Solange Mapendo and Furaha House – Furaha House Women Empowerment Project in Goma/ DRC
Solange Mapendo is the founder of the Furaha House Women Empowerment project, located in Goma, Congo Kinshasa. The goal is to reduce poverty among women who have been victims of rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Congolese women are called upon to serve as primary breadwinners and heads of households when their husbands pass away. However, they are trapped in a double bind in which they cannot leave their homes to trade in markets and farms for fear of attacks. Unfortunately, the importance of investing in women’s livelihood programs is often overlooked.
Solange’s project with Furaha House is the only organization in the East of the D.R Congo that centers innovative solutions to gender inequality, poverty, education, and economic livelihood. Furaha House is maximizing its vocational training success by creating a tailoring factory that will employ its graduates and provide them with livable wages. The Furaha House clothing factory will make uniforms for different agencies including schools, hospitals, churches, government agencies, and private sectors. The goal is the help the vulnerable women by improving their opportunities to access skills. The Pollination Project grant will help Solange purchase 12 sewing machines, rent space, and purchase fabrics and sewing supplies.