[vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Written by Amy Lindholm.

After 10 years of inspiring women through wellness, education, and economic opportunities, we have been noticing some trends and shifts in the recent project applications from our knowledgeable local leaders.

These resilient women are part of a group in the rural DR of Congo. SowHope has funded economic projects for this group in the past including agriculture and livestock projects. Photo by Mary Dailey Brown, November 2015.

SowHope recently received an application to fund an economic project benefiting a group of women from one of our partners in the DR of Congo. The project focuses on enhancing the local women’s ability to support their families through agriculture, livestock, or small businesses. The women in this project are all survivors of armed violence. Our partner, Theo, wrote that the project will include training sessions with the women and their husbands to teach them about parents’ responsibilities, respect for women’s rights, and that women are equal to men. He proposes that men and women participate in the training together to teach that women and men are partners and they “must struggle for the common interest of their children. Men have power–not to dominate women, but to protect and promote human rights.” Our partner aims to increase the success of these economic projects through women being recognized as equals to men.

One of SowHope’s local leaders in the DR of Congo, Theo (right), speaks to the SowHope team about the women’s group–their progress so far and future goals. Photo by Mary Dailey Brown, November 2015.

Many women living in the DR of Congo have been so greatly objectified as a result of tumultuous national circumstances.  SowHope’s program strategy is to rely on and empower local leaders using local solutions to solve local problems. Our local partner, Theo, proposes involving men in training sessions aimed at enlightening the men about women’s potential and value. He says that a cultural shift must take place for projects like this to be more sustainable.

DRC Farming
A hillside in rural DR of Congo where women farm crops to feed their families and sell at the market. Photo by Mary Dailey Brown, November 2015.

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