Pigs for Peace started in 2007 under the name Elevage et Developpement Agricole a Cituki (EDAC) where the initial model was tested with families living in Cituki, a town near Bukavu. In 2008, the model was refined and launched as Pigs for Peace. Pigs for Peace microfinance is focused on reducing the negative and multiple health, economic and social needs of rural families and communities affected by poverty and conflict.
Pigs for Peace (PFP) is a Congolese-led, community-based livestock microfinance intervention. PFP provide loans in the form of a 2 to 4 month old female piglet to rural villagers that express an interest in raising pigs and a commitment to the microfinance principles, (e.g., participating in community meetings, caring for their pig, and repaying their loan). Members of Pigs for Peace participate in a training program where they learn about how to build a pigpen using local materials and care for their pig. Members form and lead a community group that meets at least once a month to discuss challenges and successes and to guide new members for success. Our trained PFP Agents provide ongoing supervision and support to members with the assistance of a local, village-based assistant
Once the pigs give birth, approximately 11-12 months after receiving the female pig loan, the PFP member repays their pig loan to the project in the form of 2 female piglets, one piglet to repay the loan and one piglet to pay interest on the loan. The remaining piglets and the original female pig are for the member to continue to breed, sell to meet household needs such as school fees, medical care and materials to rebuilding homes. The 2-month old female piglets are used as loans for new members in the village thus ensuring that PFP continues to grow in the village while strengthening bonds between community members.
Pigs for Peace was started with an investment of $400 which was used to loan 10 female piglets to households who expressed an interest in livestock microfinance in a town near Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province. Our project has grown. As of December 2014, the Pigs for Peace project includes 25 villages and over 1400 households. We have seen the life-changing impact that PFP microfinance can have on families, helping them to educate and nourish their kids, pay for health care, improve their houses, replenish farms, build additional economic activities for families and bring communities together to support each other and solve problems. To better understand how Pigs for Peace helps individuals, their families and communities, we initiated an impact evaluation in 2011 in 10 rural Walungu Territory (located about 40-80 km from Bukavu), in South Kivu Province.
We launched as Pigs for Peace in towns surrounding Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province, in 2008. We started the project with loans to ten families in one village with the support of our dedicated manager and experienced pig farmer, Venance Banyewesize Luhazi. As of March 2014, Pigs for Peace microfinance has grown to 569 households in 15 villages surrounding our original location and territories of South Kivu Province . The project is growing with interested villagers continuing to visit Luhazi to ask for a pig loan. He maintains a waiting list of 700 to manage the demand for pigs.
Our original PFP microfinance initiative in Ciriri now serves as a demonstration site where we can train new Pigs for Peace members and test adaptations for the project as we continue to expand to new villages. For example, we maintain a farm where we raise pigs, manage compost and grow vegetables. This allows us to provide hands on learning to show villagers how to build a pig pen, feed and care for their pigs and the benefits of using compost to fertilize their fields.
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