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Muriel’s Place is a vocational training center for widowed mothers of children under eight years of age. The center is named after Muriel Thompson a model for courage and compassion as she worked tirelessly to assure that young women in difficult situation had clear alternatives and empowerment to make good decisions.

In some parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo and other countries around the world, there are women who find themselves thrown out of their homes, because of a property tradition. Upon the husband’s death the property reverts back to the husband’s family. Widows, and most often times mothers of very young children, find themselves homeless and without means of support. These usually uneducated young women are suddenly thrown into desperate situations and in an effort to feed her children resort to unthinkable means to gain money.

Short courses to learn a profitable skill and basic management principles can make a world of difference in their lives and the lives of their children. The vocational training center will train them in a vocational skill to allow them to earn a living, learn to manage a household and a cottage industry, and stop the cycle making them and their children prey to destitution, hunger, sexual and psychological abuse, exposure to HIV, and lives of crime due to lack of a protective homes and education.

This training will be provided in several types of skills, including but not limited to gardening, tailoring, masonry and carpentry. The program will help participants develop a savings program from products allowing for a small start up fund for their personal enterprise at the end of their 6-8 month training course.

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