January-March 2017 social development activities in Lotumbe

January-March 2017 social development activities in Lotumbe
Led by Pastor Jean Entonto, who has been named Lotumbe’s social development facilitator by the community, many initiatives are underway. We hope you enjoy reading his quarterly report below. The community is making great progress at sustainability, but Pastor Entonto has also identified many new needs. While the goal is that Lotumbe’s community development projects will generate income in order to cover ongoing costs, that is not yet feasible. Remember, the population is more than 90,000 scattered in hamlets throughout the forest!

If you would like to help support these exciting initiatives, please go to https://handupcongo.org/donate/. Tax deductibility is available.

FROM 01/01 TO 31/03/2017

As part of Débout (Stand Up) Lotumbe’s development activities, it is important to note that the preparation and presentation of reports and projects are part of my tasks. Indeed, the report referred to here concerns activities undertaken during the season from 01/01 to 31/03/2017.
This report is only a logical continuation of the previous report (report of development activities 01/10 to 31/12/2016), including some additions that have been made possible as a result of new inspirations on development.

With this in mind, apart from the introduction, some encountered difficulties and the conclusion, this report focuses on two main parts, namely:
- Activities carried out;
- Phase of donations received.

2.1. Jobs done.

2.1.1. With the Federation of Brothers and Sisters Farmers and Breeders of Congo (FFSAEC). The social movement which aims at food security through agro-pastoral projects. In this quarter, we carried out field maintenance, planting of palm trees and also held several awareness raising meetings in which we inventoried goods of the association, which include: two goats, a sow, a large field, a fish pond, and a sum of US $ 20.

2.1.2. With the teachers of the institute Nkolobise / Lotumbe (M.E.I.N), we freed three teachers by granting US $ 50 each. Then we just bought a Canal+ satellite, which will allow the people of Lotumbe to be aware of the televised information and realities that are happening in the world.

2.1.3. With the rebate project for the construction of houses in sustainable materials (Rcommad), we are continuing our activities normally. We have cleared two fields for two members: one of 60m2 and the other of 80m2 (we plan to plant grains there). We have just set up a field that meets our aspirations. This will create a new neighborhood in Lotumbe.

2.1.4. In order to raise the standard of living, seeking to support the social and health balance of our population, an association called “Mutual Health for the Disabled and Pygmies” was set up in Lotumbe on 01/02/2017 (Mushavpy-humanitarian aid) with the general objective: to take care of the handicapped and pygmies.

a. Specific objectives :
- Ensure health coverage for the handicapped and pygmies (health insurance);
- Provide means of transportation to our disabled (bicycle);
- Provide them with self-care activities;
- If possible, build a health center for pygmies.
b. Feasibility strategy: membership fee or mutual fund (sharing savings). We already have a sum of US $ 20 in our safe.
c. Number of disabled in Lotumbe: a total of 12, of which three are pygmies.

2.2. From the acquisition to the realization (using donations received)
During this period, we received from HandUp Congo via General Secretariat / Mbandaka an aid (envelope). On this, before justifying its feasibility, we would like to extend our warm congratulations and sincere thanks to HandUp Congo, ICA Australia and Mama Lucie for being realistic about the promises made and also for their/her dedication to their Lotumbe village. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Here, then, is the manner in which we have proceeded:

2.2.1. Pastor Jean Entonto’s salary from January to October 2017: $ 1080 US.
Until the proof to the contrary, I will force myself to execute what my father said before his death to me: “Listen, my son, the goods you will amass, think of sharing them with others. It is by doing so that you will reap peace and success in your journey.” That is why, using my own salary, apart from family satisfaction, I thought of others through the following:
a. Monthly, a sum of US $ 40 is voluntarily withdrawn by me from my salary and is oriented for the remuneration (incentive) to those who follow me to do development activities;
b. I bought three machetes, and other tools for field activities (to help our development associations);
c. From 10/01/2017, I provided for the hospitalization costs of Mr. IYOKE KADO (pygmy), purchasing all the medicines and hospital requirements. He suffered gangrene and appendicitis, but was helped by doctors.

Mr. IYOKE KADO lost a finger from gangrene
Medicines that I bought and gave to patients

d. In 30/03/2017, I helped Mr BOFUKIA with surgical and medicine costs at the Lotumbe Hospital. He suffered bilateral hernia and appendicitis.

