Congo Initiative, Inc.

Together we are

aka Congo Initiative   |   Durham, NC   |  https://congoinitiative.org/

Mission

Congo Initiative is an envisioned community of Christ-centered Congolese leaders and global partners united for the transformation of lives and a flourishing Democratic Republic of Congo.

Our vision is simple. Live by faith and with confidence. Work hard for the common good. Forgive and be forgiven. Do not dwell in the past or conform to the pattern of the world. Do something new and be transformed by renewing your mind.

Empowered by this vision, Congo Initiative educates ethical leaders who have integrity; invests in a sustainable vibrant Congolese society; and develops grassroots initiatives for peace, hope, and justice.

In this vision, we are together—being transformed to transform.

Ruling year info

2007

Acting Executive Director

Justin Hubbard

Main address

PO Box 2323

Durham, NC 27702 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-3467419

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (R01)

Higher Education Institutions (B40)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

A significant factor behind Congo's inability to flourish is failed leadership. The dearth of visionary leaders contributes to a failing state and compromised civil society, legal system, churches, economy, natural resource management, and education system.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Christian Bilingual University of Congo (UCBC)

Christian Bilingual University of Congo/Université Chrétienne Bilingue du Congo (UCBC) is leading Congo by modeling a type of education that is integrated and relevant for Congo’s challenges in the 21st century. UCBC is a 4-year, liberal arts institution that offers undergraduate (Bachelors) degrees.

Population(s) Served
Students
Adults

Vulnerable women receive training in sewing, baking, and literacy, empowering them to earn a livelihood that will provide a better life for themselves and their families.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Women and girls

The vision of STL is to promote peace and human flourishing by facilitating the development of a just, transparent, effective Land Information and Management System in DR Congo. The mission of STL is to use participatory Geographic Information Systems (GIS) methods coupled with community organizing principles to improve land governance and administration, to address land conflict, and to enhance urban planning and rural development in eastern DRC.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

Promoting and supporting sustainable agribusiness, particularly in Congo's coffee sector.

Population(s) Served
People of African descent
Economically disadvantaged people

Neema Congo is a resource and capacity building program that fosters entrepreneurship activity within the community and engages in robust monitoring and evaluation of small business ventures.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Women and girls

Due to poverty, unemployment, and other hardships, many families in Beni and the surrounding area are unable to afford school fees. La Charité serves more than 300 children who otherwise may not attend school.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Académie Bilingue du Congo (ABC) is the affiliated primary school of UCBC, and seeks to apply its transformational vision of education in the lives of Congo’s youngest learners through character development, community engagement, and critical thinking.

Population(s) Served
Students
Economically disadvantaged people

Wakisha is the business accelerator of Congo Initiative, providing financial and mentoring support to emerging entrepreneurs to scale high impact, innovative startups in eastern Congo.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Self-employed people

We envision the renewal and strengthening of the Church in post-conflict regions so that the Church becomes a community of holistic transformation and global mission.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

Starting at a grassroots level, the Justice Initiative trains and supports lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals to elevate, promote, and advocate for justice and transformation in a broken system.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Incarcerated people

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

By September 2020, Congo Initiative (CI) will develop 1500 transformational leaders who embody sacrificial service for the common good, creative change-making, vocational excellence and Christian hope. The result will be a population of eastern Congo that experiences greater flourishing due to the impact of Christian community, excellent education, restored families, and improved governance and economic development through the service of transformational leaders.

Congo Initiative's strategy and catalyst of change is a transformational community developing transformed leaders. Nurtured by a transformational community rooted in Christian hope, transformed leaders then respond to challenges in four key sectors where CI's projects, programs, and institutions demonstrate transformational impact. These sectors are education, governance and economic development, renewing Christian vocation, and holistic family development. Below we outline the challenges and our strategic interventions for each sector.

Education Sector

Challenges: Lack of integration between theory and practice; absence of critical thinkers; lack of equal access to quality education; and existing models of education produce elitist and irrelevant academics not equipped to function in a globalized world or respond to the needs of the community.

Interventions: Transformational, bilingual, triadic education. Learner-centered methodology. Excellent and contextually-relevant research. Culture of evaluation and best practices. Integration of faith and learning. Holistic approach to Christian formation.

Governance and Economic Development Sector

Challenges: Extreme poverty; lack of capacity to begin and grow sustainable businesses; lack of access to mentors and capital; lack of innovation; toxic business climate; formal and informal predatory and complex taxation and regulatory structures; decline of a middle class; lack of skilled civil servants; misinformation and confusion about law; endemic corruption, impunity and lack of integrity in Congolese society;

Interventions: Facilitating civil society advocacy and organization for more just, transparent business governance practices; Developing and deploying technology to improve governance, environmental sustainability, and land conflict prevention. Providing mentoring, legal support, capital, and ethical formation for entrepreneurs; Providing market and value chain knowledge to agribusiness actors.

Renewing Christian Vocation Sector

Challenges: Separation of spiritual affairs from worldly realities in Congolese understanding of Christian mission; division within and between Christian churches in Congo; lack of fully realized vision for Christian vocation.

Interventions: Holistically developing professionals, public servants, lawyers and others by grounding them ethically and spiritually for their work. Interdenominational network and leadership development opportunities for church leaders and professionals.

