IEDA Relief collected the testimony of three women who have had to leave their villages–places where rival armed groups make the laws, do not hesitate to kill, rape, loot, and engage in all kinds of human rights violations. Often civilian populations find themselves in the crossfire. Consequently, these three women have lost all their belongings, their husbands have been killed, and they themselves had undergone trials of various kinds prior to meeting in the Mungote displaced persons camp in the city of Kichanga in 2011.
Unfortunately, aid in the camp does not satisfy
basic needs; there is insufficient food, children go uneducated, and there is little to no clothingto distribute. Beyond the trauma of war, these
three mothers and their children were having problems surviving.
Confronted with budgetary problems, the humanitarian community can no longer guarantee even the little food it has provided in the past, so aid has become more selective. It turned out that, for survival reasons, numerous women who went into the bush to
look like they were selling local twigs for firewood, were actually working in the fields for local residents for $0.50 per day, which did not protect them from rape or sexual exploitation.
IEDA Relief, with funding from the UNHCR, put in place income-generating activities within the framework of sexual violence prevention in the camps. These three women were selected
for the program and received bakery training (making breads and donuts). After the training, IEDA Relief granted a kit to each beneficiary so she could continue her activity.
Since 2013, they have received this assistance, and today these three women have become independent. With the revenue from this first activity, they have started up other activities.
The Three Mothers
Mrs. Chantalle* rents a field where she grows corn, beans, and potatoes according to the seasons. With the profits, she educates her children, and dresses and feeds her family. She has even started to raise a small animals.
Meanwhile, Mariam* farms and sells a part of her crop (potatoes and beans, which are basic foods in the region).
She was also able to educate, feed, and clothe her children thanks to IEDA Relief.
Cécile, like the others, farms and she produces more than a ton of sorghum each season, which she sells to breweries.
The greatest satisfaction that these women take from this project is that they can recover their dignity. They are no longer dependent on humanitarian aid; they provide for the needs of their children and prepare for their future by providing them with valuable
education and training.
More than 100 women have received aid from IEDA Relief and UNHCR, and aretoday economically independent.
*The names of beneficiaries have been changed to protect their anonymity.