This project follows on from a very successful one-year project, supported by Entrust, that trained local Congolese to become tailors. The aim is to train fifty students over the course of a year in two locations in Goma. Participants will learn several different sewing techniques together with some marketing/business skills, until each student is a proficient all-round tailor who can either set up a small business or obtain a job in the sewing industry. A secondary aim is to facilitate peace in a society still suffering from two decades of civil unrest and ethnic conflict. By opening the school to all, different ethnic groups come together to learn and people can find healing from the trauma inflicted by war. While 50 students and their extended families is only a small start towards healing and reconciliation, we have seen that every step counts. Economic empowerment can make a huge difference. As a tangible aim for students, a shop front will be sourced and opened for graduates to sew and sell their items.
WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT IT
We are impressed with our implementer’s abilities and the desire to not just teach sewing, but to use it as a platform to spread peace. We appreciate the focus on women who need to earn a better living and we value the fact that there is a clear outcome for the students – different pathways into income generation and a better life.
Total budget required: $20,300. This covers the cost of 22 pedal sewing machines, rent for the classrooms, teachers and security, six months start-up rent for a town shop front and a generator. The students will supply their own material and equipment as part of their contribution to learning.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is suffering terribly from the aftermath of civil war, where horrendous atrocities occurred, infrastructure was damaged and services remain limited. The war was brutal with rape a common warfare tactic, and gender-based violence continues. The program is aimed at women (and some men) who have been particularly impacted by the war, including those who suffer the stigma of rape and those displaced by the war.