Holistic Family Development

Challenges: Violence caused by lack of justice; broken relationships in families and communities; cultural norms enabling mistreatment of women; unequal access to support and advocacy services.

Interventions: Building capacity of direct caregivers and community leaders in trauma healing and counseling. Providing access to robust advocacy and services for marginalized people.

We implement our strategies and interventions through 10 programs and institutions, led by our community of transformed leaders:

Université Chrétienne Bilingue du Congo
The Integrated Research Center (incl: Sharing the Land project and the Agribusiness Center)
Académie Bilingue du Congo (Primary School)
La Charité (Primary School)
The Justice Initiative
Bethesda Counseling Center
Vocational Training and Counseling for Women
Neema Congo (small venture economic development
Wakisha (high-impact entrepreneurship)
Church Renewal and Global Mission

These programs and institutions are supported by our CI global organization with a commitment to Congolese leadership. Although we are Congolese-led, we collaborate with colleagues across the globe who are committed to working together for Congo's flourishing. In Congo, Congo Initiative (CI-Congo) is a registered Non-Governmental Organization governed by a General Assembly and directed by an Executive Team. The CI Executive Team exists to align, resource, serve, and facilitate the functions of every CI project, program, and institution in order to accomplish our mission and goals.

Through a facilitative, consultative, service-oriented approach toward organizational leadership, the Executive Team is responsible for ensuring the successful implementation of the strategic plan through oversight, support, resourcing, and evaluation of all CI projects, programs, and institutions. Congo Initiative USA (CI-USA) promotes Christian higher education, leadership development, and community transformation in Congo through personnel and financial support to CI-Congo.

Our organization's capabilities are further strengthened by partnerships with several other organizations working locally in North Kivu, as well as across the globe. From green energy to scholarships for advanced degrees, our partnerships are diverse and growing each year. Some of our current organizational partnerships include the following:

Kivu Green Energy
Mavuno
ONC Beni
ONC Bukavu
Uganda Christian University
Daystar University
Eastern Congo Initiative
MONUSCO
UN-Habitat
McCain Institute
ScholarLeaders International
Global Land Tool Network
Élan-RDC
And many more!

For the past 10+ years, Congo Initiative has also been grateful for the growing relationships with many individual, church, and foundation partners for funding programs in each sector and building capacity across our organization.

Our main institution, Université Chrétienne Bilingue du Congo celebrated its 10 year anniversary in 2017. As of this year, over 500 alumni (43% female) have received a transformative education at the Christian Bilingual University of Congo (UCBC). Equipped with vision, knowledge, and skills, these alumni are now working with local businesses, or innovating new ones; serving in local and international NGOs; continuing their education; or have joined the Congo Initiative community as staff, deepening the vision and impact of our work. The university now employs 100 staff and operates a 90 acre campus almost entirely on solar energy. The centerpiece of the campus, a large community center is currently under construction.

Our other programs have made incredible strides over the years. Sharing the Land (STL) project has improved land reform and land rights for residents of Beni's Masiani neighborhood and Goma's Volcan neighborhood. STL is now involved with the land reform process at the national level! More than 1 million people are expected to benefit from Sharing the Land's work in land mediation, land tenure security and rights, urban planning, rural development, and gender issues.

Our Agribusiness Center helped develop coffee supply chain maps for an interactive coffee atlas that is now used widely by coffee farmers and exporters in eastern Congo. The atlas has increased outside investment and interest in DRC's coffee, helping revitalize the coffee industry and ultimately improve livelihoods. The Center is now planning to help improve the tracking of the cocoa, which results in improved production practices, higher quality cocoa, and therefore higher premiums for the producers.

La Charité Primary School has served more than 300 children who otherwise may not attend school due to poverty, unemployment, and other hardships.

Vocational Training and Counseling activities has served over 20 at-risk women.

ABC Primary School has served 62 students and employed 15 local teachers and staff and were able to provide daily meals for each student.

Bethesda Counseling Center has served over 400 adults and children through individual and group counseling activities.

Our Justice Initiative has served over 150 legal professionals in three eastern Congo cities (Bunia, Butembo and Beni), and secured the release of 207 unjustly convicted or imprisoned prisoners and 75 imprisoned children.

Neema Congo projects have impacted 153 beneficiaries, including 38 women now trained in basic business skills, and enabled five families to send their children to school. Over 348 hours have been invested in business mentoring and coaching.

Church Renewal and Global Mission (CRGM) has served hundreds of church leaders through servant-leadership development training; ministered to thousands of youth; and conducted reconciliation workshops for thousands in northeastern Congo.

Financials

Congo Initiative, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Congo Initiative, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 8/19/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Tim Shaw

First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu

Term: 2016 - 2019


Board co-chair

Chelsie Chan

Tearfund U.S.

Term: 2017 - 2022

Meredith Joss

No Affiliation

David Kasali

Université Chrétienne Bilingue du Congo

Barrett McRay

Wheaton College

Margaret Mwenda

Davenport University

Paul Robinson

Wheaton College

Kasereka Kasomo

African Christian Community Church of Southern California

Dave Bebb

Cadence Design Systems

John Bower

New York Life

Ben Chappell

Retired Lawyer

John Gemmill

Retired Lawyer

Betsy Poole

Duke University

Arnila Vaughan

Department of State - U.S.

Chelsie Chan

World Vision

Lisa Sinclair

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 08/19/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data