“We must work together across borders as partners. Not for charity, but because we have the same challenges and all live together on the same planet. More than ever, we realise that people are connected globally. No matter who or where, the challenges and the dreams are often the same. So are the concerns.”
For the 2021 - 2022 activities, we propose a selection of stories, large and small, sometimes with telling figures, sometimes with testimonies of people whose lives have changed significantly.
The full activity report can be downloaded from the website.
Towards inclusive health
Mobile care teams in Niger
Despite the government's efforts, access to quality health care remains a major problem in Niger. Many people live in remote and sometimes insecure areas. For basic medical assistance, they can go to their village health post, but often enough they stand in front of a closed door as the post has run out of medical supplies. For a real medical problem, they have to go to the city. It is too far on foot and hours of driving away from the village, so people do not often go there.
Enabel and Niger's Ministry of Public Health worked out a solution to bring medical assistance to the people.
Since 2019 mobile healthcare teams are operating. Their medical staff bring supplies and medicines to the health posts. As a result, people from the surrounding villages can count on the services of the health post. Moreover, additional services are offered monthly, so that people can also go to the health post for other medical assistance, which in turn relieves the larger medical entities.
“ Every month we go out. I travel with two nurses to different villages in a specific region. There we offer medical consultations. Pregnant women visit us, children who need vaccinations, but residents can also come to us with other health problems. ”
When motorcycle taxi drivers save lives
Uganda's maternal and infant mortality rates are still very high. Improving transportation of mothers that are about to give birth can save many lives.
Through our Wehubit programme, the Mama Rescue application from the BrickByBrick organisation has enabled since 2021 more than 7,000 women to be brought to maternity wards on time, leading to more safe deliveries.
“Several mothers call me at any time from the neighbouring villages to come and take them to the hospital to save both the life of the mother and the baby.”
A life-changing app
In Guinea, Enabel worked on the development of a website and mobile application for Guinean youth, which provides information and raises awareness on sexual and reproductive health, as well as gender equality.
COVID-19 results in your pocket
The Covid-19 pandemic showed that we must be as ready as possible to provide real-time information to limit the spread of the virus. In Rwanda, Enabel collaborated with the Rwanda Biomedical Center to develop a COVID-19 app, giving citizens the opportunity to manage their vaccination status, keep track of their test results and offering access to various reliable resources related to COVID-19.
More than 10,000 people have downloaded the app.
Infrastructures at the service of citizens
Rwanda : switching to light
Feeling more secure in your home, watching your children do their homework at night, starting a new business, or simply enjoying a cold soda in the midst of the day… Access to affordable and reliable electricity can transform peoples’ lives.
Since 2014, Enabel has been working closely with the Rwandan government and Rwanda Energy Group to reach the target of 100% electricity access by 2024. And after eight years, the results are here: more than 1000 km of power network have been constructed in the Eastern Province of Rwanda. The Electricity Access Rollout Project has connected 33 schools, 14 health facilities, over 400 businesses and SMEs, as well 24 public administration institutions.
“Having electricity brings a sense of liveliness, and activity. These days, the amount of theft has gone down because thieves are afraid of being seen.”
Access to electricity plays an essential role in almost all aspects of our lives: for health workers, this means not having to use flashlights to light rooms, and focus on providing better care for their patients.
For ICT teachers, lacking electricity meant only being able to teach the theory of computer science, without showing the practical side of things.
For students, access to electricity means access to the internet, a game-changer to succeed at college.
“ It was like a dream! Before we got the electricity, I was using a solar system in my salon. That allowed me to work about three hours a day. Being connected to the grid means I can work as many hours as I want. On a daily average, I can now serve over twice as many customers. ”
Agricultural development for food sovereignty
Mauritania, with its 41.6 million inhabitants, is one of the least densely populated countries in Africa. It is basically a desert country but it also has vast expanses of pastureland. It has an extraordinary dairy potential. However, from production to consumption, this sector is barely profitable.
With European Union funds, Enabel supports the development of the local value chain – from storage and preservation to processing and consumption – to make it sustainable and economically viable, while reinforcing Mauritanian inhabitants' food sovereignty.
