CEDERI-Madimba in the Democratic Republic of Congo
This is one of the projects which Susila Dharma Britain is focusing on. Recently SDB has supported the upgrading of the CEDERI-Madimba Health Centre, providing beds and mattresses, showers and toilets, and improved medical waste disposal. This project is supported in conjunction with the Buchan Family Foundation, Blond Trust and other SD Nationals.
CEDERI is an acronym of Centre de Développement Rural Intégré or Integrated Rural Development Center. Madimba is an area about 100kms south of Kinshasa.
The DR Congo is currently ranked at the very bottom of the UN’s Human Development Index, as the poorest country in the world. The hardships in the area of Madimba are many: maternal and child malnutrition, unsanitary conditions, poverty and inadequate housing. Inefficient agriculture and lack of access to markets are some of the root causes of poverty for small farmers, who make up the majority of the population. Healthcare is inadequate for the size of the population. In many rural areas, roads and bridges are non-existent, or at best highly precarious. There is also a lack of technical support for farmers, in the form of seeds, improved plant varieties and pest control, and, finally, a lack of services for unoccupied youth.
CEDERI Madimba was set up in 1990 as a development NGO to address these issues. With the support of SD Britain, it is helping to make a difference in the lives of the rural poor in the DR Congo.
CEDERI Madimba’s priority work areas are:
- clean drinking-water supply and sanitation;
- reforestation for fighting global warming.
What the Project Leader, Ferdinand Bisalu says:
“We must firstly rely on our own means; overseas support is only for strengthening our intervention capacity. To our human potential, we can add CEDERI-Madimba’s patrimony: extensive land, buildings, houses and equipment. Our strategy is rooted in the fact that rural communities can find their own solutions for health promotion activities by becoming aware of the problems and health hazards that exist in their environment.”
CEDERI-Madimba is basically self-financing through the following activities:
- agriculture, manioc fields and market gardening, poultry farming;
- reforestation activities;
- it’s Health Centre, providing curative medicine: dispensary, maternity ward and pharmacy.
It has also been highly successful in encouraging local government to match SD donations with some local inputs: the health centre now has a medical doctor provided by the government, since the premises have been upgraded by SD Britain and others. But CEDERI-Madimba still needs some external supports to maximize its efforts on behalf of the rural poor. Looking at the hunger and misery in the Madimba territory, we are answering the real needs of the local population.