Residents of a community in DR Congo celebrate the food supplies from their bountiful harvest.

Feels good, tastes even better: Residents of a community in DR Congo celebrate the food supplies from their bountiful harvest.

There comes a point when every Outreach-affiliated community turns a corner. When empowerment meets experience, issues become opportunities. And just like that, teams don’t just move forward under their own power, they run.

More local leaders mean more local teams, and more local issues that can be addressed concurrently. For community teams, as well as everyone in the Outreach family, it’s a story that gets more exciting with every new chapter. And it’s our honor to be able to share it with you.

Many projects at once

Outreach-affiliated community-led teams in DR Congo maximized available material resources and their own respective commitments to one another. And by doing this, they have maximized their capacity for innovation. Rather than mobilizing on one large group project, together, community members have implemented 20 projects. These are low-cost and high-impact to sustainably address short- and long-term goals related to food security and income generation.

Among these projects, community-managed food loan projects gathered 3,212kg worth of corn. Then, they distributed it to 198 households, which were hit hardest by the economic effects of the pandemic.

A woman waters some of the fast-growing, high-yield crops grown by her community teammates, making light work in DR Congo.

Community members filled their fields with thousands of fast-growing, high-yield crops — some to eat, and some to sell at market.

More Options, More Opportunities

Elsewhere, teams implemented six new agriculture projects, focused on fast-growing, high-yield crops, and gathered 1,050kg of organic fertilizer to boost the output of the 3,500kg worth of seeds they acquired. Additionally, teams established 10 income-generating endeavors, ranging from brick-making to renting out heavy-duty carts for hauling purposes. All told, teams in DR Congo acquired four carts to rent, and made 10,000 bricks to sell. All this ingenious problem-solving makes big changes while still making light work in DR Congo.

The DR Congo teams’ enthusiasm for community-led development is not only the latest, thrilling example of their ongoing empowerment and expanding hope, it is also a smart move from an organizational perspective – each of the 20 projects they have undertaken is already turning a profit, which allows them to purchase and distribute even more food supplies to local families, giving everyone delicious evidence of success, as well as the nourishment and energy to maintain their momentum for all the days ahead.

Kids enjoy a ride in one of their community's hand-carts, usually used for hauling supplies, making light work in DR Congo.

These handcarts offer much more than joyrides. They make hauling equipment and crops a breeze, in addition to generating income through rentals to famers from surrounding communities.

Two men from Congo share a laugh as they visit their community's food-loan program to receive some of the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor.

Teammates share a laugh, making light work in DR Congo, as they visit their community’s food-loan program to receive some of the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor.

How to Help

Good news: Outreach’s community-led approach to addressing chronic poverty around the globe brings new stories like this into the world every day. Great News: You can have a direct role in ensuring our work can continue to empower our partners by donating now.