The Fonds pour les Femmes Congolaises (FFC) – Congolese Women’s Fund – is a monetary fund that provides much-needed financial resources to women-led grassroots initiatives and organizations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The FFC was established by Julienne Lusenge, Director and Founder of Solidarite Feminine Pour la Paix et le Developpement Integral (SOFEPADI), in November 2007. Julienne had experienced first-hand the limited financial resources available to women-led projects – and donors’ reluctance to fund grassroots initiatives due to lack of financial monitoring and program evaluation. Her response was to mobilize donors around a fund that identifies effective grassroots initiatives and delivers adequate follow-up reporting.
Since its inception, the FFC has funded more than 60 projects from over 35 organizations throughout Congo. These projects focus on eliminating sexual violence against women, delivering empowerment programming for women and girls and educating women about HIV/Aids and reproductive health. The FFC specifically provides funding to women-led organizations that are not able to access funding for a variety of reasons – including a general lack of opportunity and challenges meeting international funding criteria.
Aside from providing financial resources, the FFC also works to build the organizational and operational capacities of women-led initiatives. The FFC provides recipients with training in project management, planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation and resource mobilization, enabling them to successfully seek funding from other sources. The FFC also brings recipient organizations together to share best practices and identify effective strategies to address common challenges. In doing so, the FFC has strengthened the Congolese women’s movement.