In Congo there is a desperate need for sustainable jobs so that families can remain just that, a family. We believe through education, job training, and holistic support, families will not just survive day to day, but thrive! At the very beginning, The One Thread Project was born out of deep desire to find a different narrative for children in Congo- instead of orphanages, families. We took a step back and asked a bigger question. What were the obstacles that separated mothers and their children? While many of the answers are complex, one is simple. Being able to provide a roof overhead and food for the belly requires access to money, which requires job skills. If we could walk it back to this step, then just maybe we could make an impact. Maybe one child might not become an orphan. In a region that suffers from crippling rates of unemployment, many young people are unskilled and uneducated. The One Thread students work for one year at Emmanuel Sewing Center in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They walk through the doors with no knowledge of clothing construction, through hard work and dedication, they begin designing and creating all on their own. At the end of one year of sewing school, the women transition to a sewing boutique which is similar to a graduate school. Here they will continue to perfect their skills and create garments to be sold. In this new setting they will also start earning an income to become financially independent through their work. Here they learn the art of tailoring and refine their skills We offer sewing training, internships at the boutique, and support for launching new graduate owned businesses.
This summer, A One Thread team will be traveling to DRC to provide formal business training to the women in the One Thread Sewing Program. We will be teaching the Alternativ Curriculum to provide the women we support with high-impact business training and mentorship, equipping individuals to start small businesses and break the cycle of poverty.
Through this training, The One Thread Women will be learning the basic skills to start and run a local business. Experiential learning is cultivated through intimate group discussions and interactive exercises, including skits, games, and role-play. The business content promotes self-discovery through practical, culturally-relevant topics. It also affirms the truth about one’s identity and unique giftedness. The course is concluded with a graduation ceremony to highlight their accomplishment with a course completion certificate. As a final step, the facilitation team conducts closing surveys to gain feedback from participants. Following course completion, local leadership receives ongoing support and mentorship to bring entrepreneur dreams to fruition.