Skip Global Navigation to Main Content
Skip Breadcrumb Navigation
Programs and Events

Ambassadors Signs Seven Special Self Help Grants

March 28, 2012
Ambassador Entwistle shows Sister Justine Mbaya Musau, from College Soeur Anna Fiorelli in Kinshasa, where to sign. (State Dept. Images)

Ambassador Entwistle shows Sister Justine Mbaya Musau, from College Soeur Anna Fiorelli in Kinshasa, where to sign. (State Dept. Images)

On March 27th, Ambassador James Entwistle held a signing ceremony for the seven recipients of awards from the 2012 Ambassador’s Special Self-Help fund. This year’s grants cover five different provinces in the DRC and represent a wide variety of programs and sectors, ranging from reducing malnutrition to improving access to health services by investing in solar energy.  Representatives from six of the seven projects attended the event.

“The tangible impact made by these projects is what makes this one of my favorite activities each year as Ambassador.  My staff and me take a lot of time to identify potential projects, make the final choices, and then follow and support these projects as they begin to make real, positive changes to their communities,” said Ambassador Entwistle, adding, “The opportunities are inspiring and the changes are exciting.”

The Ambassador’s Special Self Help program began in Togo in 1964 and has since grown to become one of the most successful assistance programs in Africa. In countries like the DRC, where there is vigorous bilateral assistance, the Special Self-Help Fund benefits local communities with relatively small projects that often would not be funded within a larger assistance program.

The following projects received a 2012 Special Self-Help grant:

1. Sankuru YEMA YEMA, Kasai Oriental: This organization will address the problem of malnutrition in three villages by establishing a small sheep and duck breeding center. Over the course of twelve months, they hope to breed sufficient numbers to provide every family in the three surrounding villages with a pair of animals. The local community is contributing the building and animal enclosures for the project. 

2. Initiative Internationale pour des Actions Humanitaires et de Développement en Afrique (IHUDAF), North Kivu: This project aims to improve food security amongst returned populations in North Kivu by providing 3,000 hoes to 1500 families to assist with their farming efforts.  The community will contribute funds to purchase seeds and fertilizers for the project.

3. Cap Santé, Kasai Oriental:  This project will provide solar systems to four maternity and health centers in the Health Zone of Kabinda, in an effort to provide steady electricity to the hospitals and thereby, improve the quality of care. The organization will match the Special Self-Help grant and use the funds to provide four other health centers with the same solar equipment.

4. College Soeur Anna Fiorelli, Kinshasa:  The grant will be used to construct new roofs for a Kinshasa-area primary school complex, comprised of six buildings and twenty-one classrooms.   The local community is making a monetary contribution to the project to assist with the purchase of construction materials.

5. Nzo a Nsalasani, Bas-Congo: This organization provides education and skills training to physically handicapped persons.  The grant will be used to purchase manual sewing machines for use in their sewing department. The community is contributing building materials and manpower to the project.

6. Hopital Sala CBCO, Bandundu:  This grant will allow a medical center to construct a laundry facility and thereby, improve the sanitary conditions at the hospital. The community is making a monetary contribution to the project. 

7. Complexe Scolaire Mokanda Eka, Kinshasa: The grant will be used to purchase sewing machines and textbooks for this Kinshasa-area school. The community is contributing classroom materials to the project.