History and milestones of our association

The association THE PROJECT JUSTINE – train the trainer is headed by Rahmée Wetterich and Marie Darouiche, founders of the Munich fashion label NOH NEE. With the success of their internationally renowned Dirndl à l’ Africaine, the question of a suitable production location quickly arose: In which country, on which continent do we want to have our dresses made in the future? Under fair conditions and cooperation characterized by mutual interest, appreciation and respect. The search for a coherent answer led the founders to Benin in 2016.

History and milestones of our association

The association THE PROJECT JUSTINE – train the trainer is headed by Rahmée Wetterich and Marie Darouiche, founders of the Munich fashion label NOH NEE. With the success of their internationally renowned Dirndl à l’ Africaine, the question of a suitable production location quickly arose: In which country, on which continent do we want to have our dresses made in the future? Under fair conditions and cooperation characterized by mutual interest, appreciation and respect. The search for a coherent answer led the founders to Benin in 2016.

Today, THE PROJECT JUSTINE – train the trainer runs its own training and vocational center in the north of the West African country, where young women and men learn the tailoring trade from scratch and grow up to become trainers. The commitment is bearing fruit. The first students are trained, pass on their knowledge to the next classes and are requested by neighboring countries due to their expertise. With the growing interest in West Africa as a production location for textiles, the need is evident everywhere: there is a lack of tailors who can process fabrics to a uniformly high standard, as well as a lack of trainers who can train and instruct. The first collaborations and partnerships are formed across national borders.

We are grateful for the journey that lies behind us. And excited about the steps that will follow.

Our milestones

L

09/2012

Justine Tchilalou Payarou

Through the Munich association WEMA-Home, Rahmée Wetterich and Marie Darouiche met Justine Tchilalou Payarou and decided to train the Beninese woman as a seamstress in their Munich sewing workshop. At the time, no one could have guessed what role this encounter would play in the lives of the three women.

L

03/2014

Trip to Benin

Rahmée and Marie visit Benin together with Justine. The sisters are very impressed by the country and its people and ask themselves the question: why not put down roots here? Can we create added value with our expertise?

L

05/2016

Foundation of the association

Rahmée founds the association THE PROJECT JUSTINE – train the trainer e.V. together with Birgit Schryvers and four other founding members.

L

01/2017

Purchase of land

The association acquires a plot of land covering a good 4,200 square meters in the small village of Bersingou in the north of Benin.

L

09/2017

Biberach University of Applied Sciences

In order to make the training and vocational center as professional as possible, the association has entered into a cooperation with Biberach University of Applied Sciences. Architecture professor Felix Schürmann and his students are immediately ready to draw up plans and accompany the first construction phases in Benin.

L

05/2019

Heinrich Roth

Just a few kilometers from our property is the Centre de Formation Liweitari (CFL), a training center for bricklaying, polymechanics, electrics, car mechanics and organic farming. Heinrich Roth not only offers us rooms on his premises so that we can start our training immediately. He still supports us today with his trainees in the construction of the center.

L

09/2020

Drinking water wells

Our first project is the construction of a public drinking water well. It will not only supply our teachers and trainees, but also the people from the village of Bersingou with free water.

L

03/2021

Training our first trainers

In March 2021, Marie and Justine will begin training eight coaches on the CFL premises. Within a year, they should be fit enough for us to start the actual apprenticeship.

L

02/2022

Construction phase 1

The construction plans have been drawn up by our team of architects from Biberach and we can start building the studio at the end of February 2022. We are particularly impressed by the orientation of the buildings and their roof construction. Even in hot outside temperatures, the wind will cool the rooms pleasantly.

L

09/2022

Training company, round I

Heinrich Roth offers us a larger room on his training site, so we have 200 square meters at our disposal just in time for the start of our first training class with 23 trainees. For the time being, our training can run under the auspices of the CFL, whose qualifications are recognized by the state – and so are ours.

L

11/2022

Jule Becker

Jule Becker, a master tailor from Germany, joined our team in Benin at the end of 2022. Together with our trainers, she is developing a unique curriculum for a three-year, state-recognized training course.

L

02/2023

Construction phase 2

The construction work in Bersingou is progressing in parallel with our training operations on the CFL site. In a second construction phase, a kitchen, seminar building, lounge and store are being built. In addition, a photovoltaic system will be installed on the roofs to generate electricity for the center.

L

03/2023

GIZ

After intensive discussions with the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, we are opening a new chapter. Based on our training and vocational center in Benin, we also want to become active in other West African countries on a project basis in the future.

L

08/2023

Construction phase 3

Work on the construction site continues unabated, with a seminar room and a library to be built. We don’t just want to teach our trainees the tailoring trade, we also want to support them individually and holistically. We also consciously accept young men and women who have had little or no schooling.

L

10/2023

Training company, round II

Young people from all over Benin are introducing themselves to us for the start of our second round of training. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic also left its mark on our work, building materials became more expensive and donations declined. Nevertheless, we are able to offer eight young men and women a job.

L

11/2023

Relocation to Bersingou

Now that the sewing studio, seminar room, kitchen and sanitary facilities are ready, it’s time to move! Since then, we have been training the first-year apprentices at the Heinrich Roth site and the second and third-year apprentices at our premises in Bersingou.

L

12/2023

Projects in Senegal and Ghana

With the growing interest in West Africa as a production location for textiles, the need for highly trained tailors and trainers is evident everywhere. Following intensive discussions with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), we are launching two train the trainer projects in Senegal and Ghana. Here too, the focus is on creating sustainable structures and long-term jobs.

L

04/2024

Construction phase 5

In the coming months, an office, five apartments, an additional kitchen and a guard’s house are to be built. We are also considering a daycare center – trainers and trainees become pregnant and we want to offer them the opportunity to remain in the educational, training and professional process.

News & Stories

Safely to training

Safely to training

Please be on time! In the north of Benin, this sentence has a slightly different meaning than in Germany. There is no public transport that runs at regular intervals and transports people safely to school, university or training every morning. In order to support our...

With God’s blessing

With God’s blessing

We have been looking forward to this day for a long time. On 20 January 2024, we opened our centre to the public and celebrated the topping-out ceremony and inauguration all in one with the mayor, priests and interested parties from Bersingou. Most of the buildings...

Tradition meets modernity

Tradition meets modernity

We didn't have to convince Felix Schürmann, professor of architecture at Biberach University of Applied Sciences, and his students. They were on board immediately. THE PROJECT JUSTINE - train the trainer not only offers the chance to really get to know the country and...

THE PROJECT JUSTINE
- train the trainer e.V.
Agricolaplatz 7
80687 Munich


+49 (0) 89 88 98 12 70
info@theprojectjustine.org

THE PROJECT JUSTINE - train the trainer e.V.
IBAN DE71 4306 0967 8237 2376 00
BIC GENODEM1GLS

Quicklinks

ABOUT US

PROJECTS

NEWS & STORIES

DONATE

PRESS

INVITATIONS TO TENDER

Please support us:

© THE PROJECT JUSTINE – train the trainer e.V.