Local governments joining forces for better services to citizens
All over the world cities are expanding, and rural areas are increasingly becoming more urban, Palestine is no exception. With this, new challenges emerge. Population density increases and services need to be adapted to this new reality. People working for local government also realised this and decided to cooperate for planning and delivering services to their citizens.
In some cases, this led to villages officially joining forces and becoming one municipality.
Drinking water for 500,000 Congolese
Since 2018, Enabel has been working in the provinces of Kasai Oriental, South Kivu and Maniema on a drinking water supply project for more than 500,000 people.
In Mbuji Mayi, the capital of the province of Kasai Oriental, wells were drilled to reach the groundwater, sometimes as deep as 200 metres. Enabel built two photovoltaic pumping stations in 2021. Six more will be built in the province so that residents outside the city also have access to drinking water.
Women in leadership
Welcome in the digital era of Benin, carried by Women In Tech
Benin wants to be a digital frontrunner. The Ministry of Digitisation (MND) and Enabel are running the EU-funded Digiboost project, aimed at building an ecosystem of support organisations, promoting the entrepreneurial spirit and encouraging innovative partnerships.
Digiboost places particular emphasis on initiatives in favour of women. The project’s biggest accomplishment is the consolidation of the Women In Tech (WIT) community in 2021, an influential and diversified network of female digital entrepreneurs. The WIT-community has generated traction and support above expectations, up to the level where men have become true ambassadors of the community.
Women in Tech has sensitised and encouraged hundreds of women to develop economic activities through digitisation through a roadshow in eight cities across the country.
A federation of 36 member organisations has been created, offering collective and individual training and exchange sessions to further encourage the spirit of collaboration. The on line platform www.digiboost.bj offers an accessible and valuable public service for all stakeholders, support organisations, NGOs, start-ups, public actors and financial institutions.
In Guinea, the "Pépites" initiative supports 180 MSMEs led by women through a digital platform, which offers access to financing and to technical and managerial training. 80 of them have developed from an organisational as well as operational viewpoint. This enabled them to access new markets and increase the visibility of their products and services.
Our goal is to make these women economic champions in Conakry, the capital, as well as in the regions of Kindia and Mamou.
"Queens of the road" in Kisangani
In order to boost youth employment in the DR Congo, Enabel supports labour market insertion and starting business incubators.
As part of this initiative, twelve young women were trained to operate heavy machinery. They are now ready to take the road.
Thanks to a collaboration between business incubators and the Roads Agency, they could do a two-month internship to improve their general skills and specialise in a range of machines. Internships with real, sustainable career prospects.
In Benin, gender equality on the rise
In a country where bias, social constraints and traditions continue to weigh on gender relations, we met Innocentia Apovo, Ghislaine Bocovo and Pristille Tofoedo. Three women who dreamed of becoming policewomen; three women who contribute to breaking down gender stereotypes and pave the way for an equal future.
“ This is a job for women; it makes you exceptional. Because you do everything that men can do.”
The climate no longer waits
Building a sustainable future for Lake Tanganyika
It is 6:30 p.m. when Zafarani Kayabara drops her helmet and gloves and ends her day on the job. She is a member of Juhudi PESA, a community-based organisation from Kigoma in Tanzania that picks up waste and brings it to the collection points in the city's districts.
Her natural leadership and motivation are well known in the area. Together with the other members of the organisation she is determined to contribute to the protection of Lake Tanganyika, a unique ecosystem and one of the natural wonders of the world.
Its natural biodiversity is however threatened by climate change, pollution and human activity. The poor quality of the water, the progressive disappearance of fish and the appearance of pandemics such as cholera are all alarming signs.
In order to cope with this, with European funds of the Latawama project, Enabel supports several community-based organisations, such as Zafarani. In addition to waste collection and personal protection equipment, these organisations – made up largely of female heads of household as well as men and youths from disadvantaged backgrounds – receive organisational support. The project also assists the municipality of Kigoma in its waste collection and disposal tasks by creating new collection points, upgrading vehicles and setting up a financing system.
Women have a key role in the fight against climate change. While they are not often put in the limelight, they are definitely active behind the scenes. And Zafarani concludes: “We take care of the lake, because it takes care of us.”
