UTOPIAN COFFEE CO. is proud to be a supporter of a project called “Women For Women International“, which works with socially excluded women in eight countries where war and conflict have devastated lives and communities. Women who enroll in their one-year program learn job skills and receive business training so they can earn a living. They come to understand their rights and how to fight for those rights in their homes, their communities and their nations.
Here at UTOPIAN we have been able to help five ladies from the Democratic Republic of Congo go through the various classes that Women For Women has available. We are currently assisting Aimerance, also from the DRC, in completing the 12 month program. We just received an update on her progress and we would like to share that with you so you have a better understanding of how your support of UTOPIAN is making a difference across the globe.
Aimerance’s current training program is titled “Family and Community Decision-Making.” Women For Women believes that in order to reach their full potential, women must know their rights and understand the laws which are in place to protect them. As she attends classes, Aimerance is learning about international, national and local laws, and learning how to exercise her rights within the realms of her family and community.
This module is divided into three sections. The first unit begins by introducing the idea of gender equality. In communities where traditional gender roles are often very oppressive and limiting, we strive to help women find their voices and sense of self-worth. It is emphasized that women are equal to men before the law, and thus deserve equal opportunity in the household as well as in the community. Women are taught that they are worthy of contributing to the decision making process at home, including even financial decisions which are traditionally handled only by the men in the family.
The second unit delves more deeply into women’s legal rights. Women learn, often for the first time, that they are entitled to be protected by national law even when it conflicts with the community’s norms. They learn about the areas of both national and community law that protect them, and cover topics such as ownership and inheritance of assets, laws and customs in marriage, divorce, and child custody. Within their training groups, women will find a safe space to discuss difficult issues like domestic violence and rape, and together work on developing skills they can use to protect themselves and their families.
The third and final unit covers women’s involvement in the community. The participants focus on identifying ways in which they can involve themselves in community decision-making processes. They are provided with suggestions on how to evaluate political candidates, as well as participate in local political activities.
Because of your continued support of UTOPIAN COFFEE CO., we are able to give back, by equipping one woman at a time, and help build a brighter and more sustainable future in this great country. Together, we can continue to make a difference.