To empower local leaders to end extreme poverty in eastern Congo
Mavuno discovered that 71% of community members have some form of domestic livestock, but 98% share the same house with their animals (a practice detrimental to public health). In addition, many households reported challenges properly caring for their animals, particularly in terms of preventing and treating disease. In DRC, 65% of the country's inhabitants live in extreme poverty, 13% of children under 5 suffer from global acute malnutrition, 43% have stunted growth, and 24% are underweight.
Mavuno views raising livestock as an additional opportunity for nutrition and income generation. For many smallholder farmers, livestock can serve as a source of cash to buy inputs for crop production, can supplement nutrition, and animals are more mobile in the event of population displacement. Income from agriculture is highly seasonal, but livestock can provide community members with a regular source of income that can be used to pay school fees, medical costs and taxes.
Mavuno is currently partnering with 1 village for the livestock program, but plans to expand to 3 additional villages in the fall, with a total of 100 households participating. Livestock, in conjunction with agriculture, health, and financial literacy training, equips families to pull themselves out of extreme poverty. This creates diverse economic opportunities that have the potential to greatly increase a household's income and their ability to pay for school, healthcare, or business ideas.