My name is Patience
In 2018, Patience graduated our Stronger Women, Stronger Nations programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is 52 years old and a mother of 9.
I am Patience. I was born into a family of 12 – I am the 11th. I am married to Mr. Thimothe and together we have 9 children (8 girls and 1 boy).
Back in 2018, I heard from my neighbour who is a headmaster of a primary school that there is an NGO called Women for Women International and they are enrolling vulnerable women in the community. She tried to explain what she was told about the organization and I was convinced – I decided to join.
One month after joining the programme, we started a Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) from the first stipend. I got 180,000 FC (£67 GBP), which I injected into my business of making soap. This was the vocational training I chose to learn in the programme.
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Our neighbour knocked at the door and asked ‘Why are you not escaping?’ She told us that they are kidnapping girls and killing men, so we decided to run away and not take anything with us.
I know that I should take courage because I survived a hard situation. Every day, I have to wake up and pray and say, thank you God, for I’m still alive. It was hard but now I’m here.
One of my friends told me about Women for Women International and how it provided training for women. That’s when I learned that I wasn’t alone in my suffering. There are other women, who have the same pain.