I am a female Congolese refugee age 18, caring for 7 children, currently living in the Kyangwali refugee settlement.
My father died of torture during the war in DRC. We separated with our mother trying to escape during the killing of the father. I escaped with 3 children (brother and two sisters) to Goma town in North Kivu province where I thought to find my mother. This time I began the suffering life with my young brother and sisters. We failed to get food, water and shelter during the search of our mother. Very hungry, my young brother and sisters cried always asking food because I was their available parent. We passed nights in bushes and on veranda. We didn’t find our mother in Goma and we were told that she went to a the camp in Uganda.
In 2008 I came from Goma back to Rutshuru and fled to Uganda with other refugees.
We crossed the border from DRC to Uganda on 7th July 2009 because we had hoped to meet our mother. UNHCR picked us near the border and provided transport to Kyangwali refugee camp. On our way, we passed in the hills, steep slopes, many corners and high rocky banks on the road sides. One of the refugee woman whom I didn’t know before took her head out through a window her head was mashed against the rock of the hill. She died instantly. All buses stopped after the accident. The dead woman had a very young kid of around 2 weeks old (later named Ruth). All people were confused on what to do. Everybody refused to pick up the kid. There were other women that had kids but all refused to pick up the baby from the dead mother. No other relative or the father that was with us on the trip, she was alone.
As I looked to the young innocent baby, I could see her eyes only tears would flow on my cheeks. I could only see her suffering and passing through what I am passing through. All of us had no parents to take care of us. By relating her life story to mine I felt that she should belong to my family. The voice kept telling me, pick her, pick her, pick her, God is the father of orphans. He will use his people to feed you and the baby. By picking her I found out that her legs were fractured during the accident. I was admitted in Hoima hospital for 2 weeks where the plaster was put on her legs.
I have never seen my mother again up to now instead I found 3 children of my uncle who were added to 4 children I had, to make a family of 7 children.
Today I work for people to get milk for the baby. Sometimes I become a beggar when I fail to get casual work. I leave children alone, our shelter has little difference from the outside, sometimes the children get sick and I fail to know what to do. We are exposed to all dangers of life because we are helpless.
I thank PeopleWeaver and Jeanne Ratzloff who visited me. Jeanne helped me with some money that I have been using for baby milk and medication.* She is a parent and only God will pay her back. Live long please!
*I gave her 60,000sh ($30). Later we gave Angela money to start a small business (raising goats).
Update: Months later Angela's uncle came and now looks after his children. (2009)
Update: In 2015 Ruth's family arrived in Kyangwali, they took guardianship of Ruth.
While fleeing the Congo and after a terrible accident of one of the refugee women who was not known to me, I picked up a few weeks old baby whom I later named Ruth. The helpless baby was bleeding and sustained injuries and a fracture. I spent months in a hospital taking care of her. I want to thank you because since the time I met you the life of the child and mine did not remain the same but changed positively.
I have been raising the goats that I bought with the money you gave me in 2010 and I was able to buy medication, food, clothes and other needs.
Ruth has grown and is healthy today. I can't forget to thank you for the vitamins you gave her during your visit to my home in 2011. Since that time she has not had several health complications like before. God bless you abundantly.
The reason why I am writing this is that I have a desire to join the MC women. I want them to be my family so that I can get advice and have those elderly women as my parents (Tuungane Microcredit Group). Also I am doing a business and would love to strengthen my business so that I can work and prepare money for Ruth's education.
I have been venturing in Irish potatoes buying 100kgs at 75,000sh and was getting a profit of 150,000sh.
The second business idea is buying cassava, grinding it on a machine and selling the flour in the market. One basin costs 12,000sh (~$4) after grinding and can then can be sold at 17,000sh each (~$6).
|Item||Quantity||Unit Cost||Total Cost|
|Cassava grinding||4 basins||3,000sh||12,000sh|