When will my suffering be over?
When will my suffering be over? Madam Kermah Bunul, 68 years old has been mining for the past 18 years on the Lofa river in western Liberia; she has been mining from community to community, in search of subsistence livelihood and to help take care of her five children.
To date Madam Bunul has nothing to show for her years of hard work and labor; she has lived on subsistence and barely taking care of her five children. According to Madam Bunul, she has lost her husband during the period of the Liberian civil war that lasted for 15 years, through fire exchange between the LURD rebels and Government troops on the Bomi High way.
This is a brief explanation of Madam Bunul’s family life which is paraphrased: ‘My children, things are so hard for me and my five children that I cannot overcome by my own strength, my only hope was my husband who died during the last war. My brother also got killed during the war. My mother is very old as you can see me the daughter; she too is depending on me. But I thank Allah for life; I do not have hope for now but I have hope that one day my life will improve because my oldest son is out of high school, while the younger one is in the grade nine. It is from the mining that I have been able to send them to school. But I need help, beside this mining work. I need other skills that could help improve my family life. I was happy after the meeting last week where we were told that the Rights and Rice Foundation is supporting program for women who have never been to school, to learn how to read and write. For me I want to know how to identify, read and write my name, work with numbers especially in weighing my small gold because the buyers can really cheat us, who cannot understand numbers. So I will be part of the women's program to make the difference”.
According to Madam Bunul, she has registered with one of the group to benefit from the Water pump loan scheme in Lofa Bridge,(the LESTER FUND/GLOBAL GIVING supported project); the beginning of positive change in her life, to be part of a well organized group. She is in one of the standby groups, who hope to receive water pumps after the first group has repaid their loan to purchase the next set of pumps. Madam Bunul, like many other women, is looking forward to the labor saving water pump, which she hope will increase her income and improve her livelihood in future.
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