We were Rope. Now we’re Project Possible.

It’s an exciting new chapter for the charity. Come and see what all the fuss is about…

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

The ‘Belle Couture’ Dressmakers of Kinshasa

Length of project: 18 months

Partner: Bana ya Kivuvu

When we think about our past, sometimes we can only cry. Some of us are from broken homes, others have experienced exploitation, but we don’t want our childhoods to determine our future. Our dream is to become independent business women. We have resilience and determination and now we’re developing useful skills. With your help we could become The ‘Belle Couture’ Dressmakers of Kinshasa.

Project details
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This project is fully funded

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Keep track of this project as it gets up and running

Project funded!

We are delighted that the ‘Belle Couture’ Dressmakers of Kinshasa’s spark project is now fully funded and we are currently sharing this good news with Sandra, Ruphine and the other dressmakers.

We thank everyone who donated so generously giving these amazing women the opportunity to set up their own tailoring businesses.

You have been the spark to help them realise their potential and become independent business women.

We will be in touch very soon with a thank you postcard followed by regular updates on how they are progressing as they get their poverty-fighting ventures underway.

Thank you for being the spark to Sandra, Ruphine and the Dressmakers of Kinshasa.

By Amy Simpson

Open for business!

All the dressmakers have now found premises for their workshops and have begun their businesses.

Sandra and Ruphine have set up a business along with Crystel. They are renting a small cabin on the side of a busy main road. They have made their shop front eye-catching, so people will stop and visit them. They are also busy promoting their business to their own networks, including church community.

All the dressmakers attended a training session early November. It was run by Annie who is responsible for providing mentoring and support for the women. Training was given on keeping accurate records through the cash book system. Everyone knows that managing cashflow for a new business is crucial to long term success, so we’re delighted that Annie was able to provide this training.

Your donation has helped to make all of this happen!
Thank you for being the spark to the ‘Belle Couture’ Dressmakers of Kinshasa!

Annie training in cash flow.

Sandra and Ruphine in their workshop

By Jenny Rooke

Sandra and Ruphine outside their workshop

Messages from supporters

Prayers, encouragements and shout outs

phillip £300.00

May the Lord Jesus bless you all

David £56

Wow - amazing project!

Their story

A place of pride

Growing up in Congo, money was rarely available for education. Many of us didn’t have the chance to complete our studies and experienced awful things as we grew up. It’s hard to try and change our own circumstances when we’re exploited by people around us.

But we know that we are strong women and it was a pure moment of joy to be welcomed into the training centre with Project Possible. We now have the skills to design clothes, choose cloth and create beautiful tailor-made outfits. With these skills we have the potential to care for our own families and send our children to school.

Imagine the pride we could feel to have our own workshops and little shop fronts. That is the next step as we realise our potential and begin to build our independent businesses. We’re determined to make our new venture work and we have so many creative ideas.

Sandra, Ruphine and the trainee dressmakers
“I am amazed. Compared to the situation I was in, I have become a woman of value. This business I have chosen, I will work six days a week for it. I will not abandon it.” Ruphine's dream

Their project

A business for the whole community

We’re working with Congolese partners, Bana ya Kivuvu, to help ensure this project supports each dressmaker in the best way possible and that the impact of good business will be felt across their community.

We’ll be working closely with our partners to:

  • Provide each dressmaker with the start-up capital to purchase their workshop premises, material and stock to get their business started
  • Train each of the women in book-keeping and the importance of understanding cash flow
  • Help each of the women to learn the best way to market their business and encourage new customers to visit their workshop
  • Provide on-hand sewing and tailoring guidance if women are asked to produce outfits that involve more advanced techniques
Our local project manager meeting one of the ladies

Other Spark projects

Bite-size, time-bound poverty-fighting ventures

South Africa

The Good Food Apprentices of Roodewal

69% of £8,344


A past fuelled by drugs and gang life won’t stop these four young men from believing they can turn their lives around with newfound skills


The Talented Family Traders of El Alto

9% of £5,900


Three close-knit families, united by exploitation and trauma, carry incredible dreams to kickstart individual family businesses

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