DR Congo

Reaching the Most Vulnerable through Budikadidi Group-Based Activities

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The most vulnerable people in a rural village are not often able to benefit from group activities. Physical, social, or financial limitations keep them from equally participating in or contributing to group activities. When groups are self-selecting, the most vulnerable are less able to compete for limited membership, and the final group composition is likely to be less supportive of the most vulnerable. In villages with weak formal governance, high competition for membership, and no groups designed specifically to meet the needs and capacities of the most vulnerable, the Budikadidi program struggled to reach the most vulnerable people through mainstream activities. However, when the program created groups specifically adapted to the unique needs and limitations of the most vulnerable, these people were able to participate and benefit from the program. Further, the increased social connectivity within the group provided a sustainable social safety net that benefited the participants as much as the program activities themselves.