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Where We Work The DR Congo

Get facts about poverty in the Democratic Republic of Congo and learn how we empower its people to work their way out of poverty.

The people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have suffered greatly over the past 40 years. Ethnic conflict and a civil war between government troops and rebel groups in Eastern Congo have contributed to high levels of poverty. Only 1 percent of the DRC’s citizens have access to basic financial services. Fortunately, recent economic liberalization has opened up opportunities that will allow sustainable economic growth to gain a foothold.

Operations: Opportunity DRC plays a critical role in this growth process by providing financial services such as loans, savings and training to hardworking entrepreneurs and their families. Opportunity DRC’s operations began in January 2011, giving many microentrepreneurs in the Masina market of Kinshasa their first access to small business capital. We are also the first microfinance provider in the Congo to use biometric fingerprint recognition for clients to access their accounts.

Regulated Bank Application: Eager to provide families with secure savings, Opportunity DRC applied for a deposit-taking license in 2011 but encountered political delays. It remains prepared to begin savings. In the interim, the bank has opened an additional branch in another large marketplace, Matete, to best serve the most marginalized Congolese families while developing its internal staff, structures and sustainability.

Holistic Training and Transformation: Personal growth for staff and clients is emphasized. The transformation program comprises five modules, covering topics such as family health, nutrition, and disease prevention and control. The training is in Lingala, the local language, and pertinent to life in Kinshasa. Lessons on nutrition, for example, use local food rather than the generic food pyramid.

In this country, roughly the geographical size of Europe and plagued by war, economic instability and corruption, an Opportunity International financial institution can help to make the difference between families being able to afford only three meals per week to families being able to afford three meals per day.

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