The Story of a Mamafrica Mama - Aswifewe
"I had many bad thoughts in my mind before I started coming to Mamafrica but now I have a family and a support system to help me when times are tough."
Here is the first of several true stories we will be sharing with you about how Mamafrica helps the women of the DRC, and how your support of this project makes it possible.
Aswifewe is an employee of Mamafrica, and mother of three. She has been with Mamafrica since 2012.
When asked how Mamafrica has changed her life Aswifewe, who is 19 years old, said (translated from Swahili to English by co-founder Ashley Nemiro), “Mamafrica is helping me so much by paying school fees for my children. Before Mamafrica I did not have any hope because I knew that I was a street child. Also I am happy because after being able to sew and I get paid and I can feed my children before and after they come home from school. I had many bad thoughts in my mind but before I started coming to Mamafrica but now I have a family and a support system to help me when times are tough.”
Aswifewe is now going to school after a generous donor paid for her to continue her education. In Democratic Republic of Congo, there are few continuing education schools where one can receive their high school diploma.
“The first time you asked me to go to school I did not know if I could succeed but you encouraged me to go to school and now I am ranked fifth in my class. I praise God and want to say thank you for sending me to school. I was 13 years old when I stopped going to school and never thought I would be given the opportunity to finish.”
Aswifewe met her husband when she was just 13 years old. He first came to her house and said he would give her money to start a small business selling avocados on the street. After some time had passed he came back to her home and asked for the money back. She said that she did not have it and he forced her to have sex with him to pay back the money. She explains that she didn’t have another choice. This is a tactic called bride raping.
She became pregnant with her first child at age 15 and was forced to marry this man and leave her home to live with him. Her husband beat her after her first child was born and she returned home to live with her mother. After some time her husband returned to ask for her forgiveness and she went back to live with him, even though the beating continued.
She now has three children and hasn’t seen her husband in one year because he left her when she started going to school. He could see that she was gaining confidence and independence. Aswifewe pays $25 a month for rent for a small shack in Bukavu. She hopes to better her life by returning to school and continuing to work with Mamafrica.
Your support of this Kickstarter project gives Aswifewe and other women like her the chance to have new life, escape sexual violence, and support her family by finding work with Mamafrica in making our clutches.
Why not spread the word by passing this along to a friend? Only with your help can we make it a success and enrich the lives of Congolese women through Mamafrica! We are over 10% funded, but we must reach our goal to succeed! Thank you for your support.