Comequi, a non-profit Belgian association, has as its main objective to empower rural populations on Lake Kivu to carry out sustainable development actions themselves in order to increase their income and improve their living conditions.
Here is the report of the main actions carried out during the year 2017.
These have been possible thanks to the recurrent support of Texaf, whom we warmly thank.
• Support to coffee growers
In the context of the development of the coffee sector and agricultural development, Comequi
accompanied the cooperative Amka from an organizational point of view, accounting, harvest and sale of coffee. A young Belgian bio-engineer provided a coordination and logistical analysis mission for one year on site: washing station, tools (transport and trainers), nurseries and community fields.
The 2017 season was not as good as the previous year. The explanation is related to the coffee cycle (a good year followed by 2 averages)
• Launch of a Coffee Academy
After a year of work and negotiations with local agronomists, it was decided to create a Coffee Academy. It aims to help the development of coffee farmers in Kivu through a practical and theoretical training program taking advantage of the potential wealth of the region. Inauguration and first module started in November 2017: a month of training on good agricultural techniques bringing together some thirty coffee farmers and agronomy students. Other modules will complete the training in 2018.
• Beekeeping training
Coffee plants and bees blend together. In October 2017, a third training was provided by a local trainer beekeeper. Beautiful achievements of hives frames and project to swarm local support.
• School vegetable gardens and school canteens
A total of 8 vegetable gardens installed in schools of which 4 are so far autonomous. Development of 2 school canteens including one built in hard providing students with 1 balanced meal per week. This canteen was inaugurated with great pomp in the presence of the governor of South Kivu.
• Embroidery school
As part of the training and empowerment of women coffee growers, a first training session on embroidery was provided by a Minova embroiderer. It has been successful and will be followed by another session.
• Library, toy library and cinema
Beautiful occupation of the library: regular attendance of primary and secondary readers from neighboring schools, activities around the children's book, recreational workshops during the holidays by our local coordinator, operation of an already well stocked toy library. Cinema running out of fuel ... needs extra help.
• Minova Hospital
A brand new maternity wing was built with private funds ($ 150,000). Operational since the end of 2017, the first babies were born on December 25th.
The medical training and medical equipment delivery projects are newly coordinated by a Belgian medical officer with the local management.
The construction of the "operating rooms" wing has been underway since mid-2017 and is expected to be finalized by mid 2018.
• Training Center
Construction of 2 large training rooms in the guest house enclosure hosting all local training initiatives and can accommodate more than 60 people. The embroidery school has already found its place. The occupation is almost continuous since the start in April 2017.
Significant events have gone off this year:
• Annual event on March 6, 2017: exceptional and varied evening in the magical setting of Château du Lac in Genval. Music, humor, African rhythms, but also unique reports on our projects related to coffee cooperatives and development aid .... Kody, who accepted the sponsorship of Comequi was at the rendezvous in an unforgettable atmosphere!
• Bike for Comequi event from 28/05/2017 to 04/06/17. A hundred Belgian participants, cyclists and guides, made 170 km around Lake Kivu. Week of rare intensity in images, encounters and emotions. The results are breathtaking both in fundraising and visibility of our association. The event was widely covered in the local and Belgian press.
• Three volunteer missions of the association during this year: February, May and November 2017