Who We Are

Our Vision: The eradication of systemic poverty and violence against women and girls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Our Mission: To empower women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo in their fight for safety, education, and economic independence.

History

Femme Berceau de l’Abondance (FEBA, French for Woman Cradle of Abundance) began in 1999 when an ecumenical Christian group of women from various regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo gathered in response to the systemic poverty and violence against women in the DRC. Femme Berceau de l’Abondance (FEBA) was born and has grown over the years, led by its visionary president Monique Misenga Mukuna. It implements a multifaceted approach to tackle complex and systemic problems of violence and poverty, and to empower women and girls to effect widespread, grassroots change.

Elsie (Tshimunyi) McKee, a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, was born and reared in the west Kasai province of the DRC. For many years she has supported various educational and medical projects in the Kasai, including teaching there short-term. She became personally acquainted with Monique Misenga Mukuna and her work in the capital city of Kinshasa in 2008. When the African-initiated non-profit FEBA entered its second phase in 2010, Elsie visited Monique and some of her close colleagues. The following year Elsie returned to begin documenting FEBA’s story; interviewing founders and members and visiting various activities to be able to share these women’s amazing journeys with her students and other North Americans.

In 2012 Shari Oosting attended a presentation about FEBA’s work at a local church. She already had an interest in women’s issues in the DRC, so she reached out to see if her background in finance might be useful. Together Elsie and Shari began the process of officially organizing a North American partner Woman Cradle of Abundance. The IRS registration for this 501(c)3 non-profit is FEBA, Inc., dba Woman Cradle of Abundance, Inc. Shari became treasurer and Elsie president and international liaison. Sandra Larson had been drawn to African women’s issues since a visit to Kenya and she enthusiastically signed on to Woman Cradle of Abundance to serve as Director of Operations and Secretary. Other founding members were Gordon Govens, Lisa Robinson, and Karen Oleri, our generous web designer. Over the years, several members have moved away from NJ and resigned from active work. We are very grateful for the generous service and many contributions of Sandy, Karen, and Lisa in launching Woman Cradle of Abundance!

When it comes to women and girls, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s history has been tragic. Though the problems are overwhelming, they have not immobilized President Monique and her friends, and they in turn continue to inspire the rest of us. Our passion is to tell the stories of amazing women working in Congo, in Kinshasa and their partners in other parts of Congo, and to support their efforts to change the future by empowering women and girls.

Woman Cradle of Abundance, Inc. – Officers

  • Elsie McKee - International Liaison and President

  • John A. McGlaughlin - Treasurer

  • Cheryl Ciaranca - Community Outreach Coordinator and Secretary