details

League of Women’s Farmers Organizations in Congo (LOFEPACO), North Kivu

LOFEPACO is a registered NGO with the provincial government.

Location

Butembo, North Kivu province
LOFEPACO covers all the territories of North Kivu.

Sectors of Intervention

Food security; microcredit; sexual violence; education

History

In 2000, eight women’s organizations in the Butembo area formed a league that later became LOFEPACO (Ligue des organisations des femmes paysannes du Congo), to better organize their individual efforts to improve women’s development. LOFEPACO restructured in 2005 and opened an office in Kinshasa, with assistance from VECO Belgium (a Belgian NGO). In 2006, LOFEPACO registered 12 active member associations and established an agricultural cooperative. LOFEPACO has worked with international funders, including Oxfam Novib, Agriterra, and IFDC.

Mission

Promote and protect the interests of women, particularly the interests of peasant women

Objectives

  • Build the managerial and technical capacity of stakeholders
  • Facilitate the exchange of information and create a conducive environment for internal cooperation among members
  • Include women in the process of community development
  • Represent, promote, and defend the general interests of peasant women

Populations Served

LOFEPACO primarily works with women’s groups.

Programs

  • Agro-pastoral support: LOFEPACO provides seeds and microcredit to women’s groups and ensures their technical support through trainings about farming practices and animal breeding. It also facilitates the processing of their products and ensures transportation of those products to the marketplace.
  • Adult literacy: LOFEPACO creates centers to provide literacy training for women.
  • Human rights: LOFEPACO defends and promotes women’s rights through various workshops and exchange forums with local authorities.
  • Sexual violence: LOFEPACO helps female survivors of sexual violence reintegrate socially and economically into their communities.

Governance

The supreme governing body is the general assembly, otherwise known as the “parloir.” The general assembly meets once a year and is made up of 20 members who are delegates from LOFEPACO’s member associations. The general assembly appoints the board of directors and the control commission. The board meets every three months to analyze the organization’s operations and direct the internal politics of the organization. The control commission conducts internal audits and reviews. The organization has 42 staff members, 12 of whom are permanent.

LOFEPACO has bank accounts at BIC and BIAC in Butembo. For financial, administrative, and personnel management, LOFEPACO 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

  • Its own office building and office equipment
  • A committed, professional staff with strong female leadership
  • Strong working relationships and support from donors
  • A strong track record of successful program implementation

Needs

  • Capacity building for its staff
  • Additional staff to conduct monitoring and evaluation of its numerous activities
  • Greater capacity to address the high level of illiteracy among adults

Funders and Budget

In 2011, LOFEPACO’s budget is about $300,000. Funders include Oxfam Novib, VECA Belgique, Agriterra, and IFDC.

Accomplishments

  • Assisted 19,645 women through 12 local organizations with training, microcredit, human rights defense, etc.
  • Trained 13 trainers to conduct community education
  • Created and assisted the establishment of 39 reflection circles in the four territories of North Kivu, in which women discuss issues of importance to them
  • In 2010, distributed 6 tons of rice, 13.6 tons of beans, half a ton of groundnuts, and 134 goats as part of food security and microcredit programs
  • Has a restaurant known as La Parité
  • Initiated an agricultural cooperative that has $30,000 in capital
  • Has an experimental farm
  • Has established machines for the processing of agricultural products
  • Created 37 adult literacy centers

Organizational Vision

Expand its activities and enhance the socioeconomic, political, and professional capacities of women

Project Proposals

  • Institutional capacity building: LOFEPACO aims to build capacity among its staff through training in monitoring and evaluation, logistics, organizational management, and finance. The goal is to improve staff ’s ability to communicate, network, and advocate in order to reach more survivors of sexual violence. Cost: $40,300
  • Strengthening economic capacities of rural women: LOFEPACO will work with rural women in Beni, Butembo, and Lubero to increase their agro-pastoral production and promote the equitable participation of women in business and society through support of improved agricultural techniques and promotion of good business acumen. Cost: $54,510

Contact

Vea Kavira Kahoma, coordinator, +243.997.185.105, and Victorine Nziavake Vasiyanirya, president, +243.997.043.263, lofepacordc@yahoo.fr

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