Women’s Union for Development (UMAMA), Maniema
UMAMA is a registered NGO with the provincial government.
Kindu, Maniema province
The territories of Kasongo, Kabambare, Kibombo, Pangi, and Kindu
Sectors of InterventionHuman rights; public health; food security; sexual violence; microcredit; environmental protection
In 1993, a group of women in Kindu created UMAMA (Umoja wa wamama wa maendeleo) as a way to organize agricultural self-help groups. As the organization grew, it embraced other issues of importance to women, such as human rights, sexual violence, and socioeconomic development. It also expanded geographically after 1995, when its general assembly decided to extend its reach to the entire province of Maniema. UMAMA has had many national and international partners, including Christian Aid, GIZ (formerly GTZ), CRONGD, and provincial government agencies. In addition, UNFPA trained two of UMAMA’s staff to counsel survivors of sexual violence.
MissionInvest in development work that makes a positive impact on society
- Campaign against all forms of gender-based violence
- Improve the living standards of rural women through agro-pastoral activities, small business development, educational trainings, and other activities
- Train and educate women about human rights and civic responsibilities and duties
- Engage in lobbying and advocacy efforts to inform society about women’s challenges as the backbone of the family and their strategic role for community development
Populations ServedUMAMA primarily serves women but believes that through its work with women it reaches the entire society of Maniema.
- Sexual violence: UMAMA assists survivors of sexual violence by providing them with psychosocial assistance and helping them follow through on treatment.
- Agriculture: UMAMA provides women with seeds and tools, and trains them on best practices in order to increase their productivity and food security.
- Income-generating activities: UMAMA provides microcredit to women who are engaged in small business and requires them to repay the loan within six months.
The supreme governing body is the general assembly, which meets once a year and elects the board of directors. The board meets every three months, implements the directives of the general assembly, and actively participates in overseeing the organization’s operations. A monitoring committee conducts an annual internal audit of UMAMA’s finances. UMAMA has seven permanent staff, including an agronomist and two people who are trained counselors.
UMAMA has a bank account with BIC in Goma. For financial, administrative, and personnel management, UMAMA has:
- A procedures manual with policies for financial management; hiring and personnel issues; and purchasing policies and procedures: NO
- 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
- Ability to manage the microcredit program, which has helped hundreds of women
- A machine to process cassava, palm, and rice
- A qualified staff and strong women leaders
- Capacity building for administrative, finance, and project management
- Better means of transport, such as motorbikes
- Office equipment such as computers, printers, and a photocopier
- Greater funding to meet community demands for its services
- A strategic plan to better guide its activities
Funders and BudgetUMAMA’s annual budget is about $120,000 per year. Funders include Christian Aid, GIZ (formerly GTZ), and UNFPA.
- Assisted 47 local women’s groups with microcredit for business development
- Provided psychosocial assistance to 350 women who were survivors of gender based violence
- Pays school fees for 18 orphans
- Distributed 400 pigs and goats to 200 households
- Planted 4 hectares (10 acres) of cassava around Kunda and maintains a banana field in Kalima
- Organized and conducted workshops on women’s leadership
- Assisted female survivors of sexual violence with social reintegration
Organizational VisionPromote women’s activities in the entire Maniema province in order to eradicate poverty and give women greater social and political power
- Natural resource management: UMAMA will undertake a community education program in the Wakabango II sector of Pangi territory, where there has been massive deforestation. UMAMA will organize a series of community meetings with traditional leaders, local authorities, community leaders, and the general public to educate them about better management of forest resources and the need for new local practices and policies. Cost: $75,870
- Help for widows and sexual violence survivors: UMAMA seeks funds to help 250 female sexual violence survivors and widows in three health zones in Pangi territory. This will build upon UMAMA’s existing work and include a program to help women set up small businesses to increase their self-sufficiency and dignity. Cost: $125,000