Laying the groundwork for sustainable architecture in Rwanda and Burundi
It matters how we design and build public spaces. Public spaces have an influence on how we live our lives and on the environment. Marketplaces, schools, hospitals, community centres and the bridges and roads connecting all these places contribute to a higher quality of life and help mitigate the impact of climate change.
In Rwanda, Enabel kicked-off a first participation project in Rwanda’s Rubavu district in 2021. More than a hundred representatives from the Agakiriro market, related cooperatives, students and citizens gathered to assess their needs and propose participatory projects to local government representatives.
Besides participation of users, choices of materials are also important. Enabel prefers to use locally produced materials. This reduces the cost of construction and makes maintenance easier and less expensive.
In Burundi, we used perforated bricks to construct 3 multimedia resource centres on vocational training campuses. These bricks are made from clay, which abounds in Burundi and in the Great Lakes region. Using clay bricks helps reduce the need to import cement.
After seeing the positive results at the multimedia resource centres, the perforated brick sector continues to grow. There are now more building sites using this technique and more young Burundians have the skills to work on such construction sites.
Respect for the environment also means respect for human rights
Enabel and its Trade for Development Centre advocate fair and sustainable trade. Policy advocacy is an essential part of this.
Spurred on by Enabel and Fairtrade Belgium, the Business Duty of Care working group was established. Entrepreneurs were also involved. A group of 60 companies and business federations drafted a letter asking the Belgian government to develop a national legal framework requiring businesses to take responsibility for environmental standards and human rights in their supply chains.
The power of vocational training
New opportunities for 15,000 young Guineans
In Guinea, Enabel works with young unemployed Guineans and Guinean migrants who have returned to their homeland. Although some want to go to Europe, 75% of emigrating Guineans prefer to migrate to neighbouring countries or the Maghreb. In neighbouring Senegal alone, there are about 3.5 million Guineans.
They left Guinea mainly for economic reasons. Returning migrants return after a journey of several months or years. Upon returning, they often have a hard time reintegrating.
Belgium wants to offer these young people a new start: They receive vocational training and financial support to start their own businesses. By providing youth with training that matches the needs of the labour market, they are less likely to emigrate and they can contribute to their country's economy.
In the course of five years, Enabel and its partners want to put 15,000 people to work while focusing on low-skilled people between 18 and 35 years of age. 6,000 young people, of whom 2,000 are returning migrants, will receive comprehensive support during nine months. About twenty training courses are offered, e.g. for plumbers, electricians or bricklayers. Literacy courses and financial training are also offered.
At the school of entrepreneurship
Solange, who grew up in Cameroon is a mother of three. She arrived in Morocco in 2017 to join her husband. The Amuddu project helped Solange obtain her self-employed status and launch her enterprise.
“ One day, I found a can at the water's edge. I took it with me and informed after the value of aluminum. I discovered that these cans could be bought to be melted down and resold as aluminum blocks and that this could generate an income. ”
From that moment on, everything started rolling. She met one of the Amuddu agents at a meeting, who informed her about the project and the services offered to migrants by the National Agency for the Promotion of Employment (ANAPEC). Once she had registered with ANAPEC, Solange attended many courses and she learned to elaborate her business plan, which helped her in moving from the informal to the formal economy.
Solange lives from recovering cans from several restaurants and from cleaning operations on the coast in Rabat.
DR Congo: training young coaches for better professional insertion
Vocational and technical training that is adapted to the needs of the job market, internship opportunities, coaching of young talents looking for a job or youths full of enthusiasm to create their own business... In the Kisangani area in the DRC’s Tshopo province, that was like a nice dream, until recently.
In collaboration with the Federation of Enterprises of the Congo (FEC), Enabel started an initiative with a view to promoting vocational training. First of all, about thirty young talents were trained as coaches/trainers at boot camps, so that they can in turn train and accompany young people in starting an independent economic activity.
In collaboration with local incubators, a guide on business skills, project development, marketing, financial management and business management was developed for beginning entrepreneurs.
After graduating from boot camp, the coaches themselves train and mentor hundreds of young people in the region, thus building a vital bridge between the school and the business world.