Report on the official handover of the financial support from YAGIRWA Foundation to boost the Refugee Tailoring Project in Goma, North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We highly thank the generosity of A BABY IS BORN NATIVITY from the USA.
Brief information about refugees in DRCongo
The Democratic Republic of Congo has a long history of hosting refugees from different countries mainly from Rwanda, Burundi, Central African Republic, South Soudan among others, their number is not known because they are not yet registered, they have lived in the limbo over the years and lost the international protection. We estimated that DRCongo could have more than 4million refugees mainly from Rwanda and Burundi, however UNHCR and the Congolese National Commission for Refugees known as CNR have only identified around 526,000 mainly from the Central African Republic and South Sudan. One among areas where DRCongo badly needs support is to help to identify and issue refugee documents to all those who claim to be refugees. On top of that DRCongo has more than 6million Internally Displaced Persons who are also in the same situation like refugees and finally DRCongo has more than 3million Congolese who are refugees in other countries in the world and who also need our support. With this, it is important to note the work that need urgent interventions is huge.
Background information about us
The Collective of Youth Organizations for Solidarity known as COJESKI/DRC Provincial Coordination of North Kivu is a network of various youth initiatives, operating in the 11 former provinces in the Democratic Republic of Congo. COJESKI/DRC was created in 1993 and operates in all the former 11 provinces of DRC with the headquarters in Kinshasa. COJESKI/DRC is a human rights oriented Network and focuses on the promotion of human values. In the year 2021 we amplified the refugee project which is focusing on all avenues to promote the effective protection of refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
COJESKI/DRC, Coordination of North Kivu has then initiated various development projects to help refugees to move forward and confront their challenges in order to survive. Among those Projects we have the Refugee Tailoring Project which focuses on empowering refugee women in Goma North Kivu.
In 2021 the Refugee Tailoring Project received support from YAGIRWA Foundation, and such partnership is moving forward up to now. YAGIRWA Foundation was initiated by Charles Bahizire a Congolese living in the United States of America, Charles was also a former refugee in Uganda, and then benefited from UNHCR Resettlement and migrated to the USA where he has also developed interest in the situation of refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Handing over financial assistance to Refugee Tailoring Center in Goma, North Kivu, DRCongo
Once again on Monday December 19th, 2022 a Delegation from YAGIRWA Foundation visited the refugee tailoring center in order to give a financial contribution which was made possible through the generous support from A BABY IS BORN NATIVITY based in the USA. This was during a ceremony which was organized at the center located Mont Jolie Village in Nyiragongo, North Kivu in DRC.
Through invitations which were distributed 33 refugee community leaders and the learners participated, among them 10 were refugee women learners who are currently students in the Refugee Tailoring Center attended the event. The Local Leader who is the Chief of the Mont Jolie Village was also there and represented the local government, then the Pastor of the Church where the center is located.
The Ceremony started with a prayer done by the Pastor and then was followed by the personal introduction of the participants.
Then the Refugee Programme Officer, Mr. Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos introduced to the participants a brief history and the situation of refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo in general and in North Kivu in particular. At the same time he also briefed the participants about the Refugee Tailoring Center which is one among the tools put in place in order to advance the effective protection of refugees. This Refugee Tailoring Center is a light that intends to show that protection of refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo is possible.
YAGIRWA Foundation Support
This is the second support financial support the center has received from YAGIRWA Foundation mainly focusing on paying schools fees for learners, acquiring shewing machines and contribution towards building the very first refugee Tailoring Center in DRCongo which will make the center more stable. So far last year in 2021 we bought three machines machines and again with this support we shall buy two more machines, but also pay for the students who are learning from other centers and also support the trainers, and continue with the first actions towards building the center.
Why this Refugee Tailoring Center project
This project focuses on the situation of refugee women, the idea is to give these refugee women alternatives in order to claim financial independence to solve their basic needs, but also make them useful to the host communities, and through this show the world that it is possible to invest in refugees. “Most among them have been victims of sexual abuses, victims of gender based violence, living in their homes with aggressive men who beat them all the time, and others are involved in commercial sex because they have no other options”. The move is to train them and then help them to acquire a shewing machine, and also open a center where they can work from and sell their products.
Update up the results of the Refugee Tailoring Center
Last year 2021 the Centre produced 6 refugee women who finished their training in Tailoring through the support from YAGIRWA Foundation, and this year 2022 another group of 10 refugee women have completed their training. As per now the very first 6 refugee women who finished were lucky as they benefited from a project implemented by EDC and financially supported by USAID, as they benefited as a group being supported by AJVDC based in Goma. They were given the shewing machines and they are now involved in their activities where they are earning a living, around Goma.
The Plan for the Refugee Tailoring Center
The Refugee Tailoring Center intends to have in place the following activities.
Constructions of a Refugee Tailoring Center in Goma, and equip it with necessary machines that can training at least 50 refugees at ago,
Operate a Refugee Business Center where these women can sell their products from in Goma, and equip it with Machines,
Put in place a handcraft center where those in craft can make their things and sell them around Goma,
Train people in basic Adult Literature programme focusing on writing and reading,
Mobilize funding and explore more partnership
Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos
Refugee Programme Officer/ COJESKI-DRC, Coordination of North Kivu, Goma