The Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo DR) is one of the poorest countries in the world. It has been ravaged by war. Many people find it virtually impossible to break out of the cycle of poverty. The capital, Kinshasa, can be a dangerous place where many children live on the street and women face the threat of violence, broken homes, disease and poverty.

Many young women turn to prostitution to earn money.

Our work

Rope and our partners Christ Secours des Faibles, based in Kinshasa, seek to change the lives of female sex workers or those at risk of entering the profession. They wish to enable the young women to become financially and economically independent by gaining vocational skills, which will enable them to re-integrate into mainstream society. 

Many of the women have been displaced by war.  They are poorly educated and some have faced living on the street.  Some are at risk from clandestine prostitution, living on income from sex work, which they gain at night without their family’s knowledge.  This group are particularly susceptible to physical as well as sexual abuse and sexually transmitted diseases.

It costs £12 to support a woman at the centre for a month.

Each year our partners help 80 young women to become financially and economically independent through vocational training in sewing.  They also provide literacy and life skills training, as well as women’s rights and health awareness education.  Our partners employ social workers who support the girls and encourage them to reunite with their families, providing counselling and mediation sessions when required.

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Fimi

“Now I can live without being forced into prostitution” 

Fimi from DR Congo faced widowhood at the very young age of 22, with two young children to support.  Like so many women in Africa, her husband’s family chose to take everything from her, leaving her with no support.

She returned to her family but had limited options and all feared she might turn to sex work to survive.

Thankfully, Rope and our partners CSF were able to step in and help.  Through training and a new sewing machine, Fimi has been able to set up her own small workshop, gaining independence for herself and her children.  As she says “Now I can live from my own hard work without being forced into prostitution.  I thank everyone who has brought help to a person in danger”.