Alliance of U.S. donors gives $2.6 million to build resilience in Democratic Republic of the Congo
[SAN DIEGO, CA, SEPTEMBER 2020] — The global coronavirus pandemic has highlighted our interconnectedness and responsibility for one another. As the virus continues to disproportionately harm already-marginalized groups, an alliance of high-capacity donors leveraged this interconnectedness for good. In July, this alliance—called Kingdom Giving Fund—committed $2.6 million to build resilience in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Building on Proven Impact
The $2.6 million investment will further the work of Plant With Purpose, Christian development organization headquartered in San Diego that reverses rural poverty by improving agricultural production, diversifying income, and mobilizing local churches. With a median per-capita income of less than $1 per day, DRC is one of the poorest countries in the world. In the mountainous communities of South Kivu where Plant With Purpose works—communities so remote that few nonprofits work there—the average family eats fewer than 1.3 meals per day.
But since launching work in DRC in 2015, Plant With Purpose has seen rapid transformation. A comparison study conducted after the two-year pilot program showed that all families living in the target watershed saw a 60 percent reduction in poverty levels, while participants in the control group saw no change. Participants also saved over 30 times the income of the comparison group, ate 48 percent more meals, and sent their girls to school 2.6 times more frequently. CEO Scott Sabin says that Plant With Purpose “saw in two years in the DRC what took seven years elsewhere.”
Proven results and an opportunity for resilience building drew Kingdom Giving Fund to invest in the DRC program. Modeled after traditional, pooled investment funds, Kingdom Giving Fund provides growth capital for initiatives that promise meaningful Kingdom impact instead of financial returns. The group was created by philanthropic advisor Excellence in Giving, which also vetted and presented the $2.6 million investment opportunity. The capital promises to accelerate Plant With Purpose’s already-significant impact in DRC by launching projects in five new watersheds in South Kivu.
Impact that Multiplies
“The DRC is an important country and Plant With Purpose has a proven model for creating economic improvement, political stability, and spiritual development,” said Wil VanLoh, Kingdom Giving Fund Chairman. “Our hope is that the Kingdom Giving Fund grant will strengthen and empower the families living in watershed areas.”
Veronika, a single mother of five, embodies both the vulnerability and tenacity at play in rural Congolese communities. After a disease left her paralyzed and ostracized, Veronika attended Plant With Purpose’s financial and discipleship workshops. She joined a community savings group, which equipped her to access a loan and launch her own business. Summing up the changes she’s experienced, Veronika says, “My children have returned to school, and my value and human dignity have been found despite my infirmity.”
Thanks to the collective generosity of Kingdom Giving Fund participants, 95,000 more people like Veronika will rise above poverty in Democratic Republic of the Congo. They will launch new businesses, save more money, send their children to school, and plant 10 million trees. In short, they will build resilience to move forward in an uncertain world.
In doing so, they will also transform the world around them. In DRC, Plant With Purpose’s participating families are 2.2 times more likely to support their neighbors. Just as Kingdom Giving Fund leverages collective resources for the common good, people like Veronika will use their training and knowledge to uplift communities. This partnership provides a glimpse of God’s interconnected kingdom, one in which global neighbors look out for each other.
Plant With Purpose is a Christian organization which reverses deforestation and poverty in the world by transforming the lives of the rural poor. Through environmental restoration, economic development, and spiritual growth, Plant With Purpose empowers the rural poor to change their communities.
Kingdom Giving Fund is an alliance of high-capacity, generous families who invest supplemental giving dollars into high-impact, Christ-centered projects.
For information related to Kingdom Giving Fund, contact Lindsey Caroon at (719) 329-1515 or [email protected]. For information related to Plant With Purpose, contact Corbyn Small at (480) 221-1122 or email [email protected].