Dem. Rep. of Congo, Africa

DRC09b - Alliance Evangelique Sewing Programme


Partnership Ref.:

DRC09b

Commenced:

29/09/2022

Funding Status:

No Current Donor

Partnership Type:

Training / Education, Community / Agriculture Development

Funding Size:

$3,000 - $7,999

Annual Budget:

US$ 5,500

Connected To:

DRC09a

Dem. Rep. of Congo


Population: 67.8 million

Life Expectancy: 47.6 years

GDP: US$185 per capita

Unemployed: unknown%

79.6% earn less than US$2/day

Current Partnership Impact


45 families are being assisted

45 people are in vocational or agricultural training


Partnership Overview

keen to learnThe Eastern DRC has experienced violent armed conflicts since 1996 that have caused massive displacement of populations as Internally Displaced People and even as refugees to other countries. Two decades of violence has left behind millions of deaths, widows, orphans and elderly living alone, and general vulnerability among communities. The quest for community rehabilitation is challenged by overwhelming numbers of survivors of sexual based violence within communities and church congregations. Recently, the Evangelical Alliance of Congo has identified 90 victims of sexual violence including 30 in Rutshuru, 30 in Masisi and 30 in Kalehe, who are living in particularly terrible conditions. 

During their conversations they discovered that:
- Most of the displaced victims left their homes empty handed
- Most of the victims displaced were given shelter either by a local church or by people in neighbouring villages
- As most of them are living in desperate conditions they are forced to beg for survival
- Some women even turn to prostitution to have their basic needs met
- Some of the raped women were rejected by their husbands
- All the sexual violence victims share the burden of trauma
- They expressed a desire to learn manual activities such as sewing 

new skillsWomen in the DRC suffer considerably as the culture and customary laws lack gender balance. For example, women are not protected and must depart whenever a violent husband rejects them, despite the contribution they provided in the building of their households. Security personnel are very prone to brutality, including gender-based violence, as no state authority requires accountability from them. Armed groups formed on the basis of tribalism use violence and sexual violence as their daily practice and weapon. 

Many initiatives are underway trying to resolve the situation above and the DRC government has established the Siege Status replacing civil authorities by military, in order to restore the authority of the State and to guarantee the rule of law. Health facilities in all areas have also been given responsibility to provide medical care to all victims of sexual violence free of charge. But in reality no one other than the church is available to assist the process of healing for these victims. 

The Evangelical Alliance of Congo is keen to establish sewing courses to help these victims regain their dignity and be able to care for themselves and their families in the long term. 

History of Partnership

keen to learnBHW's New Partnership Facilitator has been communicating with Israel Ngirababo since a trip to the DRC in 2019 when he spent a day with him. 

In August 2022 BHW's New Partnership Facilitator was in Rwanda and Israel and two of his co-workers, Mupenzi Lumeto and Herman Makoye, his personal secretary who is his son, came across the border to meet him in Gisenyi. They spent a couple of hours chatting and talking about their vision and priorities.   

Beneficiaries

The 45 women involved in the initial round of sewing courses. There are many more who would love to become part of this and that will be assessed throughout the term of the project. 

What We Like About The Partnership

new skillThe team at AE is very well organised and have run these programmes previously. 

They are serving and training women who are vulnerable and this will help them become self-sustaining for themselves and their families. 

This project creates real opportunities for women to be empowered and take some control of their lives. 

This gives churches the opportunity to address issues of sexual violence and stand with those who have become victims. 

 

Key People

Rev Israel Ngirababo (Project Director)

lots of experienceReverend Israel is a programme professional in the areas of recovery and community development. He has led teams in emergency, protection and assistance projects for internally displaced people (IDPs), refugees and other vulnerable people in partnership with international organizations such as Gateway International Ministries, Medicus del Mundo, UNICEF, ICRC, FICR, MEMISA, etc. He is experienced in the design, planning, implementation and evaluation of programmes and projects.

Israel completed his license in Theological Studies in 2001 at the Evangelical Baptist University of Rwanda. As Project Manager, he added several on-the-job training courses in the areas of Health, Community Awareness, Leadership, Human Rights, Conflict Resolution and Anti-After his theological studies, he was sponsored by the Brethren church to plant the Good News Evangelical Church in DR Congo and became its legal representative. This community has 49 parishes to date.

