Kinkala Sewing Center in the Republic Of Congo
The Association of Women for Development (AWD) was initially funded by the United States Embassy in the Congo through its Self Help Project to start a Sewing Center for young women and single mothers. The self help Project purchased the equipment and managed the finances. The members of AWD found the site for the Sewing Center and moved the equipment there. Members scoured the rural areas of Kinkala for women interested in participating in the project. In 2008, the first corp of women, 27 in all, was accepted into the training program. The women ranged in ages from 15 to 30 years old. The Association for Women’s Development trains women in designing and sewing clothes so as to attain economic independence.
The AWD has started another component of training girls and women in manioc (cassava) processing. Cassava is the staple food in the Congo. The goal is to help girls learn how to perpetuate the manioc making skills, to eat local food and to maintain the culture.
The sewing Center was expelled from the site where it used to be. They have now bought a piece of land to build a new Center for single-mothers and widows of Kinkala.
The Association owns a non-profit cyber cafe, called “Cyber Forum,” which serves as headquarters for the Association, and helps young students and women to learn computer skills.