The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is currently facing a complex food security situation, exacerbated by a rapidly deteriorating economy, a decline of overall agricultural production, plant diseases and years of armed conflict, which have limited the availability of staple crops such as cassava, maize and plantain. Childhood stunting and growth faltering is highly prevalent. High rates of childhood stunting are common across most regions of the DRC, but particularly high in rural regions.
In response to this crisis the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is carrying out a development food assistance program with activities in agriculture, health, nutrition and gender. The program aims to sustainably reduce food insecurity among vulnerable households in Fizi, Uvira and Kalehe, South Kivu Province.
The program helped create Women Empowerment Groups (WEG) to train local women in literacy and numeracy. The program distributed goats to mothers who were the heads of their households, and the literacy classes encouraged women to participate in social and economic decisions beginning at the household and community levels.
In October 2011, Faida Landry, a mother of five children, became a member of the Makunga village WEG in the Fizi territory of DRC. Landry was also selected to receive goats as part of this program. Meeting with project facilitators, Landry said: "I believe that through this goat given to me […] through USAID support, my family will renew its economic level.”
Landry was born into a family of farmers, but married into a stockbreeder family where her family’s livelihood depended on goat breeding.
Landry said: “The armed people destroyed all of our family goods, including the goats, and my family has suffered as a result. My husband died 10 years ago and I have tried to improve our family’s financial status in different ways but have always failed. Sometimes I think that my family would be more financially secure if we had different types of income as we have only ever been goat breeders.”
Landry ended her story by saying: "Today I am dreaming a good future for my family. The goat given to me by USAID and ADRA will help my family afford food, clothing for the children, and school fees.”
Today, approximately 3,350 women are members of 134 WEGs where they attend trainings twice a week. From the total, 894 women have received goats to help their families build resilience.
Last updated: August 22, 2013