Woman. Mother. Inspiration!
Asifiwe: A mother who will do whatever it takes to get food for her 10 children.
Forced to flee..
There is a common story among many women in East Democratic Republic of Congo. Years of deadly conflict has forced many women to flee their homes - leaving behind all possessions. To stay alive, they grab their children and run.
When you flee with nothing, you need everything to re-establish your life and home. In 2020, communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo hosted 5.2 million internally displaced people (IDP) - the largest amount in Africa. It is at an IDP camp we meet Asifiwe.
Her story may be common but women like Asifiwe are not.
This is her story, in her own words…
In her own words
I am the father and also the mother of my children. Since I don't have a husband, I play both roles at the same time and it’s really hard. I think my husband is dead. I heard he was caught in the bush in a robbery.
I came from Kikuku, where I had to leave my home to escape the bad living conditions caused by the war.
When I came here, my living conditions were not good; I had no plates or pans. But since I have been here for a while now, I now have plates and pans and nobody can take them away from me.
I really appreciate the conditions in which we live in this camp. Now I have better health, I have my house, and whether I eat very little or a lot, it doesn't matter because I'm safe and that's what matters.
10 mouths to feed
I had only three children when I came from my home village, but I now have seven and with the three orphans I adopted, that makes 10 children.
Because of my difficult situation, sometimes no one would give me the daily work I needed to provide. There are those for example who offer to have your privacy in exchange for sweet potatoes or firewood.
He can't give you enough money, when he visits he just says, ‘You know I have potatoes; I can give you some in exchange for your body.’ In desperation, you go to the bush to have sex, and then you easily find yourself pregnant.
It happened like that. I kept the pregnancy and took care of it until I gave birth. When the child grew up I put it among my other children.
Because of your donations
I am glad that I have this time with my ten children, without any major problems. I thank God.
In these past three months because of this aid (food, household items), we feel very well. Since I received these donations, there are things that I don't necessarily have to buy anymore, such as vegetable oil, salt, beans...
When we go to do the daily payment work, we are at ease because we know that there is already food in our cupboards at home. Now I can use the payment received to buy clothes for my children or their shoes.