Mr Bofukia with Pastor Entonto

2.2.2. Project assistance, education of 172 orphans and pygmies / Lotumbe. Here we only want to intervene on the US $ 450 which was intended for the purchase of ducks (one duck for each child).
We have encountered a great difficulty in sharing. One duck costs 5000FC, and we are overflowing with 172 orphaned and pygmy children. Normally there will be only 109 children who will receive his own duck. 63 others still do not have ducks. That is why, by mutual agreement, we have agreed to create enclosed areas for the breeding of ducks (to be shared).
I have already created the first site to support the education project, building a fence of 25m in width and 27m in length. There, I have built three chicken coops which currently contain 30 ducks, 18 hens, 2 cocks and 13 chicks.

At the second site we have an outstanding project. This is one of Lotumbe’s major development activities. A plot of 50m2 has been fenced and a three-bedroom house has been built with a sentry hired to secure our property. Ducks, pigs and goats will be housed there.
NB: Our various townships around Lotumbe pursue the following objectives:
Food security
Provide permanent production units for the support of orphans and pygmies in school.
At the third site, in the district Elinga / Lotumbe at prefect MBOMBA Samba’s home, the same objectives are pursued.
NB: We have also been informed that two brick presses have been purchased but we have not received them yet. Also, the HandUp Congo donors’ money destined for the schooling of 172 orphans and pygmies was distributed as required.

3 bedroom house

2.3. Difficulties encountered
1. For the office: the lack of solar energy systematically handicaps our activities. In this regard, the coordination office for development activities Debout Lotumbe presents below the needs that are of prime importance for its proper functioning:
- Printer-copier (US $ 450);
- A battery of 200w (US $ 220);
- A converter of 2500w (US $ 220);
- A solar panel of 200w (US $ 200);
- Some lines and other requirements (US $ 100).

Total: US $ 1190

2. For the education project of the 172 orphans and pygmies:
- At the secondary level (6th year), on 02/05/2017 there will be the dissertation. The six orphan finalists can only participate after payment of the required fees (US $ 145 each). Total: US $ 870.
- At the primary level (6th year), on 02/06/2017 the examination marking the end of primary study. The 28 finalist children, including 13 pygmies and 15 orphans, must present the requested fees. (US $ 45 each).

Total: 1260 $ US.

At the secondary level again (6th year), on 20/06/2017, six orphan finalists will face the tests that will end their secondary course. They must each pay US $ 165.

Total: US 990.

So, as part of the education project, the future difficulties are approaching.

3. For local farmers, failure of the milling machines in Lotumbe is a handicap and expense for development. Moreover, the project for the grinding machines has already been elaborated and the office asks if it can be sent to HandUp Congo for support.

4. For local builders (the rebate project for the construction of houses made of durable materials), the failure of chainsaws systematically impedes the effectiveness of the project.
5. For microcredit mothers and small local traders, the lack of access to means of transport (outboard motor) undermines the feasibility of our expectations on development.

6. For local breeders, the epidemiological acts regularly observed at Lotumbe with regard to our chickens, ducks and pigs are at the basis of the underdevelopment of our population. The most rapid means of remedying its criminal phenomena are to be provided eg medicines.

7. In the case of widows, the lack of tools necessary for the cultivation of vegetable crops.
8. Education: The Nkolobise Institute (Lotumbe high school) is faced with a difficulty with inadequate textbooks. The list of these documents was presented by the prefect of the said institute to Mama Lucie OTAENGA. What is the status?
9. From the standpoint of habitat, two buildings: Guest-house Lotumbe as well as the residence of the Director of the Esekama / Lotumbe primary school are in a state of notorious disrepair.

Home needs rehabilitation

This report has summarized some of the activities carried out during this quarter from January to March 2017 as well as the presentation and justification of donations received. It presents some difficulties encountered which once overcome, development will be effective.
On this basis, we propose that the visit of the development activities of Lotumbe be observed on the following axes:
- The Lotumbe Development Coordinating Office;
- FFSAEC and its accomplishments;
- Micro-credit mothers and other similar branches;
- Orphan, pygmy and disabled children;
- The work of widowed women;
- Livestock farms and fields;
- The General Hospital of Lotumbe and schools.
Here is my report for this quarterly period.
                                                                 Written at Lotumbe on 31/03/2017
                                                                 Pastor ENTONTO John
                                                                 Facilitator of Debout Lotumbe Development