Succeeding Together

Post a Comment » Written on July 7th, 2014     
Filed under: Community Development
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When worth and identity are important to everyone, and when those things are threaten, or wholly ignored, your entire perspective on life changes. ACT for Congo seeks to bring unwed vulnerable mothers into society as productive, valued people. They seek to show these women that they are made in the image of God, and also help them acquire skills and knowledge that will help them support themselves and their families and be responsible citizens and capable leaders for their society.4

These young women have all been abandoned with their children to care for. Often their pregnancy was not their plan or is a result of violence. The women are blamed and marginalized, which in turn affects their children. They are most often poor, malnourished and ill-housed. Through this program, called Succeeding Together, these women are able to receive training in a trade and ultimately own their own businesses and able to better take care of their families.

This program also seeks to educate women about how to be careful and how to prevent pregnancy. They use skits, plays, songs, and poetry that are created by the women to educate others about all health issues related to pregnancy. Over the past few months, Succeeding Together has been able to accomplish some amazing things.

  • 2A visit from a team in Uganda/Canada resulted in a flurry of poetry, skits and a scenario that’s being used as the peer educators from “Succeeding Together” present life-changing information that will make new choices options for girls and women and their families on family planning, preventing diarrhea and malaria and other common diseases.
  • Tailoring:  A fashion designer from Uganda came and worked for a week with 10 of the graduates, and sees a continuing relationship to teach finer points of tailoring and design. This was a collaboration between ACT for Congo, Babavuka Dynasty & Merita Movement, and HOLD-DRC.
  • 83 young women in the third cohort continue with their six-month job skills training in addition to the cross-cutting themes they learn (human rights and peacebuilding, communications, prevention of HIV, STDs, malaria, diarrhea and other common diseases, governance, management and protection of the environment).  Their Human Development clubs provide the forum for the discussion of this new information and application, sharing experience.  Peer group educators continue to present information in IDP camps and in neighborhoods in Goma. A continuing challenge is access to mosquito nets.
  • 232 young women who’ve completed their training are doing small businesses, working in tailor shops, hotels and restaurants, or creating beautiful hairstyles or decorations for weddings, parties or shops. They have purpose, skills, and connections. They’re linked through HOLD-DRC and through their Human Development Clubs. Maybe they’re reconnected with their family or loved ones. They have hope for a future, and confidence.
  • Over 500 children (whose moms have participated in “Succeeding Together”’s program) are less likely to get sick or be malnourished.  They know that they are loved.   And there is now a place where 45 of the kids who need it most can be safely cared for and in a learning environment while their moms learn their skills—at HOLD!
  • Collaboration between people in North America, Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo results in changes in options and choices, and hope that are based on reality for girls and women previously discarded and disrespected.


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