People Helping Each Other (PHEO), with our President Julius Jackson being active in Africa since the middle 1980’s, saw an opportunity to contribute to the United States national security interest by engaging, through some of his relationships developed over the past 35 years, with some of the citizens of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, (DRC), formerly known as Zaire. We also saw the opportunity to profitably reduce poverty and build infrastructure for the benefit of the Congolese, while also supporting and developing minority community’s here in the U.S. to help with police, race and community relations.
With our understanding of the history of the DRC, the risk mitigation tools available to U.S. businesses who venture into developing countries, (for example the Overseas Private Investment Corporation), and the natural resources available, we were motivated to become a change agent for that country. We believe that we have the relationships to provide profitable, community owned business models, that could be presented to various U.S. business owners as a counter to the Chinese inroads currently being made in Africa.
PHEO signed an agreement with a consortium of community groups in the DRC to convert some of their natural resources into schools, farms, roads, clinics to stregthen infrastructure. From this agreement, a jointly owned new company was formed, Holdings Enterprises Durables (HED). Once this new company was in place we secured timber assets, located more than a thousand kilometers from the eastern troubled region, in order to raise the funds needed to implement an economic development strategy.
We believed, if we were able to create a private equity fund and/or team with a public holding company with the current assets and additional assets if needed, those would be the appropriate vehicles that would allow vast numbers of U.S. companies and individuals to profitably participate in the development of the DRC. We then met with a group of community leaders and investors for the purpose of pooling our resources to use with a public company platform to strengthen our ability to benefit the Congolese and US communities both economically and socially.
From this meeting, a joint venture agreement was signed with Social Investment Holdings for the purpose of supplying the funding and expertise for the execution of a timber harvesting project. This first timber project is for the establishment of a socially minded Forestry operation in the territory of Oshwe, Province of Mai-Ndombe. Through the efforts of the business partner and shareholder, Jesse Peterson Kialeuka Kinzinga, we have secured 3 (three) forest concessions with operating units totaling 475,000 hectares.
HED is commercially licensed for the cutting, processing and selling of timber for both the local Congo market, and exports. These sales will initially be for the export market and will only be of logs. However, the second phase will include the sawing of timber which will be more beneficial to the stakeholders, as sawn wood will create more employment and revenue. At full operation, the company intends to export 70% of its production, while 30% intended for the local market.
The revenue from this project will be utilized to create sustainable poverty reduction businesses in the surrounding Congolese communities near the timber concessions. Revenue will also be utilized sustain and support minority community business growth and development here in the U.S.