Indigenous households are among the poorest households. An indigenous family has on average 0.25 to 0.35 hectares of cultivated fields according to surveys and earns per day the equivalent of less than 550 to 1,200 FCFA. This limited income from work done among the Bantu does not allow them to save their salary. The lack of financial means and technical capacity prevents indigenous communities from developing activities that can help improve and/or supplement their income. In addition, the discrimination linked to the purchase prices of their product can be imposed by other communities.
In order to ensure the sustainability of the Joint Programme’s work and to contribute to economic empowerment, the World Food Program, in partnership with the government, organized training in management and structuring 19 indigenous groups in the five districts of Lekoumou.
Actor capacity-building is an essential component for the empowerment of indigenous populations, aimed to support the structuring of indigenous groups and provide them with the basis of training in organization, operation and management, and discussing leadership opportunities with the different types of Income Generating Activities.
This training will be accompanied by supplying groups with small equipment to enable them to increase their production and have more access to the market.
Testimonials from locals who have benefited from training in management and structuring of groups
I am an indigenous woman from the village of Ingolo2 in the district of Zanaga. I am a member of the indigenous peoples' cooperative of the village of Ingolo2 "COPAVI". I am a mother of five children. In our group, we grow maize and cassava. We are very satisfied with the training. Often there are many problems in groups. But we don't know how to handle it. We learned what causes problems and how to resolve issues between group members. We have problems with elephants destroying our fields and our cassava often rots because of the mosaic. We hope this project will help us solve this problem.
My name is Blanche Ngoubili and I am 22 years old. I am a young indigenous woman and a single mother of two children. I am a member of the indigenous Lidja group. We produce bananas, but we also like to produce other things. This is the first time that I have participated in such training. I learned a lot of things. We indigenous women are not respected by the Bantu because we are poor. This project also helps us to be well organized in our groups thanks to this training and encourages us to work well. We don't have the money to buy materials, to produce in large quantities. But thanks to this project we will increase our production and sell. As a single mother, the money I will earn when we sell our products will allow me to pay for my children’s school and look after them.
My name is Kita Joseph, and I’m the President of the indigenous cooperative of the village Ingolo2. “We learned from this training that our production will be improved if we work in groups. In addition, to have even more equipment, we need cuttings to strengthen our cassava production. This project is a welcome approach to propel ourselves out of poverty. The Lekoumou indigenous people, a people neglected by the Bantus and ignored because through these activities, we will be able to get out of poverty and gain more dignity”.
Trainings were recorded in local languages on USB flash drives and radios and then distributed to participants to allow them to share the training with their community.
The SDG Project is a powerful tool for peace and development. It emphasized peace-building skills by teaching community members effective communication and conflict management. In 2020, the Congo launched a SDG Joint Programme, five years after it signed the United Nations 2030 Agenda. In recognition of their progress and vision, the Congo’s program was chosen from among seventy-five country applications.