“After one year on attending this program, I am sure I will learn so many things. Being for the first time of my life able to write a letter, able to read and calculate. You cannot imagine what will be my joys to write a phone number on a mobile and call myself without asking someone to support me.” – Tumusifu Renzaho, 27 years old mother of 5
GROWING GENDER EQUITY IN CONGO
Women's Reality in Congo's Coffeelands Is Dire
Since 2014, numerous farming communities in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s South Kivu region have partnered with OTG to create gender equity programs and expand the role of women in regional coffee production.
Women, despite being responsible for up to 80% of Congolese coffee farms labor, are undervalued, under-compensated and generally oppressed. Literacy and basic education opportunities are markedly lower for Congolese women. Few have an equal voice in basic household finances, and even fewer own property or comprise leadership roles in local governments or coffee cooperatives. Gender-based violence, including sexual assault, is extremely prevalent; in many cases, it has been systematically employed as a weapon of war to destabilize communities.
According to a 2007 DRC Demographic and Health Survey, approximately 1.8 million women in the DRC have been raped, and 3.37 million have suffered sexual violence at the hands of their intimate partners.
However, communities partnering with OTG are working to change cultural norms through gender equity training, gender-based violence workshops and international coffee events. These educational and collaborative opportunities are reshaping the Congolese coffee sector into an inclusive industry which values the input, views, and accomplishments of all members equitably. OTG and our partners believe that sustainable coffee only starts where inequity ends.
Women, despite being responsible for up to 80% of Congolese coffee farms labor, are undervalued, undercompensated and generally oppressed.
Growing Gender Equity & Education In Congo's Coffeelands
OTG is deepening its impact in Congolese coffee farming communities through its newest ongoing initiative; providing basic education, gender equity training, alternative income generating activities and credit and savings groups as part of a continuum of support. This year-long pilot project will train 100 Muungano Coffee Cooperative woman farmers and their husbands and will provide them with tools to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their family. Thanks to innovative cost-saving solutions developed by our team in Congo, the core training will only cost around $20 per woman per month.
Click Here to learn how you can sponsor one of 100 Congolese women attending this training. Or you can sponsor a woman by clicking the secured Paypal button below.
Here are just a few stories from women in our program
“Since I was born, this is my first time to touch a pen, or to learn to write and read. I want through this program to learn more from other women. I think that I will get my human dignity through this program.” – Katungu Mauli, 47 years old, mother of 10
100 Muungano Coffee Cooperative woman coffee farmers and their husbands will be trained for $20 per family per month.
Gender-Based Violence Workshop
This past fall, OTG began hosting multi-day, Congolese created and led GBV workshops coffee farmers and members of our long-time development partner the Muungano Coffee Cooperative. These workshops cover GBV prevention and the legal rights and protection women are entitled to after an attack. It costs about $75 per woman to travel to and attend a workshop, which are jointly run by a Congolese lawyer and our DRC Program Director Herman.
Click below to learn more about this project and to see photos from the training.
Our Cooperative Coffees Open Mic Night Benefiting On the Ground was all about gathering good people to play good music and support the good goal of improving lives for coffee farmers. But, not of it would have been possible without You!
This September, OTG held a 4-day Congolese created and led GBV workshop for 30 female coffee farmers from rural villages. Additionally, 10 male participants from the Muungano Coffee Cooperative attended the training. Our team covered GBV prevention and the legal rights and protection women are entitled to after an attack.
In 2006, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) updated many of its laws for the first time since the 1940s. Crimes such as sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape are now punishable by law. However, this important step toward increased social justice means little to an uninformed, often uneducated populace. Those most impacted by […]
Costing $75 per attendee, these workshops cover GBV prevention and the legal rights and protection women are entitled to after an attack.