I was born in East DRCongo in September, 1990, where there have been many wars through the years, and because of the wars, many problems. In 1996, when I was 6years old, my family moved from the big city to a small village in hopes of escaping the violence. On our journey, I saw many persons who had been killed, and even witnessed many acts of physical violence, and those images are always with me. It has been very hard for me to deal with the violence from the four wars I have witnessed in my short lifetime.
I remember one day, when I was 8 years old, there was a man who obliged me to take his container to fetch water for him, two kilometers from my home. I refused because I was alone and I didn’t know him. He told me that I had no right to refuse because women are there to serve men. He showed me a knife and told me that if I refused, he would rape me and then kill me. My mother used to warn us about such things and would give us strategies to use. I was trying to think of the solution for this situation, but the only thing I could think of at the time was to run. I started to run as fast as I could, crying with all my strength, in hopes that someone would come help me. He ran after me but I reached the road and found some people and began telling to them what was happening. The man came up behind me and was very angry. He tried to change the story and said that I had been disobedient and didn’t treat him with respect, but the adults believed me and protected me.
A year later, a friend of our family tried to rape me. It was 7:00pm and I was sleeping in the bedroom and I noticed someone was trying to take off my clothes. He was touching me everywhere. I wanted to cry but he covered my mouth with his hand. I started fight but fortunately, my elder brother came in and then went to call our father. He told my father that my brother was lying.
Since becoming a young adult, I have more stories than you can imagine. My mother has been strong support, and has made me strong, but many of my friends are quiet and afraid to speak out. I have wanted to help them, to stand against the violence, to make a difference. I have looked at many things but most avenues can’t really make a difference. Then one day, my mother found out about the Maman Shujaa of Congo, and then she told me. I immediately joined the empowerment movement, and I am not only speaking out for myself, but for all of my young sisters. Now I am proud of myself; World pulse (via Mama Shujaa) is my pride!Voices of Our Future Application: Your Journey and Vision