Cooperative of Agricultural and Artisanal Production for the Development of Maniema (COOPADEM), Maniema
COOPADEM is a registered NGO with the provincial government.
Kasongo, Maniema province
Southern Maniema province, specifically the territories of Kasongo, Kibombo, and Kabambare, as well as part of Pangi territory
Sectors of InterventionFood security; good governance; media; community development
COOPADEM (Coopérative de production agricole et artisanale pour le développement du
Maniema) started in 2000 to help people living in poverty and affected by war. As its name suggests, COOPADEM initially focused on helping farms improve their productivity. While continuing its agro-pastoral work, COOPADEM secured a $57,000 grant from USAID/Chemonics to set up a radio station. This station, called Peasant’s Voice (Sauti ya Mkaaji), has since become one of the most important sources of news for the people of southern Maniema. COOPADEM is an active member of several networks, especially in the media field, including the Federation of Community-based Radios of the Congo, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, CRONGD, RATECO, and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation. COOPADEM hasworked with many local and international partners, including CARE International, Caritas,Fondation Hirondelle, Institut Panos Paris, CTA, UNICEF, Centre Lokolé, BTC, and Benevolensia.
MissionInitiate development activities in order to fight against poverty and social inequality in Maniema province
- Promote community welfare
- Train and inform communities about their rights and responsibilities
- Initiate and engage in community development work
- Protect natural resources and the environment
- Promote gender equality and power sharing
- Work with governmental organizations and ensure good governance
Populations ServedFarmers and peasants, who make up the majority of the population in southern Maniema; also government officials
- Agriculture-related activities: COOPADEM trains local farmers on how to improve their productivity and facilitates the provision of seeds and tools to them.
- Radio station: COOPADEM’s radio station serves as a sensitization tool not only for COOPADEM, but also for other partners. COOPADEM provides educational programming and broadcasts legal texts in order to foster good governance and responsible citizenship.
- Community development: COOPADEM facilitates trainings for local CBOs, so they can better undertake community development projects.
- Fish ponds: COOPADEM maintains fish ponds where local people work, but the profits are split between the organization and the workers.
The supreme governing body is the general assembly, which meets every two years and selects the board of directors. The board meets every three months to monitor the organization’s work and review employee performance. The board has responsibility for hiring staff, and takes an active role in the organization’s activities. COOPADEM has 22 permanent staff.
COOPADEM does not have a bank account but has accounts at the microfinance institutions CADECO and COOPECEDE in Kindu. For financial, administrative, and personnel management, COOPADEM has:
- A procedures manual with policies for financial management; hiring and personnel issues; and purchasing policies and procedures: NO
- A computerized accounting system: NO, but tracks finances using Excel
- A clearly defined accounting process: YES
- Clear procedures for management of payroll, petty cash, procurement, and disbursements: YES
- Staff with the technical expertise needed for its programs: YES
- Has well-equipped offices and trained, professional staff
- Has its own funding sources—for example, through the sale of fish from its fish ponds
- Capacity building for administrative, financial, and radio station staff
- Partners to provide financial and technical support
- Construction of a building on land it owns, so it can move the radio station from its current location in a rented house
Funders and BudgetIn 2010, COOPADEM’s budget was $47,000. For 2011, COOPADEM has no external funders and is raising its own funds from the people of southern Maniema to sustain its activities.
- In 2010, provided agricultural tools to 600 households
- Trained more than 150 community-based organizations on management, community development, planning, and small-business development
- Operates a popular and important community radio station
- Initiated and coordinates an association of media outlets in Maniema province
- Created a radio station and established 225 community clubs to support the radio station and provide it with news and information
Organizational VisionBecome the main radio station in Maniema
- Creating a community cybercafe in Kasongo: This project will pay for computers, printers, a scanner, and Internet connection, providing badly needed Internet access to the Kasongo community. Cost: $15,755
- Organizational capacity building: This project will focus on training female journalists and technicians to sustain COOPADEM’s radio station. COOPADEM has lost two of its most experienced staff to Radio Okapi and seeks to recruit and train women, whom it believes are more rooted and committed to the community, and less likely to leave for higher-paid employment. Cost: $14,890