community banks: Hekima supports people in the community who wish to begin saving and trains them on saving and management of profits. It is a long-term engagement, during which participants graduate through stages of involvement.

Governance

Hekima’s supreme governing body is the board of directors, which meets quarterly and works in collaboration with the management committee. The management committee is the implementing body for strategies and policies that are developed and approved by the board of directors. The management committee meets once a month or more often if necessary. Hekima is audited externally once a year but does not have an internal controls commission. The majority of its board members are World Relief agents, and the World Relief Corporation monitors its finances closely. Although Hekima is registered autonomously, it still receives significant support and guidance from World Relief. Hekima has 50 staff: 27 are permanent and 23 are on fixed-term contracts.

Hekima has bank accounts at BIC in Goma and Bukavu, and at Cooperative MECREGO in Goma and Bukavu. For financial, administrative, and personnel management, HEKIMA has:

  • A procedures manual with policies for financial management; hiring and personnel issues; and purchasing policies and procedures: YES
  • A computerized accounting system: YES
  • 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

  • Strong ties to World Relief, which lends credibility
  • Services are adapted to the community
  • Personnel are being continuously trained
  • Hekima has calculated the risk of default on loans is low (2 percent).

Needs

  • Better system of staff training
  • Strengthen and diversify agricultural credit services

Funders and Budget

For 2010, Hekima had a budget of $765,289. Its donors for FY2009–2010 were World Relief, KfW, Kiva, the Grameen Foundation, and Triple Jump.

Accomplishments

  • Continual repayment of clients since April 2004
  • In 2010, Hekima loaned $1,241,711 to 13,213 clients.
  • Hekima has fine-tuned its sensitization messaging, and the majority of its clients are from a very low income bracket.

Organizational Vision

Hekima would like to reach a stage where it is operationally independent with efficient staff and innovative products, methods, and services for its clients. It aims to increase its client base from approximately 13,000 to 25,000.

Project Proposals

  • New branch in Uvira: Hekima seeks funding to open a new branch in Uvira, South Kivu, which will serve 3,400 people. Hekima will establish an office and hire 15 staff, including ten loan officers. The total requested includes loan funds. Cost: $1,167,277 (for four years)

Contact

Marcellin Matabishi, director, +243.999.302.912, mmatabishi@hekima-microfinance.org, www.hekima-microfinance.org

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