These refugee women have really changed and have improved, you cannot easily notice that they are suffering and struggling refugees in Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo
Yesterday Friday November 17th, 2023 we held a briefing meeting with refugee women who are benefiting from our current four projects on economic empowerment: These women are in four (4) groups mainly (Income Generating Activity Group, Shopping Bags Group, Craft Group, and Charcoal making group), the fifth group which is Tailoring is still lacking money in order to continue.
We started these activities focusing on economic development of refugee women in Goma in July 2021, three years on the way a lot have changed in the lives of these women. Just when you look at their physical appearance now, you find them clean and smart but also healthy, you cannot imagine that they are refugees, on top of that each one among them has a small phone in order to communicate, and they can easily pay for their transport. These women have now also extended their relationship among themselves and among those they did not know, they work together in groups and do support each other when there are social problems.
Through these pictures just look at their physical appearances, just look how they are dressed and then compare it with other pictures we have shared before, you will find a bid difference. And yet they were just called to come for a briefing meeting, just look on their heads and on the shoes they are putting, there are so many positive changes.
So our dream is on the way to become a reality “refugees are not the problem but they have problems”.
While some among them shared with how these activities have improved their lives, others informed that much as they have money in groups they still need personal money in order to do personal activities which will improve their lives.
We really thank all those who have supported us so far to improve the lives of these women, more still has to be done, such creating an association for these women, starting a functional adult literacy, training them in leadership and providing them with basic computer skills in order to develop. Obviously we need to increase and diversify their source of income and build a sustainable financial approach for them so that they can become fully economic independent.
And now in case we have more funding we need to support more other women.
Please not also these refugee women have been here in Eastern DRC since 1994 and what we are doing the very first initiative towards their development, we started at the economic empowerment but they have all whole list of needs. The other urgent need they have is to access refugee documents which UNHCR has never granted them since 1994, this has limited their movement in order to do business and should be solved, we are working on this through a strong advocacy programme with UNHCR.