Wide Union of Women for Development (LUFED), South Kivu
LUFED is a registered NGO with the provincial government, and is currently in the process of obtaining national registration.
Uvira, South Kivu province
Uvira and Fizi territories, especially Uvira, Lemera, Ruzizi, Hauts-Plateaux, Bitombo, Fizi, Nundu, Kimbi-Lulenge, and Minembwe
Sectors of InterventionPeace and peaceful cohabitation; food security; education; microcredit; reproductive health; emergency response
In 2004, two women started LUFED (Large unions des femmes pour le développement)to assist women affected by war in Fizi and Uvira territories. Several factors motivated these womento created LUFED. First, they were concerned about discrimination against women. Second, therewas widespread ignorance among women of their own rights. Third, women lacked opportunitiesto increase their socioeconomic conditions. Fourth, many humanitarian and development activitieslacked a gendered approach. And fifth, assistance was unavailable to women on account of the war,displacement, and insecurity. To address these problems, LUFED undertook a series of programs tohelp women improve their social and economic conditions. LUFED currently has 1,837 membersin Uvira and Fizi territories. LUFED has worked with international funders such as FAO, Louvaindéveloppement (LD), and DFID; and with national funders such as Caritas.
MissionEnable women to take control of their own development, and create income-generating activities that contribute to poverty alleviation.
- Promote agriculture, animal husbandry, and fishing opportunities for women
- Educate women about reproductive health
- Contribute to the increased education and literacy of girls and women
Populations ServedWomen and children
- Reproductive health: This program works to identify survivors of sexual violence, women living with HIV/AIDS, underage mothers, widows, and girl-headed households. Once they have been identified, LUFED works to raise their awareness of family planning and sexual health and rights.
- Peace and peaceful cohabitation: Through this program, LUFED gets women together to exchange ideas on peace and peace initiatives in their communities and in their homes. It offers a chance for women to come together to discuss trauma they have experienced.
- Food security: This program aims to improve the food security and productivity of vulnerable women. It provides trainings on improved techniques for agricultural productivity, fishing, and animal husbandry. It introduces women to new aspects of food production to diversify their income and nutrition streams, and provides them with the seeds and tools to pursue new opportunities.
- Education: This program focuses on the literacy of adult women and stresses the importance and advantages of literacy. Through this program LUFED incorporates literacy with occupational training that is intended to improve the incomes of women beneficiaries. LUFED has created seven literacy circles, where women can come together and practice reading and writing.
- Microcredit: LUFED is working on the promotion of MUSOs, informal networks to which people periodically contribute money that is distributed on a rotating basis to the members. At any one time, approximately $15,855 is circulating among the members of the MUSOs.
The supreme governing body is the general assembly, which consists of 150 members.The general assembly sets the strategic goals for the organization and selects the board of directors.The board, which is entirely made up of women, meets every three months, oversees implementation ofLUFED’s programs, and hires the staff. A control commission conducts internal audits and investigations.Depending on projects and funding, LUFED has between eight and ten employees.
LUFED has an account with the Imara Cooperative in Uvira. For financial, administrative, and personnelmanagement, LUFED 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
- The capacity to mobilize women
- The ability to create solidarity groups and to inspire social cohesion
- Works in synergy with target groups and other organizations
- Has established a culture of dialogue among women beneficiaries
- Has a strong reputation and solid working relationships with local communities
- Increased resources with which to communicate with rural communities
- Increased independence; it currently is too dependent on external funding for its programs
- More information and training in organizational and financial management and reinforcement of existing capacity
- More office space for women to meet and participate in training programs
Funders and BudgetIn 2010, LUFED’s budget was approximately $10,000. Funders include FAO, Louvain développement (LD), and Caritas.
- One of the pioneers of the MUSO system of rotating credit
- Created 13 literacy centers in South Kivu with its own funding; five are fully functional and eight are being developed as funds become available
- Created seven literacy circles for women to practice reading and writing
- Established a maternity ward in Ruzozi and a health center in Kalundu Port
- In 2010, identified 499 members who wished to participate in MUSOs, and created 25 MUSO groups for these women
Organizational VisionSee women being included in decision-making processes and socioeconomic activities
- Establishing an organizational newsletter: LUFED proposes publishing a monthly newsletter that highlights the organization’s work as well as issues of importance to women. The goal is to better educate LUFED’s members and the general community about women’s issues, rights, and development. Cost: $8,700 (for one year)
- Building organizational capacity: LUFED seeks funds to organize trainings for its staff in financial and organizational management. This project will also enable LUFED to acquire new equipment for its office, such as computers, a printer, and a photocopier, and to pay staff salaries. Cost: $21,800
- Increasing women’s economic power: LUFED proposes establishing a storehouse and several food-processing machines to enable women in the Uvira-Fizi area to get greater returns from their agricultural crops. As part of this project, LUFED will specifically target disabled and illiterate women for assistance. Cost: $25,400