details

The Union Savings and Credit Collective (COOPEC Muungano), South Kivu

COOPEC Muungano is a registered NGO with the Uvira territorial government.

Location

Luvungi, South Kivu province
Walungu territory

Sectors of Intervention

Microfinance; community development

History

COOPEC (Coopérative d’épargne et de crédit) Muungano was started in 2009 by a groupof local people who identified a lack of savings as one of the reasons for the perpetuation of povertyin Uvira territory. Before starting the cooperative, the group commissioned a study that showed howlow income and lack of disposable income were hindering economic development. The cooperative started with 30 members, each of whom contributed $150 ($4,500 total). With this money COOPECMuungano offered loans at low interest rates and educated the local population on how savings andinterest can be used to build up the local economy. Currently, the cooperative has assets of $24,228.As a financial service, they have modeled themselves on the BCC (Central Bank of Congo).However, they are fully social in their ideology, and although they are a profit-making institution,they are not beholden to shareholders.

Mission

Promote the socioeconomic well-being of the population through access to savings and credit services

Objectives

  • Promote a spirit of solidarity, mutual cohesion, and support among the members
  • Encourage, support, and promote local development initiatives started for the benefit of the population
  • Promote an attitude of self-reliance and self-sufficiency among the members and in the general population by endorsing savings and rotating credit

Populations Served

Rural populations in Walungu territory

Programs

  • Poverty eradication through loans: This program acts as a microfinance service, offering loans that especially support vulnerable women and women’s initiatives. The program’s strategic plan includes favoring women who are commercializing their food production.
  • Sensitization on savings: This program looks to promote the basic ideas behind the utilization and value of savings. It works with small businesses, vendors, and COOPEC clients and their contacts to introduce and explain how to use this financial service to their benefit.

Governance

The supreme governing body is the general assembly, which consists of all payingmembers of the cooperative. The general assembly meets annually and decides the internal and externalpolicies of the cooperative. The general assembly selects the board of directors, which designatesthe director of the cooperative, oversees its management, and decides where the cooperative will investits money (the final decision is taken by the general assembly). The cooperative also has a creditcommission, which does credit checks and makes recommendations on loans. Decisions of the creditcommission must be unanimous, but the commission only makes recommendations, which mustthen be approved by the board of directors. The controls commission (also called the surveillancecouncil) monitors the internal finances and functioning of the cooperative. COOPEC Muunganohas five full-time employees, including two financial officers and two rural-development experts.

COOPEC Muungano is in the process of opening a bank account with BIAC in Bukavu.For financial, administrative, and personnel management, the cooperative has:

  • A procedures manual with policies for financial management, hiring and personnel issues, and purchasing policies and procedures: YES
  • 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

  • Founding members who are economically active in the community
  • Owns a safe
  • An increasing rate of savings
  • The trust of the authorities and the local population

Needs

  • An accounting system relevant to microfinance
  • Institutional and organizational capacity building
  • Increased resources to access more of the population
  • Training for all management bodies within the organization

Funders and Budget

COOPEC Muungano is funded by the 243 members of the organization and has current assets of $24,228.

Accomplishments

  • Grew the cooperative’s assets from $4,500 to $24,228 in just one and a half years
  • Grew the cooperative’s members from 30 to 243 in just one and a half years

Organizational Vision

Improve the individual and collective socioeconomic situation in the region

Project Proposals

  • Building institutional capacity: COOPEC Muungano seeks funds to provide training for its staff and governance bodies on financial and administrative management. It will also purchase new office equipment such as computers and printers to improve the cooperative’s administration. Cost: $25,000
  • Construction of a secure building: The cooperative currently rents an office that is inadequate for its needs and security. COOPEC Muungano would like to construct and outfit a new building in Luvungi to better function and serve the community. Cost: $68,000
  • Extension of microcredit: COOPEC Muungano seeks funds to enable it to expand microcredit access to 1,500 households organized into 105 associations in Kamanyola, Luvungi, and the Ruzizi Plain. Cost: $98,000

Contact

René Shebuka Katwambeba, +243.994.930.948, +243.995.679.731, coopecmuunganoluvungi@yahoo.fr

Return to List