Vocational Training that Transforms Lives

ladies performing sewing training
by The Salvation Army in Canada

Vocational Training that Transforms Lives

After Mercia lost both of her parents at a young age, she dropped out of school and went to live with relatives, who often neglected her. There were days she didn’t even eat. So, she ran away to escape. As many women facing poverty come to realize, her only means of survival was prostitution. Eventually, she became pregnant and was left to raise her child alone.

Mercia is just one of many women in Congo-Brazzaville who was unable to receive a basic education and lack the skills they need to find work to provide for their families. Thanks to your support, The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda partnered with the community to build The Bacongo Vocational Training Centre for vulnerable mothers and girls. The Centre provides them with literacy and job skills, such as tailoring, hair braiding, beauty care and baking. The Salvation Army also built a daycare centre in the school to benefit the students who are single mothers, and Mercia’s daughter attends.

Since 2017, more than 150 vulnerable women have graduated from the Centre. Mercia is one of them. When Mercia first visited the Centre, she felt inspired to change her life. After graduating, she started baking and selling cakes, and used the proceeds to open her own beauty salon. She now dreams of opening an even bigger salon and hopes to train girls in her community.

“I am grateful to The Salvation Army and the donors because of this school,” Mercia says. “Bacongo has given me hope. Without The Salvation Army, I don’t think I’d be alive today.”