Three of the women who went through the training are now opening their own salon. And it is a vibe. Music blasting, women chatting, the whole place just buzzing. We look forward to many more salons owned and operated by women in Congo.We also worked with Amani to build a new Peace Market in Mumosho. This district of South Kivu sits on Rwanda’s border, and has been decimated by decades of violence and displacement. For years the women have walked the 27 kilometers to Bukavu in order to sell their goods, risking rape, attack and theft.Today they walk down the street and sell to their neighbors.
The 159-stall open air marketplace has promoted a local micro economy, with space for farmers, craftsmen, fishermen and others to sell, trade and barter their goods. And because Mumosho is a border town, it has also provided a space for peaceful interaction, conversation and commerce between Rwandans and Congolese.
We were so impressed with Amani that we hired him full-time to work alongside our partners to develop sustainable enterprises for their own work. Like Amani, we believe the solutions to Congo’s problems come from those living within them. He is living proof.
Amani is a whistleblower.