Social contribution activities
Training of dressmaking techniques for single mothers and support for opening and operating dressmaking shops
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, conflict has killed as many as 5.4 million people in the past. This number is almost the same as the current population of Hokkaido, and it is said to be the largest conflict in the world after World War II. In addition, at least 30,000 children were drafted as child soldiers in the conflict, and more than 200,000 girls and women were victims of sexual violence. Despite such great sacrifices, it has received little attention in the international community and is called a “forgotten conflict.”
And even now, in the eastern part of Congo, inhabitants are forced to live in an unstable life due to attacks by armed groups and looting of food, and it cannot be said that sufficient aid activities are being carried out. In particular, many single-mother women who became mothers at a young age have very difficult situations to rebuild their lives.
A place to work for women living in conflict
In this project, 50 women living in such conflicts will be provided with vocational training in dressmaking techniques and support for opening a dressmaking shop. With dressmaking skills, you can open a small dressmaking shop with your friends in the village. There, you can make money by making school uniforms and repairing villagers’ clothes. This will allow single-mother women, who previously had almost zero cash income, to earn a living. Ultimately, the big goal is not only to satisfy food, clothing and shelter, but also to send your child to school. It also helps to regain “connection” with the villagers through interaction with customers who come to the dressmaking shop.
With the support of Dotonbori Hotel, I graduated safely. And from now on …
With the support of Dotonbori Hotel, in August 2018, all 50 people learned dressmaking skills and graduated safely.
From now on, they will open a dressmaking shop. It will be possible for single mothers to earn income, fill their children’s clothing, food and shelter, regain a stable life, and realize a more rewarding life.
Many of the women who have opened dressmaking shops with the support of our association are now able to live on their own. They used to live one meal a day, edible or inedible, until they acquired the skills and opened a dressmaking shop, but now they can also feed their children with nutritious food. I am. (In this area, many children are still malnourished and unable to live until the age of five.)
They also bring small children to work, weighting them and moving their foot-operated sewing machines to work. In such a workplace, it is always a place where you can enjoy talking with your friends not only about work but also about the future of your child.
The problems they face have not been eliminated because the conflict is still settled and many people are forced to live in poverty. However, despite having various problems, I am able to regain my daily smile and live a strong life in connection with the surroundings.
Support for infrastructure development of producer cooperatives in the Republic of Burundi
Burundi, the poorest country in the world
After independence from Belgian territory in 1962, the Republic of Burundi, located in central Africa, has been devastated by the conflict between Hutu and Tutsi, and is now the poorest country in the world (GDP per capita is the world’s poorest). Bottom). After the civil war, rebuilding lives for orphans, former child soldiers, or the poorest people who live on less than $ 1 a day due to the effects of conflict has become an issue.
Most of the local residents are small-scale small-scale farmers who make a living from major grains and coffee cultivation, but they do not have enough income and depend on some unstable income sources (cash crop cultivation), which is economical. It is vulnerable to. Before the implementation of our project, we could only make a living by selling cash crops on a limited land, and the amount was well below the international poverty level (about 200 yen a day) (1 day). It was about 50 yen). In addition, the time when this income was obtained was only due to work during the farming season, and there was almost no work during the four months of the dry season.
Achievements and issues so far ~ Beekeeping business ~
The project last year allowed 98 people, including conflict victims and the poorest, to get jobs even during the off-season, and now they have three new incomes from beekeeping, ceramics and primary crop processing technology. It is possible to secure the source。
Among them, Dotonbori Hotel has supported for the beekeeping business.
We also opened a store at the Christmas Market (December 21-25, 2017) hosted by the Burundi Tourism Agency last year.
Amahoro Honey was very responsive to customers, and within the third day of its launch, we were able to sell out all 111 we brought and earned 268,000 Burundian francs (about 17,000 yen). In addition to the fact that the booth visitors liked the taste of honey, we received calls for honey even after the event, indicating that demand is high. On the other hand, since the production volume is not keeping up with the demand, how to increase the production volume together with the technology will be raised as a future issue.
（※）What is a producer cooperative: A mutual aid organization in which residents engaged in production activities jointly invest to establish a business entity and cooperate in economic activities such as production and sales to carry out democratically.
To make a sustainable business
In this project, in addition to the bee-raising business that has been supported so far, we will jointly earn higher and more stable income for conflict victims and the poorest people who have learned the primary processing technology of ceramics and agricultural products. We will carry out “(1) Registration with producers’ cooperatives and follow-up of management and operation after registration” and “(2) Formation of joint savings group and creation of savings and small-scale investment habits” so that we can proceed. Specifically, for (1), we will hold training on the management and operation of producer cooperatives, monitoring and advice on meetings and meetings, and peace education workshops to strengthen cooperation among members. Regarding (2), we will provide on-the-job training, monitoring and advice on the joint savings system, the savings of the joint savings group, and the cycle of small-scale investment.
In addition, they became able to earn income jointly, completed the registration of producer cooperatives (*) with organizations and governments, and started operating independent businesses. Even though I sometimes face problems, I run it while coming up with various ideas within the union. On the other hand, for those who have never had the opportunity to work together, they still lack experience and knowledge about union management, so I feel that it is necessary to follow up on union management and management as a future task. ..
(*) What is a producer cooperative: A mutual aid organization in which residents engaged in production activities jointly invest to establish a business entity and cooperate in economic activities such as production and sales to carry out democratically. ..
Deepen people’s connections
By working together to produce, sell and ship through cooperatives, we can obtain more stable income opportunities and strengthen the resilience of the community to risks caused by illness and natural disasters. can. Unions also have the economic benefit of sharing costs and gaining more profits, as long as they are properly managed, as well as the social benefit of increasing people’s cohesion.