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Amissi's Story

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My name is Amissi

Through our programme, Amissi has learnt financial literacy, vocational skills and about family planning. She has transformed her marriage, her children's opportunities and - ultimately - her life.

Amissi weaving with her husband. Photo: Women for Women International
Amissi weaving with her husband. Photo: Women for Women International

I am 35 years old. I am from Luberizi, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I am married and am the mother of 10 children, including five boys and five girls. The oldest is 17 years old and the youngest is seven months old.

Before entering Women for Women International's Stronger Women, Stronger Nations programme, I was living a very difficult life.

I expected everything from my husband who was no longer able to feed and support the family. My husband became very angry and there was no joy in the family. The relationship became very tense between him and me.

I could not understand him anymore. I was very sad when my children were expelled from school because we couldn't afford the school fees and there was nothing to eat. I saw that some of my neighbours were benefiting from this programme, and they were doing better. I wondered how I could benefit from such a programme as well.

By grace, one day I saw staff members of Women for Women International going house by house to meet with the community and to enrol vulnerable women in its programme. I was enrolled with the agreement of my husband.

Once in the programme, the discussions on different topics were very valuable for me, in my home life and in my life in my community.

I considered it as a school, since I did not have the chance to go to normal school. I never imagined that my work could make my husband and my community value me more, so I became "a woman of value and loved by all– an example in my community!

Before, I knew nothing about family planning or contraception, that's why I gave birth every year. But thanks to the training, I decided with my husband to stop because I risk my life, but also, we must take care of the children that we already have.

I learnt to save, and I started a joint fund with my husband. I can write from 1 to 100 and do calculations that I did not know! I learnt how to weave. I in turn taught my husband and some of my children to do it too, and we formed a family business. Every day at the market we go to sell our baskets, and we earn between $30 to $50 per week.

I am also proud because the family love has grown, a joy like no other.

My husband keeps telling me that he is proud of me, and our children enjoy the fruits of our labour for their schooling and food.

Thank you

Women for Women International's work in the Democratic Republic of Congo is generously funded by UK aid from the UK government.

Through their generous support, women survivors of war like Amissi in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been able to rebuild their lives, families and communities.

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