I am planning to travel to the DR Congo villages again in a couple of weeks, to meet the women involved in sewing activities as they are soon completing their programme at the beginning of June and get their certificates on June 10, 2015.
The women have invited me to show me what they have been doing since last January when they started the sewing skills; they also want to share on their lives after the learning. They need to have machines they can be using in order to generate their own income but remaining active members of COFAPRI.
On the same occasion I will visit 3 of the schools in which the children whose school materials and fees we pay for their school education. COFAPRI is sponsoring the school education (fees and school materials) for 86 children (majority are girls born of rape or victims of domestic discrimination) for the moment.
Travelling to rural villages of the DR Congo is still a serious issue.
The areas are not secure yet because the militias that rape women are still operational in the mountains and forests where they hide. There, they rape women and girls and attack people unexpectedly. The travels are difficult due to the bad conditions in which the roads are.
The villages in the DR Congo, importantly where the Congolese Females Action for Promoting Rights and Development (COFAPRI) operates, have no roads or are almost inexistent.
A car has difficulty to drive into mud, water and holes; this is how it is where the roads exist. Once the car meets such problems of road infrastructures, we get out, leave it, walk and paddle until we reach the villages where we are going. This takes us between 1 and 2 hours walk.
Often we are carrying materials for the women in the villages, on our heads.
Despite such challenges, we think our visits are important because we have to meet the women, advise and exchange with them on how their activities are going.
The women have always openly expressed us that our presence among them has always shown them strong moral support; that they are not alone, that there are people who care about them despite their being rejected and abandoned to their fate in those rural areas.
During our visits, we also bring them some collected support (material and money) from generous people who want to support the activities these women are involved in (sewing, knitting, animal rearing, agriculture and small business).
Meeting the women gives us more motivation; we see their faces, we share stories and advise them on some issues for their advancement.
Thank you for your support