The KISANY project was born in 2002 in Goma, DRCongo, in the aftermath of the volcanic eruption and thanks to the relentless efforts of seven embroiderers, a tailor and Nicole Esselen.
Very quickly, the team expanded, both in number of embroiderers joining the project as in number of volunteers helping out from Europe, under the well as on the side of European volunteers, guided by Isabelle Degryse and Manuela del Marmol.
The project blossomed over the years, soon expressing the need for a stronger support structure and becoming a full-fledged project of the Belgian non-profit EN AVANT LES ENFANTS (LET’S GO KIDS).
The non-profit helps KISANY achieve its objectives of training, education and empowerment of women.
All volunteers have been incredible supporters and ambassadors, making sure that this wonderful project could continue to grow and thrive.
This is how the “Women’s School” came into being in 2015, offering various trainings to the members of the team in Goma. This initiative still allows them to improve the management of the workshop but also to take ownership of it by establishing itself as a local and autonomous structure; the non-profit AGAPE was born.
Over time, KISANY also expanded its impact by starting a partnership with APROHADE’s embroidery workshop in Kigali, Rwanda, previously supported by Monique Mineur.
Since then, more than 200 women have been trained following the highest quality standards and have benefited from a fair income, as such improving the lives of more than 1,300 people. KISANY products are distributed worldwide, providing women in Goma and Kigali with an income and a future.
In 2017, guided by François van den Bosch, KISANY managers initiated a strategic reflection about the project’s future. The team expressed the desire to ensure the project’s socio-economic sustainability and to initiate a step-wise delegation of management responsibilities to the next generation.
This led KISANY to take off for a second youth in early 2018, as a socio-economic partnership between- the non-profit EN AVANT LES ENFANTS, who remains responsible for the social aspect of the project and who wisely and kindly mentors- the new “KISANY Social Enterprise”, headed by Nathalie Cambier and in charge of the economic growth of the project that will ensure more work for embroiderers in Africa.