GSIF for DR Congo

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Chakuishi Social Enterprise

An innovative model that supports women to farm and sell quality agricultural products

ChaKuishi(“Food for Life”) is the Women Social Enterprise project in agriculture and fish farming developed and implemented by the Good Shepherd International Foundation with Bon Pasteur, in the artisanal mining communities of Kolwezi. 

Mining exploitation, coupled with land grabbing, internal migrations and a lack of public investment in farming, have made Kolwezi a place where basic food supplies for the poorest are more difficult to find and more expensive to buy than a sack of raw cobalt or copper. This has led to great food insecurity, malnutrition and diseases among the poorest parts of the population living in the mining communities.

Plus, for women and girls earning a living outside the mines is extremely difficult; most of them are illiterate and scarcely employable, at risk of violence and exploitation.

ChaKuishi starting from 2019 has been piloting a social enterprising model that supports women organized in cooperatives to farm and sell quality agricultural products. Women participating in Chakuishi can thus count on a stable and dignified source of income and can send their children to school and improve the diet of their families. 

A future of growth for the communities

Innovative agriculture

Diversified vegetables and fruit plants are grown in a cultivated land of 15 hectares, using a drop by drop irrigation systems to extend agricultural production and contrast drought and negative impact of the climate crisis

Plant Nursery

2,500 square meters of ‘maternity’: the nursery is the beating heart of the farm. Best varieties of plants suitable for the soil are researched and tested, to ensure a short and continuous cycle of agricultural production.

Fish Farming

For the farming of the Nile Tilapia, 16 new ponds have been built (there will be 28 in 2022): at full capacity 48 tons of fish per year will be produced and sold on the local market.

Long-term sustainability

Chakuishi is based on an initial 10-year plan during which it will achieve full technical and financial autonomy to create a social enterprise self-sustainable and able to generate profits to support other activities of the Good Shepherd program in Kolwezi.

Training and job opportunities for women

Chakuishi involves 10 staff members and 50 women in vulnerable conditions, who participate in training and empowerment program on agricultural production cycles. Every year 60 people, mostly women, can develop professionally through training, accessing a stable job to earn an income.

Chakuishi ’s goals

Thanks to this approach, Chakuishi social entreprise will be able to engage a relevant number of community members throughout the years. Chakuishi project will help:

  • Fill the gaps in the local agriculture-food market
  • Transfer know-how and empower local women cooperatives in agriculture and fish farming, providing them with dignified employment
  • Contribute to reduce child labour and violence against women in mining communities
  • Improve food security in the local communities adopting a work-for food scheme
  • Introduce quality seeds and crops to agricultural routines within the area
  • Consolidate best practices concerning production, conservation and transformation of food products
  • Educate future generations that a safe and sustainable agriculture that respects human rights and the environment is possible

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Donation Total: 100,00€ One Time