Rev. Sandra Gourdet, Africa Area Executive with Global Ministries, gives us this update from her most recent trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo:
WOMEN’S TRAINING AND CONFERENCE CENTER, EGLISE DU CHRIST AU CONGO (ECC) - CHURCH OF CHRIST IN THE CONGO
It is not just a building. Nor is it simply brick and mortar. The Training and Conference Center of the Church of Christ in the Congo, whose construction is almost complete, is known in the city of Kinshasa because of the work done by the Department of Women, Family and Children. The Center has been in existence for more than five years. The initiative started when the number of sexually violated women in east Congo began to increase as rape was used more and more as a weapon of war.
One of the immediate responses of the Department of Women, Family and Children was to develop a training program that would allow those women most affected -- physically from the assault, rejection by husband and abandonment by family and friends -- to receive a skill that would help provide life sustaining income and mental support. Through the generous support of Week of Compassion, some women received training in tie-dye and batik while others received advanced dressmaking skills. Pastry and bread making skills were offered. There were even opportunities for psycho-social support training and counseling that allowed women to return to the war zone to train others.
Today, the Center has expanded its training program and offers micro-credit loans to women who have been affected by the war or simply women who want to improve their lives through sustainable employment. These achievements would not have been possible without the generous support of Week of Compassion and its many supporters who are committed to this kind of accompaniment with women. Long live Week of Compassion and the ministries that are changing lives!
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE
Week of Compassion recently partnered with the Mid-America Region to sponsor an important workshop on disaster preparedness and response. For terrific coverage, please check out this story.
This Week’s Responses:
DISASTER RELIEF AND EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE
Kansas, Shooting Victims Response
Madagascar, Tropical Cyclone
Chile, Earthquake Support
DEVELOPMENT AND LONG-TERM RECOVERY AND REHABILITATION
Oklahoma, Tornado Recovery Mission Center and Mission Group Support
Maryland, Children in Disaster Response