Mavuno is a nonprofit organization that empowers village leaders to end extreme poverty in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).


The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the site of the deadliest conflict since World War II. Over 5.4 million people have died.

DRC is one of the least developed places on earth. Rebel groups continue to terrorize communities. Extreme poverty, malnutrition, infant mortality, and lack of education are common. Extreme poverty fuels the cycle of violence. Fractured, impoverished communities are more vulnerable to attack, child abduction, and rebel recruitment.

Many Congolese say they feel hopeless. They see a bleak future with no opportunity.


We can change this.



When people create prosperity in their own villages, it breaks this cycle of violence. Local solutions to poverty can defuse conflict in the whole region.

Mavuno’s solutions are designed by Congolese villagers, so our work looks different in each village. Our role is to equip local leaders to end extreme poverty in their own communities. That’s why we start by listening, and we plan our exit from the beginning.

Read about our 5-step solution:




Each community chooses its own path to development, but we focus on three key areas of impact.

  • Agriculture

    Most rural Congolese are subsistence farmers. We train communities to diversify crops, increase yields, and improve storage methods. This creates food security and reduces malnutrition. We also help them innovate in the marketplace to command higher prices for their goods, increasing income. To manage this new wealth, we conduct financial literacy training, facilitate access to credit, and establish group savings accounts.

    Agriculture affects all of village life, so we often start here.

  • Education

    Education is one of the primary gateways to opportunity, but very few children in the communities we work with attend school.

    We forge partnerships with local schools and help families increase incomes so they can pay their own school fees. Program participants are often able to put all their children back in school within 1-2 years.

    And for the parents, we facilitate adult literacy classes so no one gets left out!

  • Health & Sanitation

    We partner with local leaders to solve a community’s most immediate health problems. Some villages don’t have any improved sanitation facilities, so we teach them how to construct public latrines. We also look at issues like clean water, malnutrition, and access to health care.

    Health care is often the most significant expense for a Congolese family, and it remains out of reach for many. One trip to the health center can cost an entire month’s earnings. Our communities establish health care mutualities, ensuring that all participants have access to affordable health care.




Mavuno’s first partner community, in the village of Bunzi, has undergone a radical transformation. Originally characterized by desperate poverty, Bunzi is now a place of human flourishing, and a perfect example of the power of locally-led development.




Help us scale an idea that’s working. Your support will bring our groundbreaking model to dozens more communities throughout eastern Congo.

Empower a community to create a future for themselves.