Health, Education, Community Action and Leadership Development (HEAL Africa), North Kivu
HEAL Africa is a registered NGO with the national government.
Goma, North Kivu province
North Kivu and Maniema provinces
Sectors of InterventionHealth; education; gender-based violence; peace and reconciliation; small-business development and microfinance
HEAL Africa was born in 1994 out of a vision to upgrade rural health care through training medical practitioners. After focusing solely on medical interventions, Congolese orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kasereka “Jo” Lusi, and his wife, Lyn Lusi, recognized that a far more radical approach was required for lasting change. HEAL Africa’s holistic approach to development is shaped by the belief that in order to make sustainable improvements in health, the community must be involved and engaged, and cultural values, attitudes, and practices must be examined. HEAL Africa remains deeply committed to continuing medical education and to enabling conflict-ridden communities to become healthy and dynamic. The medical inspector of North Kivu province has recognized HEAL Africa as the tertiary referral hospital for eastern DRC. HEAL Africa has an office in the U.S. and has worked with many international donors, including USAID, the Tides Foundation, UNICEF, the German Development Bank, the William J. Clinton Foundation, and Tearfund.
MissionSupport and provide systems of holistic care for the people of DRC
- Promote health by providing top-quality preventive and curative medical care to the Congolese people
- Educate the population about public health and empower people to protect and improve their health
- Act as an advocate for the population on health issues and involve communities in improving health care
- Develop leadership by training Congolese medical professionals in DRC
Populations ServedGeneral population, but with specific programs for women, people with HIV/AIDS, and orphans
- Acute-care hospital: Offers primary care, pediatrics, obstetrics, maternity, trauma, general surgery, fistula repair, and orthopedic surgery
- Training doctors: Invests in the education of Congolese health-care professionals
- Children’s AIDS program and preventive medicine: Provides antiretroviral treatment and food supplementation for 600 children, works to prevent mother-to-child transmission, and provides PEP kits for rape survivors
- Choose Life: Addresses the various social issues of HIV/AIDS, including microgrants for families affected by HIV/AIDS, palliative and home-based care for the terminally ill, and HIV/AIDS education in schools and churches
- Heal My People: Provides medical treatment, psychosocial care, education, and economic support for survivors of sexual violence and women suffering from fistula
- Safe Motherhood: Offers training for traditional birth attendants, family planning, and maternity education for pregnant women, accompanied by microgrants
- Children Like Us: Provides medical treatment for children with physical handicaps, trains family members on appropriate care, and offers financial assistance
- Nehemiah Initiatives: Trains and equips community leaders in multisectoral groups to help the most vulnerable in their societies (people living with disabilities, widows, orphans, and survivors of sexual violence)
- Healing Arts: Offers a vocational training program for hospital patients that includes sewing, literacy, business skills, financial education, and income generation through product orders
- Income generation: Offers microgrants, financial training, and savings accounts designed to give impoverished families a capital boost to start their own small business to provide for their families
- Living Stones: An agricultural program that helps widows and vulnerable populations grow vegetables and trees for food and profit
- Wamama simameni (Women Stand Up Together): Eighteen centers throughout North Kivu that provide literacy, business skills, financial savings programs, and education about women’s legal rights to the community. The program also has demonstration community agriculture fields to teach improved techniques and provide seeds and tools to vulnerable women.
- Orphans: Children are placed with foster families rather than institutionalized in orphanages. Foster families receive a microgrant that enables them to better care for the children and pay for school fees.
HEAL Africa is governed by boards in the DRC and the U.S. The U.S. board handles relations with all U.S. funders and provides recommendations and technical support for HEAL Africa in Goma. The DRC board directs the vision and provides recommendations on program structure and community perception. Both boards participate in large decision making. Each program respective to an individual donor organization has a program manager who is in charge of that particular program’s budget, personnel, and activities.
HEAL Africa has accounts at BIC and BIAC, and at the cooperative MECREGO in Goma. For financial, administrative, and personnel management, HEAL has:
- A procedures manual with policies for financial management; hiring and personnel issues; and purchasing policies and procedures: YES
- A computerized accounting system: YES
- 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
- One of the largest CBOs in eastern DRC and can hire qualified personnel more easily than smaller CBOs
- Highest-quality health care in the region and has specialized services that enable the hospital to treat serious, acute cases coming from the entire region
- Strong community network of more than 1,000 volunteers and the capacity to travel to insecure areas where international NGOs cannot safely travel
- Large network of international supporters and donors
- The administrative structure is not sustainable and is dangerously dependent on two to three individuals.
- The wide variety of initiatives can tend to spread programming and staff too thin.
- The hospital is at 180 percent capacity and cannot provide appropriate quality of care as a result.
- The majority of the gender-based violence program is dependent on UNICEF, which has a serious cash-flow crisis. HEAL Africa has had to lay off more than half of the genderbased-violence staff.
Funders and BudgetFor 2011, HEAL Africa’s budget is $9,014,400. Funders include USAID, ECI, UNICEF, Holland Gender and Justice, the Pooled Fund, Tearfund, and the European Union.
- In 2010, the Orthopedic Officers program graduated its first 12 people.
- In 2010, HEAL Africa provided outpatient visits to 25,542 people at its Goma hospital, undertook 2,384 surgeries, and gave 16,946 consultations.
- In 2010, HEAL Africa’s community program engaged 45 religious leaders to promote mobilization on HIV/AIDS, gender, and sexual and gender-based violence.
- HEAL Africa works with 65 health centers in North Kivu and 60 rural health centers in Maniema province, supplying them with medicines, supplies, and training. HEAL Africa doctors also perform outreach surgery at remote clinics that do not have any access to surgical care. HEAL Africa supplies rural health centers with postexposure prophylaxis kits for postrape care.
Success StoryHEAL Africa takes a holistic approach to development that is shaped by the belief that in order to make sustainable improvements in health, the community mus... Read More »
Organizational VisionIncrease the organization’s financial independence and strength, and expand initiatives in gender and justice, educating communities, working with local authorities, and changing attitudes toward women in religious groups
- Safe Motherhood: Expand safe motherhood services on Idjwi Island through maternity insurance collectives, training medical professionals, and linking traditional birth attendants in the formal health zone system. Cost: $250,000
- Outreach surgery: Provide healing orthopedic surgery for people affected with severe congenital diseases in remote, isolated areas that do not have access to healthcare. Cost: $150,000
- Medical education: Continuing medical education and specialization degrees for HEAL Africa doctors and nurses. Scholarships for doctors to obtain advanced training. Cost: $100,000 to $300,000