Stories of women from Democratic Republic of Congo as translated by Emmanuel and told to Cathy Cleary and Heather Haynes February 2014. Names of the women in these stories have been changed to protect their identify.
Maya is 42 years old with 6 children. They are from the village of Masisi and were farmers growing ground nuts, beans, and maize. She was working on her farm when the M23 rebel soldiers came. They raped her. When she went home her husband said since you have been raped, I cannot have you anymore. He left her with the children. Since the day she went to the field to help her family her life has changed. She fled to Goma with her children to work as a porter on the road carrying very heavy loads. She used a strap on her head to carry things. Maya joined the training centre with the first group of women in 2014. Since that time she has become the a member of the women’s advisory committee and the assistant coordinator of the training She children are now attending school. She hopes there are people with a good heart who will continue to support the training centre. She will not go back to Masisi because she is still feeling very badly in her heart. In order for the Congo to change she believes they need to get peace and for the fighting to stop. She hopes one day soon she can build a small house for her and her children.