The AusCongo Network was founded by Pastor Constantin Mukendi in 2008, after he identified a need for better ways for Congolese people living in Australia to support those living in the Democratic Republic of Congo (the Congo). He was inspired by the proverb “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.
We support the empowerment of community members to make their own decisions and support them to achieve their goals and are directed by the wishes of the communities we work with. We work within an asset-based community development approach to harness a community’s strengths, capacities and assets rather identifying deficits which engenders a sense of powerlessness.
We use a bottom-up model of development. We prioritise participatory, people-centred methodologies that develop knowledge, skills, and opportunities. We respect individuals and encourage them to achieve their highest potential. Our business development and microfinance programs ensure participants receive training and support in line with best practice found through research. We prioritise relationships through commitment to values such as, trust, integrity, accountability, transparency, ownership, commitment, using what we have, self-help and mutuality.
We encourage entrepreneurial values of initiative-taking, innovative, and prudent opportunity recognition, evaluation, and implementation. This enables individuals and groups to design their own business structures to achieve their own individual and collective goals.
We are open to collaborating with any individuals or organisations who share our aims and can work with our values.