Clementine is in Rwanda, she sent a final letter and has graduated from her year of support through Women for Women International. She writes that she used the support she received from all of you during the last year to buy a cow, two chickens and two rabbits! She's planning on forming a co-op with other women in her group, isn't that fabulous?
Zijada is in Bosnia- we never really got to know her well as she chose not to write letters. She wrote in her exit interview that she used her support to buy food for her family, that her housing conditions, self confidence and support network all improved, and that her awareness of her rights is much stronger.
Our newest sisters are both in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Faila is 26 years old, is divorced and has two children, a boy and a girl. She is also caring for FIVE of her younger brothers and sisters, the woman takes care of 7 children! She is unable to read or write. Their home is listed as a hut or a shack, with no electricity; a cooking fire is used for cooking meals and water comes from the nearby river. She has some animals for support of her family. Faila says that her family's health is poor, that she cannot afford medical care when needed and there are security concerns when leaving her group. She has lost family members to violence. Faila is looking forward to being more active in her community and developing friendships and a support network through the program.
Mapendo is 27 years old, is married and has three children. She has been in the Women for Women International program for several months, but her sponsor was unable to continue so we're going to finish out her sponsorship. Besides her own children she takes care of a younger brother and sister- that makes 5 children in her family. Mapendo is unable to read and write more than her name. They live in a house with no electricity and no running water, water comes from a nearby river. They have access to batteries for lighting their home. Mapendo has animals to tend to support her family, but rates her family's health as poor. She cannot afford medical care when needed and has lost family members to violence. Mapendo especially wants literacy training as she goes through her program.
Women for Women sent information on the Democratic Republic of the Congo- you can read for yourself here: http://www.womenforwomen.org/global-initiatives-helping-women/help-women-congo.php
I'll be writing our first letters to our sister this week, telling them both about the support we receive from all of you. Thank you so much for helping us help these ladies!