Uplifting of Women of South Kivu (LDF), South Kivu

LDF is a registered NGO with the provincial government.


Walungu, South Kivu province
Walungu territory and Bukavu town. In its 2011–15 strategy, LDF states its intention to move into North Kivu (Goma town and Masisi territory).

Sectors of Intervention

Human rights; education; vulnerable youths; microcredit


LDF (Levain des femmes de Sud-Kivu) started in 2005 as a response to the hardshipsfaced by women in South Kivu as a result of war. During that time, a rebel Mai Mai faction known asthe Mundundu 40 terrorized the population in Walungu, forcing tens of thousands of people to fleetoward Bukavu. A group of people in Bukavu formed LDF to help this displaced population, whichconsisted mainly of women and children who had lost everything and experienced extreme violence.The founders noticed that most of the women were functionally illiterate, which posed an obstacle tohelping them recover their lives and help their families. LDF’s first activity was to provide literacytraining for women and young girls, but it soon expanded its work to include a tailoring program.LDF has since extended its vocational training activities to mechanics, carpentry, and other skills thatare helping the Walungu population achieve socioeconomic stability. LDF has worked with internationalfunders including Norwegian Church Aid and War Child Holland, and has worked with localfunders such as Caritas, Bureau diocésain des oeuvres médicales (BDOM), and DIOBASS.


Address the oppression and social marginalization of women


  • Improve the socioeconomic situation of women through literacy activities, income-generating activities, microcredit schemes, occupational training, and increased awareness of health, hygiene, and women’s rights

Populations Served

Women affected by violent conflict; vulnerable children


  • Literacy: LDF runs a program to teach women and girls how to read, write, and do basic math. The goal is to help women improve their self-esteem and socioeconomic status. Currently 40 women are enrolled in this program.
  • Occupational training: At its training center in Walungu, LDF runs courses for women in sewing, knitting, honey production, mechanics, carpentry, and mill management.
  • Agriculture: This program aims to improve the food security of the population. LDF has two demonstration gardens (in Kakona and Mushinga), where local women get access to improved seeds and manage small plots. The women give back one-quarter of their yield to the funder (Caritas), while keeping the remainder for themselves.
  • Microcredit: This program provides women with loans of between $50 and $500. Over a predetermined time period, the women must pay back 50 percent of the amount they were awarded.
  • Raising awareness: This program aims to raise awareness and educate communities on health, women’s rights, hygiene, civic responsibility, and environmental sustainability. This year, LDF will also conduct trainings about the presidential elections and the importance of voting.


The supreme governing body is the general assembly, which meets annually and approvesthe annual budget and work plans. The general assembly selects the board of directors, whichmeets four times a year and creates action plans based on consultation with the communities andwomen with whom they are working. A control commission conducts internal audits of finances andadministration. LDF also commissions an external audit of its finances on an annual basis. LDF has15 permanent employees, including three rural-development technicians, a veterinarian, an agronomist,two tailors, two literacy teachers, and a knitting trainer.

LDF has an account with a cooperative in Bukavu. For financial, administrative, and personnel management,LDF 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 its accounts 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


  • Good collaboration and relationships with rural communities
  • Good relationships with local authorities and other local organizations
  • Owns a large training center in Walungu and rents an office in Bukavu
  • Owns the necessary equipment for the mechanics and tailoring courses; e.g., they own a car that lets the mechanics practice their skills.


  • More resources to meet the needs of women who wish to enter the occupational training programs
  • Institutional equipment such as means of transportation and office supplies
  • Increased resources to ensure timely payment to all staff 

Funders and Budget

For 2010, LDF’s budget was $81,620. Funders include Norwegian Church Aid, Caritas, Bureau diocésain des oeuvres médicales (BDOM), and DIOBASS.


  • Largely with its own funds, built an occupational training center in Walungu. This site is also used for literacy trainings and community meetings.
  • Trained 62 women in sewing and knitting, and provided them with kits so they can start their own businesses
  • Trained 60 young people in carpentry, mechanics, and masonry, and provided them with kits so they can start their own businesses
  • Provided literacy training to 260 women, giving them the ability to read, write, and do basic arithmetic
  • In 2010, facilitated microcredit loans for 195 women in Walungu and Bukavu
  • In 2010, provided awareness-raising training for 300 women and young girls

Organizational Vision

Create a society in which women enjoy their rights

Project Proposals

  • Vocational training for young women: LDF proposes training 40 young women from two towns in Walungu territory in business management and tailoring and embroidery. It will also train them on conflict resolution so these women become peacemakers and leaders in their communities. Cost: $18,000
  • Agro-pastoral assistance: LDF will assist returnees and other vulnerable households in Walungu territory to increase their food security and improve their socioeconomic conditions. Specifically, LDF will assist 200 households by providing them with improved seeds, rabbits, farming implements, and training in agricultural production and veterinary care. Cost: $25,000
  • Campaign to prevent HIV/AIDS and STDs in women and girls: LDF will organize a series of trainings to educate 10,000 women and girls of procreation age about STDs, HIV/AIDS infection, sexual violence, and their rights. This project will include HIV/AIDS testing for women and training for psychosocial counselors to help survivors of sexual violence and women and girls who have STDs or are HIV positive. Cost: $42,494


Martine Zagabe Mugoli, coordinator, +243.997.536.753,

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