Restoring the life of refugee young girls in Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo
We have to be true and sincere to everyone, with the huge amount of work, with a lot to be done in order to ensure the protection of refugees, with the absence of other actors as we remain the only ones visible on the ground, with almost no budget in our hands, the tasks ahead of us is almost impossible, yet we believe in this and we keep moving forward.
Almost every refugee in North Kivu Province is vulnerable and needs urgent aide which is not available as per now. We are much aware that this is not the best offer we could do to these refugee young girls who are below 18 years old, in actual sense they should have been in a school. But on top of that we had to choose between leaving them at home exposed to risks of being raped, sexually abused and forced to get married among others or convince them to join this Tailoring Training Programme.
We opted for this and we hope after six months they will have a skill which may help them to push in life, but also acquire knowledge in other things which may help them to look at the world differently, help them to get new connections, create friends and benefit from other educational trainings which are part of the package.
One among them told us when we visited them at their homes near Goma and asked her what she wanted to do in life “I want to learn Tailoring, because with that I can get quick money and at least with Tailoring there is chance to get money every day. I want money which can help me to support my parents with food at home but also to solve my basic needs. I’m very serious and I can assure you that I will finish the six months for the training. I know that I will have challenges connected to transport and sometimes it will be difficult to attend when I’m hungry but I will do my best”.
Then this mother who brought her two young girls said when we wanted to know why they came to the center “ I failed to pay school fees for them, they have been staying at home, but with that there is a risk that one day, they may get married to fighters in various rebel groups in this areas. I hope this will occupy them and make them busy for a while”.
The training center is in partnership with another organization where refugees are encouraged to pay 3$ per month but also come with all their materials. While these young girls are determined to attend trainings every day, they are facing many challenges mainly connected to the following:
Worry about the 3$ per month because their parents are too poor and others do not even have biological parents,
They do lack Training materials which they come to ask from us and yet we also do not have funding,
They cannot concentrate to trainings when they did not have food to eat at home,
They need counseling and more other training such as learning to read and to write.
Global Refugee Leaders Forum