Sewing School

Screen Shot 2020-03-07 at 5.26.26 PMMwamini’s 6-month education costs $252

Pictured in the middle here is Mwamini. She was our top graduate of our January 2020 graduating class. She shared her story at the ceremony so we wanted to share it with you — the people who made it possible.

Mwamini was raped and impregnated when she was 16 years old. She was suddenly the young mom of twins. As is the culture in the villages of DRC, her family and community rejected her after the rape. It is considered shameful for women to have sex before marriage, even if it is against their will.

One day she discovered the Congo Restoration Sewing School. As she learned how to sew during our six-month program, she found customers. She started getting paid to make dresses for local women. She became not only accepted within her community but important — because she had a skill and a career. The man who had raped her then wanted to marry her, but she told him no.

“Now she is the happiest woman,” said Gorethy Nabushosi, Congo Restoration founder.

At graduation in January of this year, Mwamini thanked the entire Congo Restoration family. Those at graduation cried at her story and her gratitude.

Want to support one of our 40 sewing school students? DONATE HERE

Screen Shot 2020-03-07 at 5.43.10 PMFrancine is now a Congolese businesswoman

Francine with the big smile is one of our sewing school graduates. She lost her husband and her father within a few weeks of each other in 2016 and was overwhelmed with grief.

Our founder, Gorethy, saw her on the streets, able to do nothing but cry. She could not see a way forward. Gorethy invited her to become a new student at our sewing school.

Francine enrolled in our sewing school and graduated in 2017. She now has her own business and supports her two children. Recently, as our chair of the board, Dawn McMullan, was in Congo attending a graduation, Francine saw her walking down the street and ran up to her. Dawn had been at the 2017 graduation and Francine recognized her. She pulled her into her shop to show her the business she had created and is so proud of. Dawn took this photo. 

That smile says everything.

Want to support one of our 40 sewing school students? DONATE HERE

 

From a field worker to an entrepreneur

A different Mwamini graduated from the Congo Restoration Sewing School in 2012. Here is what the 26-year-old had to say about her experience at the school:

I thank Congo Restoration because my life was no good. I was working in the field and that’s where I got raped. I could not go back there anymore. I suffered all my life until someone came to give me the information that Congo Restoration is helping women. I came just to see if I could be accepted. They accepted me right away.

I got into school, and I started learning, learning, learning. I became very good at sewing. Congo Restoration gave me a sewing machine. I am now able to train some other women. I can sew clothes well and earn money.

I can do whatever I want now. I am independent now. I don’t need to depend on anyone. Anytime I need some money, I sew clothes and sell them.

I am so happy. I just want to say thank you very much go Congo Restoration. You restored my life.

Want to support one of our 40 sewing school students? DONATE HERE

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