Hekima's mission is to contribute to the transformation of the economic, social, and spiritual lives of the economically active poor of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as a sustainable, innovative microfinance institution of the highest quality.
Hekima operates in the Kivu regions of Eastern DRC, an area marked by over a decade of war as well as social, economic and institutional collapse. A complex legal and regulatory environment is further complicated by widespread corruption and a market flooded with poor quality microfinance suppliers.
In this region, Hekima aims to serve the economically active poor with quality services, giving special attention to female entrepreneurs.
Founded in 2003 as a program of World Relief Congo, Hekima was established as an independent institution in July 2007; registered as a second tier microfinance institution. In September 2009, Hekima has 42 full time staff members, with lending staff accounting for 64% of total staff. Hekima has branches in Goma, Bukavu and Kavumu.
Hekima's products are focused on the group lending methodology, which allows for disbursement of loans to clients lacking conventional collateral. The majority of Hekima clients benefit from the community bank product which allows for small loans over a 16 week term. Successful clients may qualify for graduation into the solidarity group product that provides higher loan amounts and a longer term.