The beautiful and confident woman in the center of this picture is Mwamini. She was our top student in her Congo Restoration Sewing School class. At her graduation ceremony, she shared her story, 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 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 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, Mwamini thanked the entire Congo Restoration family. Those at graduation cried at her story and her gratitude.
Since opening in 2011, 700+ women like Mwamini have graduated. More than 99% of them have graduated and gone on to start their own businesses. With your help, we give them a lift up by giving them a skill as well as the tools to start their own businesses with their graduation sewing machines and sewing kits.