Blog

Title free and clear: Women win rights to their own land in Miti-Murhesa

Posted on Sep 14, 2020

Every day, in defiance of the law, Congolese women are driven away from land that rightfully belongs to them — sometimes by neighbors, often by their own families, and too often with impunity. “Women’s access to land remains an enormous challenge in Congolese society, particularly in the eastern DRC,” explains Me Aline Bahati, attorney and […]

Salomé Byenda, a woman wearing a bright yellow-and-purple dress and headscarf, addresses a crowd using a megaphone.

Friends, we have 🎉☕️🏆 news!

Posted on Aug 19, 2020

This is a big week for Eastern Congo Initiative. We’re officially announcing our acquisition of the Asili business model. Nespresso is releasing a new single-origin coffee grown exclusively by our partner co-ops in South Kivu. And the work we do with public and private partnerships is receiving a prestigious honor.

Seven women wearinng white aprons model beautiful fabric facemasks.

How the women of Un Jour Nouveau turned $500 in fabric into $50,000 in sales — and saved countless lives

Posted on May 19, 2020

Months ago, Un Jour Nouveau (UJN), a local community organization in the Congo, was planning to use $500 in capital from ECI to strengthen their dressmaking program, a social enterprise that helps women in North Kivu uplift their communities with training in business, leadership and in-demand skills. UJN planned to use half the money to set up a display of students’ handmade clothing at the 2020 Women Of Congo exhibition, and to use the other $250 to buy fabric and supplies. As the pandemic overtook their plans, the women’s entrepreneurial agility transformed that $500 grant into infinitely more.

Montana Standard: We have reason to be optimistic

Posted on Mar 30, 2020

I travel to Congo frequently and I was there during the recent Ebola outbreak, a challenge that is in many ways is precedent to what we face with coronavirus. Here’s a reason for optimism: The Congo just celebrated a major milestone with the passing of an entire month without a new case of Ebola. The Congolese can beat Ebola and we can do the same with coronavirus, especially if we pay close attention to the biggest lesson from that faraway epidemic. Citizens across Africa have beaten Ebola by beating an attitude of distrust in institutions, science and expertise.

News from ECI, February 2020

Posted on Feb 20, 2020

I am writing to you from Bukavu, where the year is off to a busy start. Congo has been going through an Ebola outbreak, but I am happy to say it seems to be under control. The new government of President Félix Tshisekedi is reaching out to the governments of Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi — a promising start to the healing of old wounds in our region. Meanwhile, we are expecting Monusco, the UN peacekeeping force in DRC, to step down their troop levels. We’re keeping an eye on the situation, which has the potential to affect the economy and security of some of our partners...