Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Placeholder
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the


About the Implementing organization

Name: The Pole Pole Foundation

Country: Congo, The Democratic Republic of the

Year of establishment: 1992

Type of organization: Community-based association or organization / Legally recognized non-profit status


Spirulina is a micro-alga, which is the richest whole-food source nature has to offer. Spirulina contains unusually high amounts of protein, between 60 and 70 percent. In addition, it includes nearly all essential fatty acids, minerals and vitamins, and is easily digested and assimilated by the human body. Spirulina has proven results in battling malnutrition and malnutrition-related diseases. Spirulina also has proven results in improving academic success among children and youth. Furthermore, Spirulina production requires very little natural resources and has minimal impact on the environment. It is perhaps the most sustainable food crop available.

The Spirulina project provides the pools and Spirulina seed needed to establish Spirulina production, and also provides training so that the project can be managed and harvested over the long term.

This is an innovative process because it sees the link between malnutrition and gorilla conservation, and has produced an innovative solution to solve it. The Spirulina grows well and can be harvested every few days, providing a regular supply and short harvesting period compared to conventional crop agriculture.

Nature Element

Forests / Wildlife

Type of Action

Awareness and education

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Climate action

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)


Environmental Impacts

The schools provide education for over 250 pupils per year, providing an affordable education that gives those children a better chance at life and an understanding of the importance of conservation. In addition, 5 ex-poachers are employed as teachers at the schools, providing livelihoods to reduce the threats to the gorillas.

Sustainable Development Impacts

The major benefit of the programme is to provide children with an education to improve their chances of getting a job. All the students who have sat their high school exams have successfully graduated, improving their employability. In addition, these students have a good understanding of the importance of the environment and bringing sustainability into whatever job or livelihood option they choose.


The project could be scaled by collaboration with more local schools to integrate the environmental teachings offered within POPOF’s schools into more local school curriculums. Such a process would require some training workshops to be organised near Bukavu, brining teachers together to learn from each other and providing them with the necessary training to be able to teach their students about conservation, but such a programme would bring significant benefits for conservation and sustainable development.


There is very little provision of agroforestry education in schools in the DRC, as well as more broadly on the importance of conservation. The model that POPOF uses in these schools of providing the conventional curriculum as well as additional conservation and agroforestry teaching is a model that could and should be widely replicated through the DRC. Teachers can easily be trained in the necessary skills and awareness level to teach these topics, and impart valuable knowledge to their students, building the knowledge and capacity of future generations to ensure long-terms sustainable development in the DRC.

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