For more than 20 years, the deadliest conflict since World War II has stunted development in eastern Congo. Health care and other vital services have been provided through foreign aid budgets, but inconsistent funding and frequently shuttered facilities mean these services are almost never available when Congolese families really need them. In response to this, USAID co-created with American Refugee Committee (ARC) to fight preventable and treatable diseases, such as diarrhea, malaria, and acute respiratory infections (ARIs). The primary goal of Asili is to develop an integrated, scalable delivery solution to dramatically improve child survival and maternal health in South Kivu, DRC. Asili will implement a sustainable social enterprise platform to create healthier, more resilient, economically empowered, and functional communities in South Kivu.
Asili takes an approach of long-term sustainable development using business principles. It can be thought of as a strip mall with a cluster of businesses in one location, tackling both supply-of and demand-for services. The current business lines include a health clinic, a clean water distribution system, and an agricultural cooperative to help farmers increase their yields and incomes. Services are linked through a monthly membership, which allows members access at reduced prices. The platform is both real and virtual – located in villages and powered by technology.
Currently operating at conveniently located retail outlets in five villages, and soon to be expanding, Asili’s gravity-based reservoir system has revolutionized our customers’ ability to obtain clean, safe water. So far, the project has sold over 3,000,000 liters. It is constantly undergoing improvements to ensure that Asili water is reaching the highest possible levels of service. The project is also prototyping the potential of its water sales, selling water in the closest big city, Bukavu, to businesses, establishments, and even other NGOs.