Tailoring Project for Returnee Women in Angola

April 1, 2007

Since refugees began returning to Angola in 2002, Moxico province in eastern Angola received over 185,000 returnees. This represented 50% of the total number of returnees to Angola. This design and tailoring project was implemented in Luena in Moxico Province.

There were around 16,300 returnees in Luena. Life for returnees was difficult due to the language problem and obtaining citizenship. Few of the refugees spoke Portuguese while in refugee camps in Zambia and this was a condition for obtaining Angolan citizenship. The project provided fourteen vulnerable returnee women with design and tailoring skills in to order to make clothes to earn an income for their families. This indirectly benefited 70 to 140 people in their families. The course was for six months and at the end graduates would be assisted with setting up a small business.

In addition to assisting the fourteen women, the project provided the chance to set up a community based activity which was later expanded to include carpentry, joinery, basic computer skills and primary education.