This project continues on from two very successful projects, supported by Entrust, training local Congolese to become tailors. The aim is to train 100 students over the course of 2020 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 100 students and their extended families is only a small way towards healing and reconciliation, we have seen that every step counts and each year builds on previous ones. Economic empowerment can make a huge difference.
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. We also appreciate the comradery and support mechanisms that develop over the year.
Total budget required: $30,000. This covers the cost of supplies and equipment including some fabric, rent for the classrooms, teachers and security, and maintenance. Students will contribute some fabric towards the course as a means of making a contribution.
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. Some have been victims of rape or family breakdown or are widowed or orphaned. Illiteracy and unemployment is high and many drop out of school early or end up in early marriage.