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Soap Project Report

March 23, 2010

Church of the Disciples of Christ of the Congo
Brazzaville, Republic of Congo

The Eglise des Disciples du Christ au Congo (EDCC) in the Republic of Congo, capital city of Brazzaville, has found that many women church members did not attend school and now live in total poverty without a source of income. There also are many widows with complete responsibility for their children. To address this problem, the EDCC has a Women's Activity project that offers training for women, including training in soap making.

Women from several EDCC congregations in Brazzaville work together two or three times a week to produce the soap. A total of ten women are active in the group and when the group meets to make soap, there are always at least three present. The process requires good ventilation so the women currently work in the yard of one of the EDCC churches. One must attend to the lye while another attends to the oil and another prepares the molds. The women also must keep an eye on their small children to protect them around the materials.

The women do not currently have a formal marketplace for selling the soap. Each sells the soap to people in their neighborhood and to friends and family. Much of the soap is also purchased by church members at the various congregations. In addition, the head of the Women's Department for the EDCC sells soap when she travels away from Brazzaville.

In addition to the small profit that this project brings in, it provides a community for the women and gives them purpose. It also makes their churches more visible to friends and neighbors.

The project has hopes of expanding, both in Brazzaville as well as in the interior of the country. The women in Brazzaville would like to have a modest building for storing their supplies. Meanwhile, the women reinvest in the project by using a portion of their profits for raw materials and firewood. They are very cautious to use everything and waste nothing so if they have excess oil and baking soda, they purchase flour, and augment their profits by making and selling doughnuts. The women also tithe from their profits to their church.

For more information on this project, including how to support the project, click here: http://globalministries.org/africa/projects/soap-project.html

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