ASILI: RAISING INDUSTRY STANDARDS FOR HUMAN-WORTHY SERVICES
Asili, ECI’s social enterprise, is organized around one guiding principle — that our services are desired by our customers and worthy of our children. For too long, healthcare and other vital services in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been provided through foreign aid budgets that are designed to meet minimum quality standards, standards that we ourselves would reject. And that’s simply not good enough.
A business startup co-created by Alight (formerly ARC), USAID, IDEO.org, international partners, and most importantly, Congolese mothers and families, Asili is an answer people deserve — and that they want. Some of the most critical services that Eastern Congolese communities are asking for include reliable healthcare, clean water, and economic opportunities. Asili delivers on those services — but always according to the highest industry standards that anyone, anywhere, could trust and rely on.
Agricultural cooperatives are one way that Asili helps to get a community’s economy moving. Asili provides local farmers with the resources, tools, and training they need to become successful and profitable farmers. We give them a loan in the form of seeds and fertilizer, and then provide a guaranteed market to sell their goods once they’re harvested. This model is working. So far we’ve sold over 300 tons of potatoes, Asili’s main crop. Farmers are increasing their income, empowering them to save and access membership in Asili and the other services it provides.
Beautifully designed with the families who now use our services, patients have remarked on how Asili’s clinics stand out as beacons of color, light, and hope in their communities. From the water fountains inside, to the play area for kids, to the slippers patients are offered as they walk inside, as soon as you walk in the door it’s clear that Asili’s clinics are different. Most importantly, they offer the highest quality healthcare in the region – at prices that are affordable to the average Congolese consumer. Our reputation for incredible quality is spreading. Patients come from all over the region to be treated. Lives have been changed by the simple act of receiving a correct diagnosis for a chronic illness.
Currently operating at conveniently located retail outlets in five villages, and soon to be expanding, Asili’s gravity-based reservoir system has revolutionized our customers’ ability to obtain clean, safe water. And we’re prototyping the potential of our water sales, selling water in the closest big city, Bukavu, to businesses, establishments, and even other NGOs. We’re learning and growing, determining the best way to bring clean water to as many people as possible.