On Sunday, March 20, 2022, the women in the Bolenge church district in the Democratic Republic of the Congo started a three-year fundraising project in a service. The women want to collect money over the next three years to buy a TOYOTA pick-up together, which they can use to transport vegetables and fruit from the surrounding villages to the weekly market. So far, the women have used public taxis or ride on trucks – but this costs them a lot of money and they are not flexible in terms of time. Mama Belinda, chairwoman of the women’s work in the Dortmund partner church district of Bolenge, and at the same time chairwoman of the Dortmund partnership group in Bolenge, describes the project as follows:
1) Is it really worth buying an expensive new car with all the complicated technology?
“We consider a new vehicle rather than a used vehicle because a used vehicle risks causing us major losses through frequent breakdowns. A new vehicle has long-term guarantees with no major breakdowns that could lead to the cessation of our activities. We are not thinking of a new vehicle with complicated technology, but a new vehicle with ordinary technology, brands that can be used in the city of Mbandaka and the region, such as a TOYOTA.”
2) In terms of maintenance, do you manage to service and maintain this car in the region?
“The maintenance and care of the vehicle is not a problem as we have mechanics nearby who can repair the vehicle if necessary. The driver who has to work with us on this project must also have TOYOTA maintenance skills.”
3) „What are the next steps?“
We have already taken a first step: On Sunday, March 20th, 2022, the fundraising service for the congregations of the land axis, led by the mothers, took place. The PSP (Superintendent in Bolenge) and I will do a tour on the river axis to take on the contribution of the parishes. You will be informed of the final result in due course.”
4) Do you have a financing plan? What are the expected costs for the suites? And how do you finance them?
„We have a financing plan that extends over three years. The average per year is estimated at US$3,350. So after 3 years we will have $10,000 together. We women have opened our own bank account in USD, where we have already deposited the collected collection from 03/20/2022 and every time we collect more money, we will also deposit it there. The steps to purchase the vehicle will begin once we have reached $10,000 in total. Our financing plan takes our economic realities into account. We are determined to reach $10,000 in three years. Our brother and colleague Oscar Pekombe advised us on pricing in Kinshasa so we could get an idea of the acquisition costs and also estimate other river freight costs to Mbandaka.