The little boy in the worn button-down decorated with cartoon characters seems small for his age, and incredibly serious. Unlike any other child I’ve met in the Kasais, he speaks to me in perfect French. Originally from Tshikapa, in Kasai Province to the southeast, like many of his classmates, Pascal and his family fled at the beginning of 2017, when ethnic conflict broke out in violence.
Lillias is among a group of six young refugee women who learned to create brightly coloured beaded handbags, purses, necklaces, earrings and bangles. Within a few weeks, Lillias learned to quickly hook beads onto plastic strings and then hinge them together to make any desired item.