We are now preparing for our trip full steam, Bernt and I. Saturday next week, we will be leaving for the Congo. If we add up the bank accounts in Sweden and Congo, we have managed to raise 200 000 SEK to this date. It feels good to know that the money we need for the first ten entrepreneurs has been secured. Our hope is that the money will continue to come in at the same pace as during November and December, when we collected 170 000 SEK. 150 000 SEK of this amount are loans, and the remaining 20 000 SEK are gifts. Our goal is to collect a total of 1000 000 SEK during 2011, either as loans or as gifts.
Since October, when we were in the Congo, there has been a lot of correspondence between us and the entrepreneurs. Our main contact in Matadi, Yapeco, is preparing for our next visit. Unfortunately, Yapeco doesn´t speak English, and when a subject needs to be particularly clear between us, the e-mail has to go through Gösta, a Congolese man who speaks English. He works for the UN in Haiti, but he is often the link between me and Yapeco. It is a good thing that e-mail travels fast. The regulatory framework for business loans and other documentation is being translated to French right now, and will be ready when we leave for the Congo. We are also moving our website to a web publishing tool that will make it possible for people in the Congo to publish the reports and follow-ups of the entrepreneurs. We hope to launch the new website within a couple of weeks. The website matadi.se will be the link between the Congo and Sweden. Every month, the lender will be able to see the development of his/her entrepreneur in Congo.
One issue that we haven´t solved yet is how to safely transfer money to
Matadi. I am going to Sparbanken next week, and I think they might have a solution.
The first week in the Congo, we will go over the work that the entrepreneurs have done since October. On January 17th we plan to pay out the loans, and during the second week we will meet a new group of entrepreneurs for three days. By that time, we hope to have found a few Congolese people that will be able to succeed us as course-leaders for the entrepreneurs. Our interpreter this time will be Julienne Kukangisa. She is Congolese and speaks Swedish, French and several African languages spoken in Congo. We hope that she will agree to become a course-leader for the entrepreneurs.