details

Action Group for Development (GRAD), South Kivu

GRAD is a registered NGO with the provincial and national governments.

Location

Fizi, South Kivu province
Fizi territory

Sectors of Intervention

Rehabilitation of infrastructure; food security; environmental protection; small-business development

History

GRAD (Groupe d’action pour le développement) formed in 2006 on the initiative oflocal action committees (LACs) in the Kenya valley of south Fizi territory. All of the villages in theKenya valley had LACs to discuss community needs and plan programs and projects, but individuallythe LACs lacked the power to attract significant support. GRAD serves as a forum for the LACsto discuss their common needs and take collective action. The LACs decided the development and/or rehabilitation of infrastructure was the most important need in their region. GRAD has thereforefocused on infrastructure development, but it has also worked on food security by distributing seeds,tools, and food in collaboration with a women’s group. GRAD plans its activities in accordance withthe provincial poverty-reduction strategy plans and with awareness of the UN Millennium DevelopmentGoals.

Mission

Mobilize the population of the DRC to work together for the construction of the country

Objectives

  • Create unity for and promotion of social, economic, and cultural progress
  • Implement humanitarian activity
  • Promote education, agriculture, health, and other priorities, as identified by communities
  • Promote sustainable development so the population can realize its full potential
  • Promote local savings schemes
  • Ensure civic education and advocate peace and good governance
  • Promote environmental protection and conservation

Populations Served

Everyone, according to need

Programs

  • Infrastructure development: GRAD has used international funding to construct or rehabilitate transportation, commercial, and social infrastructures in the Fizi area. GRAD has worked on dikes, a port, markets, schools, and a stadium.
  • Food security: GRAD has distributed seeds, tools, and food; however, it sees its infrastructure work as also aiding the cause of food security through increased access to markets, greater security, and economic development.

Governance

The supreme governing body is the general assembly, which meets annually and iscomposed of members of GRAD’s LACs. This structure enables the grassroots players to guide theorganization’s programs and projects. The general assembly selects the board of directors, whichmeets every three months. The LACs meet weekly to discuss their activities and organize motions forconsideration by the board or the general assembly. There are 25 full-time employees and more than350 daily workers employed at any one time in infrastructure and construction jobs.

GRAD has an account with Trust Merchant Bank (TMB) in Bukavu. For financial, administrative,and personnel management, GRAD has:

  • A procedures manual with policies for financial management, hiring and personnel issues, and purchasing policies and procedures: YES, but practices need to be strengthened
  • A computerized accounting system: NO, but it enters data in Excel
  • 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 its grassroots village networks
  • Support, connections, and good relations with authorities at the local, provincial, and national levels
  • A great need in the region for the services GRAD is offering
  • Competent, motivated personnel
  • Access to all the materials needed for the implementation of its projects.

Needs

  • An internal monitoring and evaluation system that is specific to GRAD
  • Better and more regulated internal systems
  • Training for employees in human rights, gender issues, civic education, and other social elements of the work they are undertaking
  • More resources and capabilities to address the vast issues in the region
  • Better working relationships with other organizations in the same sector

Funders and Budget

For 2010, GRAD’s budget was $823,613. GRAD has worked with many international funders, including the WFP, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the Japanese and Italian embassies. GRAD’s current funder is GiZ (formerly GTZ).

Accomplishments

  • Rehabilitated the Alembe Institute in Fizi, which can accommodate 500 students
  • Reconstructed the Bisambo Market in Mboko, a large village on the road between Uvira and Baraka. This has helped increase trade and the economic viability of the area.
  • With funding from the German government ($1 million for one year), is rehabilitating a system of dikes on the Ruzizi Plain. During the colonial era the Belgians built the dikes to control regular flooding of a 10,000-hectare area of the plains, which was used for coffee and cotton plantations. Over time and without maintenance, the dikes had been destroyed and the area was no longer in use.
  • In collaboration with the Ministry of Planning, rehabilitated the Maendeleo Stadium in Baraka
  • Is rehabilitating the port of Baraka, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, to support the town’s fishing industry, and is rehabilitating two markets in Baraka town.

Organizational Vision

Stimulate personal, social, and economic development through rehabilitation of infrastructure

Project Proposals

  • Protection of forests and biodiversity: GRAD seeks funds to address a pressing need to protect forests and biodiversity in Fizi territory. GRAD will facilitate the development of 90 trainers, who will work directly with communities in Fizi territory on resource management education. Cost: $59,000
  • Economic development in Fizi: GRAD proposes the creation of a local industry to make cleaning products. This project will train and equip 500 households to produce antibacterial, bleach, crinoline, and salt cleaning products, which will be sold regionally. Cost: $40,000

Contact

Jules Lwesso, +243.998.675.530, gradfcp@gmail.com

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