Currently Rev. Israel is appointed Secretary General of the Evangelical Alliance in DR Congo. As a result of his leadership, the Alliance of Evangelicals of Congo, which at its appointment had 27 member communities from different denominations, has 53 member communities. Its ability to curb conflict has reconciled two rival factions of the Baptist Community that had created a separation based on ethnic cleavage and that to this day have buried the axe of war and become the same community. Following its humanitarian commitment by assisting Internally Displaced People in Mugunga camps as well as prisoners in prisons in eastern DR Congo, the Alliance of Evangelicals has received honours of distinction from government authorities as well as international organizations.

sustainability mindsetOther People Involved

Mr Mapenzi Lumeto (Project Manager)
Lumeto was born in South Kivu province, DR Congo in 1989. He went to Kigali Independent University where he got his masters degree in development and project planning in 2018. Since then, he has worked for the Evangelical Alliance of Congo as a project manager. He is married to Clarisse Kalusi and they have one child. He has already led 11 projects.

Lumeto has a very evident sustainability mindset and sees agriculture as a key to ongoing self-sufficiency for families. He is outgoing, easy to relate to and expresses himself well in English.  

 

Vision And Annual Strategy

Vision 

This project aims to empower survivors of sexual violence to be self-reliant and live in dignity through sewing activities. 

Strategy 

empowering womenIn order to make this impact real, the Evangelical Alliance of Congo has organized an operational strategy summarized below. As a church led community programme, this strategy will raise the awareness of all concerned leaders and will put a strong emphasis on senior local church leaders, equipping them to implement effective ministries that will lead to the holistic wellbeing of survivors of sexual violence. 

A) Mobilize and equip local churches to minister holistically to survivors of sexual violence
- organize a one-day conference with local pastors and leaders that will be involved in the implementation of the programme at grassroot levels.
- gather local churches and local chiefs for a two–day sensitization and equipping for holistic ministry to the survivors of sexual violence. Local chiefs participate in the first day. Local church pastors stay for a second day to equipping them for mission.

B) Educate communities on the issue of sexual violence
- With the lead of Area Coordinators, local church leaders together with local chiefs convene a public address against sexual violence to all heads of families. Topics will be focused on how to prevent sexual violence, what to do when sexual violence occurs and legal interventions to be sought to do justice to the victims.
- Local church leaders convene on a week to preach the same sermon rebuking sexual violence. This touches all age groups and genders: youth and adults, males and females who attend church services in all denominations the same day/week. This activity is meant to be a robust public campaign that will include sensitizing youth against joining armed groups.
- Local church leaders influence local chiefs to raise awareness within non–Christian religions such as Muslim and Jehovah Witnesses.
- Local church leaders influence local chiefs to use all other public gatherings as venues to raise community awareness against sexual violence. At such events, pastors volunteer as speakers on the issue. They will include sensitization of youth against joining armed groups.

C) Local church pastors deliver services holistically to survivors of sexual violence   
- Local church leaders carry out pastoral visits to survivors of sexual violence at their shelters to comfort them.
- Local church pastors welcome survivors of sexual violence at church premises and provide healing counselling sessions to those who seek psycho - social - spiritual rehabilitation
- Local church leaders organize pastoral visit in families to advocate and mediate in the rehabilitation of raped women who were rejected by their husbands.
- Local church leaders carry out interventions seeking justice for survivors of sexual violence
- Local church leaders help with advice and seek referral of survivors of sexual violence to health systems for medical care as early as cases occur.

D) Facilitate economical activities for survivors of sexual violence leading to their autonomy
- Area coordinators and local church pastors identify survivors of sexual violence with as much clarity as possible allowing to ascertain levels of vulnerability and help they need.
- Area coordinators engage with survivors to determine economic activities of their choice that will lead them to autonomy and provide financial assistance according to the economic activities chosen individually. 

Initially 45 women will be involved in the first round of sewing courses - 15 women in each of the three areas of Rutshuru, Masisi and Kalehe. These courses will run for 6-months, and the women will each be given a sewing machine at the end of the course.

 

Annual Budget

BHW's annual budget is US$5,500 which will assist with covering the costs of the tutors for the three courses along with sewing machines for the women at the end of the course.