In Agape, Embroiders

Today is International Women’s Day and we wanted to celebrate the courage of women around the world as well as the advances made for gender equality and women’s empowerment. At KISANY female empowerment remains our daily mission. Through education and employment, we have been able to help many brave women to take back the thread of their lives. We are pleased to launch our series to introduce you to the courageous KISANY women we have the opportunity to work with. Their stories are difficult but woven with hope and solidarity, and they are the living proof that we can build a better society where no one is left behind.

Meet Tengeneza. Tengeneza began studying embroidery in the KISANY workshop in Goma, DR Congo in 2013. At the time she was a mother of 5 children and her husband was unable to find employment, much like 98% of the local population. As an embroiderer with KISANY Tengeneza was able to supplement the meager income she made as a street vendor.

Then in July 2016, a month before her 6th child was born, her husband was murdered in their home leaving behind a mountain of debt. Left to fend for the family by herself, Tengeneza was unable to even pay her small rent or the school fees of her children. Her street vendor business began flailing, and she was unable to cope with the additional embroidery work with KISANY she had taken on. Damaged by the shame of her circumstance she decided to flee her creditors. After days of searching the KISANY team finally found her hiding 150 km from Goma with family who were unfortunately unable to help her financially. Affected by this situation the KISANY team mobilised to help Tengeneza take charge of her life. Together Tengeza, KISANY and its partners decided to build a small home for her family on a piece of land donated by the non-profit “En Avant Les Enfants”. The SISLEY Foundation took care of the school fees of her children guaranteeing them access to education and hopefully a better future. Tengeneza has now learned to organize and divide her time between her embroidery work and her small business that she succeeded in reviving. Little by little, she has regained her smile as she has managed to settle the debts.

Since then Tengeneza has grown from strength to strength. Following several trainings organized by the “Ecole des Femmes”, including embroidery development, preventive health and daily financial management training she continues to gain new skills. Tengeneza is now able to face the challenges of life with dignity and courage. She says she will never forget what KISANY does for her, let alone the love and solidarity of the sewing and embroidery team.

Each KISANY product gives the opportunity to a woman in Africa to courageously take back the thread of her life.

Tengenza in the Goma workshop

#kisanywomen #courage #internationalwomensday

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