Tigo DRC to fund innovative social projects

By Issa Sikiti da Silva, in Kinshasa, DR Congo

Mobile operator Tigo has, in partnership with Reach for Change, launched the second phase of a campaign aimed at funding social projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The country’s social entrepreneurs who are involved in social projects aiming to lift poor communities are being urged to apply for funding, on condition that their initiatives are innovative and have a digital scope. 

Tigo said the fundamental goal of this campaign was to improve the lives of children in particular and that of the Congolese society in general. 

More than 63% of the DRC’s population live in extreme poverty, according to the United Nations. More than one million children under five are said to be suffering from malnutrition, according to government statistics.

Many local organisations are believed to be striving to help poor people, but they seem to be lacking resources to move their work forward.

Four years ago, Tigo DRC and Reach for Change stepped in to help these social entrepreneurs by launching the first phase of this campaign. The following entrepreneurs and their NGOs were chosen and given funding: Naomie Colin Kuseyo and Yvette Kuseyo for Les Ecoles du Coeur (The Schools of the Heart), Sijis Dikete Dienga forEnfant Foot Development and Noella Thindwa for Congolese Children of the Future.

They all kicked off their work in 2013.

Tigo DRC spokesperson Barthé Ntshaball, standing in for the company’s MD, said at a press briefing that potentialcandidates should focus their ideas on digital technology. The winning projects will be funded to the tune of US$20 000 each, he added.

The first 100 social aspiring entrepreneurs who will be chosen during the selection will be helped out to develop and improve their ideas.

Natalie Engdahl, Africa operations manager for Reach for Change, told journalists that digital technology was amajor factor in social change as it strengthened the impact in the sectors of education, health, nutrition, among others.

The deadline for submitting applications is 20 October 2014. To apply, log in www.tigo.cd/leaders .

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