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The DR Congo ranks consistently near the bottom of the UN’s Human Development Index, as one of the poorest countries in the world. The hardships in the area of Madimba are many: maternal and child malnutrition, unsanitary conditions, poverty and inadequate housing.

CEDERI is an acronym of Centre de Développement Rural Intégré or Integrated Rural Development Center. Madimba is an area about 100km south of Kinshasa.

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.

Recently Susila Dharma Britain 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 Madimba’s priority work areas are training, health, water and sanitation and reforestation.

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 provides much of its own finance through agriculture and income generated through reforestation and health activities. 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 maximise its efforts on behalf of the rural poor.

More details about CEDERI-Madimba on the Susila Dharma International Association website

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