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ECHO-HIP project on building a protective environment for vulnerable people in FIZI territory

ECHO-HIP Project

The project which started earlier this year despite the COVID-19 constraints, the project is targeting 20 communities focusing on Education, Child protection and General protection including responses to COVID-19.

In territory of Fizi, province of South Kivu in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo, ActionAid launches awareness for the ECHO-HIP project funded by the European Union. This project aims to build a protective environment for vulnerable people.

The ECHO-HIP has a protective objective for the people concerned through access to basic education and community protection in emergency situations targeting vulnerable people including women and girls, young children, the elderly, people with disabilities and displaced people from different conflicts in the high and middle plateaux of Fizi territory."

Start-up activities:

  • Community and stakeholder engagement

Community conversations were held in 20 localities to share project objectives and activities with communities. This enabled the formation of women’s groups and men’s groups to participate and lead in the implementation of the project. These groups will be trained and provided support to address protection issues in their localities as well as undertake community level advocacy to reduce protection risk of persons of concerned.

  • Meeting with humanitarian actors,

Officials of the territorial administration, Meeting with other actors (MSF, NRC, CNR, IPP, PROVED, UNHCR, ICRC, OCHA and TPO.)

This will enable AA DRC harmonize its activities with other organization for a coordinated response to maximize impact of the project. It is important to however note that AA DRC has existing partnership with the Fizi Territorial Administration, UNHCR, CNR and IPP in the Fizi Territory.

  • Media engagement, The activities were covered by two local radio stations who AA DRC will enter into an MOU for long term engagement due to their rootedness and coverage. Link below is from one of the radio stations on the activities.

Some key results expected from the project:

  • Recruitment of 60 protection monitors
  • Rehabilitation of classrooms, 4 schools in Fizi centre, Kichula, Kikonde and Umoja have been identified in consultation with the territorial administration, IPP and the education cluster for rehabilitation. A civil engineer will be engaged to provide the bill of quantities for the procurement processes to be launched next week.
  • Construction of multipurpose centers, Katanga and Fizi Center have also been identified for the construction of multipurpose centers. This based on consultation with key stakeholders and persons of concern.
  • Dignity kits; In consultation with UNFPA and consultation with persons of concern and other stakeholders, the following kits will be procured for vulnerable women. They include 1 piece of small seal, 1 dozen of under clothing, 1 cotex package (sanitary napkins), 2 pieces of toilet soaps, 1 piece of lotion (beauty milk), 1 piece wipe (toilet paper), 1 piece of medium size seal for shower and can.
  • Complaints and feedback mechanism, To ensure that AA DR establishes a complaints and feedback mechanism that responds to the needs and interest of persons of concern, conversations were also held with communities to find out the most appropriate modalities to be used for complaints and feedback. Suggestions that came included installation of suggestion boxes in all beneficiary communities, open a toll-free number for AAI to allow community members to speak directly on very urgent concerns and the organization of bi-monthly accountability meetings with community members and persons of concern. In addition to the suggestions from communities, a help desk will also be provided during community visits and activity implementation. It is however noted that, in some of the communities, there are already some suggestion boxes that organizations like IMC, AIDES, CARE have installed. But the number is not enough, and persons of concern do not have access. CARE has a toll-free line in Fizi Central.

The project will benefit the people of 20 villages/ communities: Baraka, Fizi-Center, katanga, Malinde / Mulongwe, Namisha, Burembo, Bibogobogo, Kafulo, Kananda, Umoja, Kasakwa, Tubanga, Bwala, Kilicha, Nalubwe, Mukera, Kichula, Lumanya, Kikonde and Rubana. And it was funded by the European Union in order to support the actions of the central government via humanitarian organizations opening within the walls of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

ECHO-HIP: Community Engagment
Grace Nshokano Burume

In all these processes, COVID 19 restrictive protocols were observed to keep staff, stakeholders and community members safe.