Economic Development Initiative

Soapmaking in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Soapmaking in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Mujinga Mass invites neighborhood women to learn how to make soap to improve their health, hygiene and income potential.

“Trained in the women’s group to make soap, I started with 10 dollars of capital and I now have 60 dollars. I eat well despite the confinement. I pay for our housing after selling the soap. I thank God and the source of provenance that is my female work here at home,” said Kazadi Inès, a 34-year old mother of six children, and president of the women’s group in the United Methodist Church in the Lupandilo parish in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
 
Ms. Inez is one of the many United Methodist churchwomen in the Democratic Republic of Congo who are benefiting from the economic development grants supplied by United Methodist Women to grow their small businesses. 

The women are creating income from their ingenuity and newfound skills, necessary in a country that has seen the poverty rate double in the past year due to the pandemic. According to UNICEF, 43 percent of children under the age of five are suffering from malnutrition across the region.

Women Reach Women

Among the trainers for soapmaking, meet Mother Mujinga Mass, a 61-year old mother of nine and former president of United Methodist Women. During the quarantine, she’s been helping her community and family by selling to her neighbors in lockdown. When making soap, she invites nearby mothers and neighbors to learn the process.

Samba Florence, 58, mother of ten children and district evangelist of Kamina town, is one such trainee. Ms. Florence makes soap for sale in the neighborhood market. “My husband doesn’t work anymore. Selling soap solves my problems and family needs. I contribute money to groups of women. I give my tithes.” Through her initial small investment, Ms. Florence has doubled her income. “So I’m doing well.”

Rev. Makonga Kyakutala Odette is chaplain and communicator for the United Methodist Women Country Team for the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Posted or updated: 10/16/2020 12:00:00 AM