Newsletter Fall 2014

The Women's Center Land!!!

We have wonderful news: Thanks to the generous donations of North American supporters and the wise, savvy, dedicated work of President Monique Misenga Mukuna and colleagues, Woman, Cradle of Abundance has now purchased a site in Kinshasa for the Women’s Center!  

A complicated process, but the results are wonderful. The goal was $50,000 for the land plus $10,000 in fees (realtor commission, title search & transfer).  By June we had $47,000, with hopes of completing the last $3000 by the end of the month; we counted on paying the commission in installments.  However, foreign merchants are buying up property in Kinshasa; prices are rising quickly, and Matete, the district where Woman, Cradle of Abundance has its operations, is a popular area. 

Maman Monique, Nancy Beatty & FEBA members outside property for the Women’s Center

President Monique said that it was buy now or the price would double; contrary to what her original prospect, an installment plan would risk losing the deal. The chosen property was $54,000; so the American partners went looking for money and the Congolese partners began negotiations before someone else snapped up the land.  (Since it was purchased in early August the market price of this land has increased 22-25%!). 

Thanks to a few generous friends responding to this big one-time challenge, $15,000 was found: we are very grateful!!

Our capital campaign has now reached $64,000.  The land has been bought and the title is clear. The remaining work will be renovating and building the Women’s Center, a project to which our Congolese partners will also contribute.

Inside the large square building to be renovated for the Women’s Center

The Women’s Center is located at Q/ Banunu 1 no 46/D, Matete, Kinshasa It measures 12x17 metres (approximately 39.4 by 55.8 feet).  It has a high concrete wall (necessary for security in Kinshasa), a small house & one large square building which has been serving as the meeting place for a church.  This will be the Center’s headquarters & sewing school while funds are collected for further construction.  (The fence and the large hall are one reason for the higher price; if Woman, Cradle of Abundance had to enclose the property or put up a building before it could move its operations to this new home, the Women’s Center would be delayed by another six months or more.) 

Thank You All!

We are most grateful for your generous assistance in bringing this dream so much closer to fulfillment!  Our sisters and partners in Congo are deeply touched and want you to know that this new home for Woman, Cradle of Abundance has encouraged them more than they can ever express!  Together we can move on to the next stage: planning for renovation and construction with a renewed sense of hope and confidence! Our goal is to raise another $15,000 by the end of 2014, and then $15,000-$20,000 by next summer. Our sisters in Congo will also seek to raise some money. (Now that they own their own property, they are eligible to apply to NGO’s for funding.) Our hope is to dedicate the new Women’s Center next summer...!  A party will be going to Congo for the celebration - come join us!

Congo Projects Update...

The sewing school is doing well. In August twelve young women finished their program and prepared to start their new careers as well-trained professionals, able to earn a good living for themselves and their families. Over the summer the school also produced hundreds of school uniforms which they sold in preparation for the new academic year; they have made a good profit to buy materials for sale, especially gearing up for the big December markets.

The students at school have mostly done well. Solomon, despite his terrible unjust imprisonment, managed to pass his state exam!  Now this orphan has an education which will open the door to a good future (full details on our website, News and Events).

Congratulations to Mme Denise Ngombe Sakisa, who earned her Masters in Theology from the Protestant University of Kinshasa! Mme Denise is the main pastoral counselor for Woman, Cradle of Abundance

Introducing Our Board Secretary & Office Manager - Lisa Robinson

Lisa was first introduced to Woman, Cradle of Abundance (FEBA) in a class on Women & African Christianity with Professor Elsie McKee (2012-2013). It was during this time that Lisa felt a strong pull to  get involved with this organization which she felt was working very hard to raise awareness of violence against women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Lisa’s desire was further deepened after she met the founder Maman Monique, who shared her personal and touching life testimony.  With a passion for Women’s Ministry and Women’s Empowerment, Lisa became a founding board member with FEBA, USA.  This year she is serving as FEBA’s first office manager as she completes an internship and a dual MDIV/MSW program with Princeton Theological Seminary and Rutgers University, respectively. Lisa currently lives in Princeton with her daughter Laci, a student who is majoring in graphic design at Mercer Community College.