Businesses for 60 Changemaker Women in DR Congo

by FEDERATION DES ORGANISATIONS DES PRODUCTEURS AGRICOLES (FOPAC SK)
Businesses for 60 Changemaker Women in DR Congo
Businesses for 60 Changemaker Women in DR Congo
Businesses for 60 Changemaker Women in DR Congo
Businesses for 60 Changemaker Women in DR Congo
Businesses for 60 Changemaker Women in DR Congo
Businesses for 60 Changemaker Women in DR Congo
Businesses for 60 Changemaker Women in DR Congo
Businesses for 60 Changemaker Women in DR Congo
Businesses for 60 Changemaker Women in DR Congo
Businesses for 60 Changemaker Women in DR Congo
Businesses for 60 Changemaker Women in DR Congo
Businesses for 60 Changemaker Women in DR Congo

Project Report | Jul 12, 2023
Rock Star Celine: Literacy Instructor

By Annette Scarpitta | Project Leader

Celine
Celine

Please read to the end for a special and urgent appeal.

In 2019, one of the last women to receive multi-generational, introductory literacy training said of Celine (pseudonym), then an untrained assistant instructor:

"[Thank you] to [Celine] for her love of the people of our village in general, and especially for us women because training elderly women like me is not easy, but you force yourself to do so."

Today, this gratitude and recognition of Celine’s dedication has not changed. Her smile is infectious, her demeanor relaxed, and she often breaks tension with giggles and laughter. Thanks to your donations, the urgent plea of the women entrepreneurs in our program has been realized: Literacy and numeracy training with their businesses in mind.

Celine was born in Rwenena 20-something years ago. When insecurity became increasingly serious, with gender-based violence a common practice among militia groups, Celine relocated to Luberizi, a 1-hour walk. She came back to Rwenena in 2013 but returned to Luberizi for secondary school, which is lacking in Rwenena. Celine was the only girl in her class to graduate with the top-level R1 degree. She wanted to continue her studies at a university, but lack of finances precluded it. She still hopes this dream might someday come true.

For Celine, we made a special arrangement with an instructor at the Pedagogy Institute for higher education in the provincial capital, Bukavu. He provided her with customized teaching instruction focused on literacy and numeracy for adult learners. Laden with teaching manuals, student books, and supplies, Celine returned to Rwenena with fresh determination.

Celine teaches 50 women entrepreneurs. The group is divided into 2: Level 0 for those women who have no reading, writing, or arithmetic knowledge; and Level 1, for those who have some background. You may wonder, as I did: How have Level 0 entrepreneurs succeeded in their businesses until now? I learned that older children & youth are critical and serve as mothers’ able bookkeepers. One advantage with our irregular training sequence is that learners can quickly apply what they learn to the context of their businesses.

Classes are held in the mornings 3 days a week. For the other 2 days, Celine visits students in their homes to check their homework and see how their learning is being applied to their businesses. With these home visits, she serves as tutor, business consultant, and life coach. From her own home in “Rwenena 1,” she walks 40 minutes to reach learners’ homes in “Rwenena 2.” At a young age, Celine contracted meningitis – inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, which challenges her balance and walking, so her pace is slow and deliberate.

On most Sunday mornings, 2 women ascend a summit for cell phone coverage to talk with our program manager, Jean Marie. They provide detailed program metrics to serve as interim monitoring and evaluation between FOPAC working visits. Making the 40-minute trek more than anyone else? Celine.

When she isn’t acting as instructor, Celine works afternoons selling soap and biscuits. All with her young child in tow.

Jean Marie concludes, “Celine’s interaction in the community is a sign of appreciation of marginalized people such as the physically disabled but also the place of women and girls in the community.”

Note: Our pressing need is to raise funds for our bi-annual Peace Summit – critical to keeping Rwenena secure. Grievances and new ideas are shared in the presence of multi-sectoral authorities. A critical component is demonstrating progress & resilience of Rwenena women served by this project. Please give as generously as you can on July Bonus Day, Wednesday, July 12 at or after 9 AM Eastern time until matching funds are gone.

Giddy but proud of her new cloth fabric (2022).
Giddy but proud of her new cloth fabric (2022).
Celine was a speaker at the Peace Summit of 2021.
Celine was a speaker at the Peace Summit of 2021.
Celebrating newly gifted fabric in 2022
Celebrating newly gifted fabric in 2022
Celine amuses others with her wit & humor.
Celine amuses others with her wit & humor.
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Organization Information

FEDERATION DES ORGANISATIONS DES PRODUCTEURS AGRICOLES (FOPAC SK)

Location: Bukavu, South Kivu - Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @RwenenaKids
Project Leader:
Annette Scarpitta
Bukavu , South Kivu Congo, Democratic Republic of the
$11,376 raised of $16,000 goal
 
139 donations
$4,624 to go
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