Women’s Forum of Ituri (FOMI), Orientale
FOMI is registered as an NGO with the provincial government.
Bunia, Ituri district, Orientale province
FOMI works in the entire Ituri district.
Sectors of InterventionHuman rights, but especially women’s rights; sexual violence prevention and assistance to survivors; women’s leadership and political participation; conflict prevention and resolution; socioeconomic reinsertion of ex-combatants; rehabilitation of infrastr
The leaders of various women’s associations formed FOMI (Forum des mamans de l’Ituri)in October 2001 to address the serious impacts of the war on women in Ituri. The initial goals of theorganization were to analyze the situation of women in Ituri, denounce violence against women, andorganize activities to promote women’s socioeconomic status. As part of these efforts, FOMI took itsmessage directly to the leaders of the various armed groups in Ituri and asked them to stop their violenceagainst women and children. Another early activity involved working with COOPI, OCHA,AAA, and other international agencies to arrange for employment of local women.
As FOMI grew and spread throughout Ituri, it facilitated the formation of new women’s associationsand groups. Today, FOMI is the lead group in a network of organizations. FOMI is based in Buniaand has activities in Ituri’s Djugu and Irumu territories. The other groups, which act autonomouslybut work closely with FOMI, are FOMI-Aru, covering Aru territory; Forum des mamans de Mahagi(FOMA), covering Mahagi territory; and Reseau des mamans de Mambasa (REMA), covering Mambasaterritory. FOMI is currently working with international partners, including UNDP, Trócaire,and IOM.
MissionFOMI’s mission is threefold. First, FOMI aims to help women participate in and benefit from the pacification of Ituri. Second, FOMI promotes the human rights of women. Third, FOMI helps the formation of women’s associations.
- Unite the women of Ituri and promote their involvement in pacification efforts
- Fight against violence against women, including sexual violence
- Promote local development initiatives to help women and the community
- Improve the status of women in their communities
- Popularize and defend the rights of women and children
Populations ServedFOMI primarily serves women, children (especially girls), and women’s associations in Ituri. Indirectly, it aims to serve the entire population of Ituri.
- Creating women’s pacifist groups: FOMI creates pacifist groups at the village level to involve women in local conflict prevention and resolution efforts.
- Preventing sexual violence: FOMI organizes community meetings to encourage dialogue and promote education about the rights of women and girls.
- Helping survivors of sexual violence: FOMI helps women to get medical and psychological help, connects them with legal assistance, and assists them with microfinance and other support to facilitate their social and economic reintegration into their community.
- Promoting the rights of women: FOMI promotes women’s leadership and participation in political activities at the local level.
- Supporting women’s economic development through microfinance: FOMI supports women’s autonomy through a creative microfinance program that provides seeds or goats to women, and requires repayment in kind; these seeds or goats are then used for microloans to other women. FOMI also provides small monetary loans to women. The goal of these programs is to elevate the status of women within their household and in their village.
- Repatriating Congolese women from Uganda: When the Ugandan army withdrew from Ituri in 2003, many soldiers took local women or girls back to Uganda. FOMI helped 20 women return to Ituri and reintegrate into their communities.
- Reinserting ex-combatants: FOMI assists with the social and economic reintegration of former combatants in Ituri.
- Infrastructure rehabilitation: FOMI is undertaking the rehabilitation of a technical school for training students in agriculture and animal husbandry at Pimbo.
The supreme governing body is the general assembly, which consists of tworepresentatives each from 28 women’s associations in Djugu and Irumu territories. The generalassembly elects the board of directors, which follows up on the directives of the general assemblyabout FOMI’s programs and projects. The general assembly also elects a control commission, whichconducts organizational and project audits. The general assembly meets once per year. The boardof directors meets at least twice a year by statute, but often more frequently to discuss projects andprograms. FOMI has seven permanent workers—the coordinator, vice-coordinator, finance director,accountant, accountant assistant, logistician, and secretary—and six project managers. FOMI alsorelies heavily upon the voluntary work of its member associations.
FOMI has an account with BIC in Bunia. For financial, administrative, and personnelmanagement, FOMI has:
- A procedures manual with policies for financial management; hiring and personnel issues; and purchasing policies and procedures: YES
- 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
- Is a grassroots organization that uses participatory processes for its internal organization and external programs
- Is well known and well respected throughout Ituri
- Has a range of programming to help women and promote women’s power and rights
- Greater security in rural parts of Ituri to enable FOMI to reach out to more women and women’s groups.
- The funds and capacity to implement all the projects and programs identified by its grassroots base
- Improvement of its internal technical capacities for finance and project management, and enhancement of its logistics division
Funders and BudgetFor 2010, FOMI’s budget was $194,000. Current funders include UNDP, Trócaire, FAO, and IOM.
- Created 162 women’s pacifist groups in the Ituri district
- Organizes the activities of 90 local women’s associations in the Ituri district
- Between 2006 and 2010, helped more than 2,100 sexual violence survivors obtain medical care, legal assistance, and socioeconomic support
- Provided microfinance and other socioeconomic assistance to more than 1,900 women in Ituri
- Rehabilitated a school in Pimbo (Djugu territory)
- Facilitated the return and socioeconomic reintegration of 20 Congolese women from Uganda
- Promotes women’s rights throughout Ituri
Organizational VisionFOMI would like to extend its actions to other provinces in DRC. In addition, it would like to reinforce and enhance the work of the women’s associations and organizations in Ituri, as well as expand its efforts to promote the rights of women in communities throughout Ituri.
- Help the self-sufficiency of women in Ituri through income-generating activities: This one-year project in Djugu and Irumu territories will educate women about savings and credit, create employment for 400 women, and provide microfinance to 300 women. Cost: $76,000
- Reinforce the capacities of 100 small networks of pacifist women in Ituri: This one-year project will provide training to 450 women from 100 pacifist groups on subjects including women’s leadership, communication, networking, and lobbying. It aims to revitalize 100 of the 162 pacifist groups created by FOMI and increase the capacities of FOMI’s sister groups in Mambasa, Mahagi, and Aru. Cost: $50,000
- Capacity building and general support for FOMI: This one-year project provides general support to FOMI for salaries and a general meeting of FOMI and its sister groups. It would also enable FOMI to purchase a laptop, printer/scanner, car, and motorbike. The purpose of this project is to enable FOMI to better coordinate its work and visit member groups and rural communities throughout Ituri. Cost: $117,000