What to get for the mom who has it all? After all, she has *YOU* in her life, what more does she need?
Celebrate Mother’s Day with a gift for a mom in Congo! When you purchase a sewing kit, you will receive a card to print for the mother in your life, sharing the story of a mother in Congo whose life will be changed by your gift. $195 buys a sewing machine, fabrics, and tools for a woman like Maombi to start her own business, earn income to feed, clothe, and educate her child, and help break the cycle of poverty in her community. Visit actionkivu.org/donate.html to give today!
Read more about just a few of the many women whom you’ll be partnering with in Congo:
Life became very difficult after Maombi’s father died in the 1996 war in Congo. She helped her mother cook, clean, and farm, too poor to attend past the fourth grade in elementary school.
One day, at the Peace Market, where neighbors from the various villages that make up Mumosho gather to buy and sell vegetables, fruit, fish, and small items, she learned about the sewing workshop. Maombi started to dream of the day that she could start her own business, and support her mother and her new child.
“Being part of the sewing program has helped me gain hope again,” Maombi says. “When I meet with others I feel I am not alone. Every day I am clean because I cannot come to the group dirty, my mother is encouraging me to be a loyal participant in the group! My life has changed and I am hoping for a future now!”
Cozi is a young woman whose life was changed with an unplanned for pregnancy. (She shared that the father of her child is not known, implying rape that is all too common in this region.) Though these stories are horrifying and heartbreaking, what is amazing is the women’s resolve to not only survive, but to thrive. She shared with us that her “entire life is a new story” since joining the sewing workshop.
Cikwanine’s family “gave up on her,” after she was raped, but she chose not to give up on herself, and joined the sewing workshop and Teen Mother program at the Mumosho Women’s Center. She shared, “My life has changed a lot since I joined the ABFEK program. I share my experience with other people here in the sewing program and I feel comforted, now I have hope, joining this program gives me a new hope for my future.”
If you haven’t yet met our partner, Amani, read why he so strongly believes that empowering women is the path to peace and growth in his country. The video at the bottom of the post was created a few years ago by The Enough Project, and gives a great sense of who Amani is.
One of our favorite stories to share is Ernata’s, who graduated with her sewing certificate in June, 2012. When we met her that January, her story echoed that of a society where women have very little rights or value, and can be divorced without recourse for not bearing a male heir. “I have a big wound inside my heart,” Ernata told us. “If I don’t have children with my husband, he will kick my out. I’m noticing some changes, bad behavior, from his family members, who might urge him to chase me (from the home).”
Nine months later, Ernata gave birth to a different dream, as she works hard to sew uniforms for the kids in her village. She takes a break from her own sewing to supervise a fellow seamstress. “I am very proud of myself today,” Ernata shares, “and my husband is proud of me and he’s happy to have me as a wife, especially as I help make an income for the family.”
There are so many stories of how the women’s lives have been changed, both by learning the skill of sewing to earn income, as well as knowing that people around the world believe in them and support them.
Can you help us meet our goal? $8,000 for the programs costs, and $12,000 for the sewing kits for 63 graduates. Donate $195 for one kit, or $390 for two, (or 3! Or 4!) and help us move that thermometer up to the top! actionkivu.org/donate.html
Honor the mother in your life, and the mamas of Congo, with a gift of sewing kit to help them begin a new chapter in their stories.