This endowment fund is aimed at providing ongoing financial support for continuing medical, public health and administrative education for employees and potential employees of Bon Berger clinic in Kinshasa, DR Congo.
Bon Berger is a primary care center founded and managed by two Congolese doctors, Pierre and Delphin, offering higher quality care to one of the poorer neighborhoods of Kinshasa, Dr Congo. Their services include primary care, laboratory, maternity, simple surgery, nutrition, public health and other social programs aimed at improving the lives of the poor in the neighborhood of Camp Luka. They employ about 15 medical staff and a number of volunteers.
Camp Luka is a community of 120,000 situated in a city of over 10 million inhabitants. It is isolated by 2 streams that border it on each side requiring most goods to be transported in by foot. The lack of access to basic community healthcare has resulted high mortality rates particularly for children under 5 years old. Education is inaccessible and children are largely illiterate with no marketable skills. As they get older they are forced into crime, drugs and prostitution to make a living. Inadequate electricity and water make economic advancement a challenge resulting in a high unemployment rate
The objectives of Bon Berger are as follows:
(1) affordable and accessible healthcare;
(2) a sufficiently equipped clinic;
(3) a qualified staff and;
(4) to witness Christ through their actions.
Bon Berger operates on the resources provided by the community. Many can't afford the fees but the clinic is committed to treat them anyways. This presents a challenge limiting the clinic's capacity to stock medicine and supply. The staff themselves are from the surrounding community and therefore have no other sources of income. Nevertheless, these challenges are accepted by the staff believing that community transformation will occur through their holistic approach with the strategic help of the global community.
MECDECO is a Congolese non-profit savings and micro-credit organization founded five years ago. They are partnered with a UN organization called PNUD which offers equipment and training and by the national microcredit association offering training and some financial assistance. Members are eligible for loans of up to $500 depending on the risk. The average loan is $100. They have 1450 members over three sites and at least as many people waiting to join. One of the sites is located across from Bon Berger clinic.
The Bon Berger savings and credit program offers three services to the community.
(1) Training. Two agents are employed to go out into the community and help members manage their affairs.
(2) Credit. There are 128 members who benefit from Bon Berger loans totaling about $28,000. They have up to 6 months to pay back their loans. The interest is 5% per month. This is compared to the local banks which charge 10% and offer no training or couching.
(3) Savings. Members can set up a short term saving account where they save and withdraw money on a daily basis. Almost 400 members use this program in order to build their business up. They also provide long term saving at 1.5% per month. Here the clients are required to save at least $5 for four months. There are 70 members using this program.
Bon Berger has had a four year experience with an endowment fund. In 2010 a $10,000 endowment fund was initiated. This fund continues to pay Bon Berger clinic $150 per month.
The Warren Memorial fund will be setup with IMHA. IMHA will offer a tax receipt to those who wish to keep on donating to the fund. IMHA presently does not charge for this service. Donations using VISA or credit cards, however, will be charged 2.5%. The money donated will be sent to the Bon Berger clinic through a Kinshasa bank. Fees for this transaction are about 1.5% of the funds transferred. Bon Berger will then retrieve this money and place it in their savings and credit outlet which in turn is operated by MECDECO. The account at credit and saving will also be called the Dr Warren Froese Memorial fund.
Interest earned on the fund will not be added back into the account at the savings and credit. Instead, it will go into a separate account in a Kinshasa bank (name of bank TBA). This account will be accessible online by the Warren Froese Memorial fund board of which there must be a representative of IMHA. Bon Berger will not be able to retrieve these funds without co-signing and/or written permission from the board. The reason why they are retrieving funds and a report on how they used the funds will also need to be provided.
Presently Bon Berger spends $3000/year of donated funds on ongoing education and they would like to provide more. This fund will provide $1800/year per $10,000 donated. In addition, the impact of the Bon Berger saving and credit operation is constrained by the limited savings in the community. This fund will provide further savings which will help meet their demand for credit. Increased economy in the community ultimately means more resources for Bon Berger as the clinic survives on what the local people can pay