Build a business for a woman living in war

by Peace Direct
Build a business for a woman living in war

Thank you for supporting this life changing project these past few years. Your kind gifts have touched many lives and will continue to leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.

As a peacebuilding organisation working directly with local people, we need to be reactive and adaptive to the wants and needs of our partners. This means that sometimes we need to switch things up – especially when they tell us that their needs are changing. That’s why we’re winding down this project. To focus on the immediate, evolving needs of our local partners around the world.

We hope you’ll remember this project, and consider supporting more like it in the future via our website. Alternatively you can follow our latest news and updates on our Facebook or Twitter pages, or sign-up for regular email updates.

Thank you again for supporting this important work. While we may not be very active on this platform anymore, rest assured that your generosity will continue to inspire hope and positive change for generations to come.

With gratitude,

Oscar, Senior Fundraising & Digital Officer

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Ida at home (Representative)
Ida at home (Representative)

Thanks to your support, we can continue our vital work with women overcoming the odds and building businesses in the midst of war. Women like Ida: a 33 year old from north-eastern DR Congo. This is her story.


During a brutal attack upon where she was living, Ida was forced to flee. She walked for miles from her home, leaving everything she had behind. She eventually arrived at a refugee camp, where she was given some help, but was eventually left alone to beg. She didn't know whether she and her family would be able to survive.


But her luck soon changed. She was given a $60 loan by Peace Direct's local partner in north-eastern DR Congo, CRC, with which she bought a goat, and set herself up selling cassava. In a short time, she had made enough money to pay back her loan. She was able to start a new life in a new village, safer from violence and no longer on the brink of survival.


Now, she has three goats and some land, and is working towards building a new house for herself and her family. That small $60 loan has ensured that she and her family can have a stable, prosperous future.


A further donation of £75 pounds today could help fund valuable business training for up to 50 Congolese women, whilst a generous £100 donation could pay for up to five acres of arable land in north-eastern DR Congo – upon which a local woman like Ida would be able to rebuild her life in the wake of war. With your support, we can provide more opportunities to women like Ida, and help them to build peace in their communities. Thank you.

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Josephine - Photo: Greg Funnel
Josephine - Photo: Greg Funnel

Thanks to your support, we can continue our vital work with women building businesses in warzones. Women like Josephine, a woman from North Kivu in the DR Congo; who overcame the odds to build a business for herself and peace within her community. This is her story.

Josephine was living on a farm in the north-eastern town of Butembo, DRC when her land was seized and her husband was murdered by rebel fighters. Josephine was sent into exile.

She joined the rival Burondo group to seek revenge for her husband and spent 6 years fighting in the bush.

However, when the militia began to recruit children into their ranks, Josephine knew she needed to escape. In 2011, Centre Resolution Conflicts – a local partner of Peace Direct – approached her militia with the promise of a new life outside of fighting. Josephine left and joined CRC.

She now works as a liaison to other militias, negotiating the release of child soldiers by using her specialist knowledge acquired from years of fighting.

Her home functions as a half-way house for child soldiers that have escaped. Following months of work and skills-training, Josephine ensures they are safely integrated back into their communities. They now have a chance at a new job and a new life.
By donating to this project, you are helping women like Josephine to contribute towards the health, safety, and peacefulness of their communities.

A further generous donation of just £75 pounds today could help fund valuable business training for up to 50 Congolese women, whilst a £100 donation could pay for up to five acres of arable land in North Kivu – upon which a remarkable local woman like Josephine would be able to rebuild her life in the wake of war. With your support, we can provide more opportunities to women like Josephine, and help them to build peace in their communities. Thank you.

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Credit: Greg Funnell
Credit: Greg Funnell

Thanks to your support, we can continue our vital work with ordinary women in extraordinary circumstances. Women like Julienne, a young woman from North Kivu in the DR Congo; who overcame all the odds to build both a business for herself, and peace within her community. This is her story.

“I remember the day my life changed forever."

"War broke out in my village in DR Congo and I had to flee with my family to escape the fighting. Before this we lived peacefully. My husband made soap in a factory. We had money and shelter. We were happy."

“When we fled, we went to a camp for people that had been displaced by war. Life became bitter. I did not imagine how painful it would be to live in this way with no food, no shelter, and so on. We survived with aid and donations from charities and NGOs. But after a while they stopped coming to our rescue. Some families nearby took pity on us and gave us a small portion of land to farm. But life was always painful. Then my husband became ill..."

"One day, a woman, my friend, came to visit me. She found me crying. I told her about my problems and she revealed that a group of women in the village were receiving help from a local organisation called Centre Resolution Conflits (CRC) supported by Peace Direct. I was hesitant but I asked if I could join, and they accepted me."

"I was welcomed into the group. They told me they were there to help people like me and I felt comfortable. After several training sessions with other mums, I received some credit from the organisation. With my first loan of $50 I divided it into two parts: half for my husband’s care and the other to invest in the field we had."

"Today my life has totally changed. My children have new clothes and we eat properly now. I produce a lot of cassava [a local root vegetable] and I have customers who buy my goods. I now run several small businesses selling cassava, beans and rice, and a few tomatoes, onions and leeks. My husband is proud of me because I have become the manager of all this. My eldest son wants to become a motorbike taxi driver so he can put money towards our house [and I] recently managed to buy a small solar panel for lighting so we can see in the evening."

"I am grateful to those who have helped me. My hope is that they keep progressing and find other women like me or families who live painfully in order to give them hope for the future, as they have done for me. I can’t imagine the life of my family without CRC, or what my life might look like now.”

By donating to this project, you are helping women like Julienne to contribute towards the health, safety, and peacefulness of their communities. A further generous donation of just £75 pounds today could help fund valuable business training for up to 50 Congolese women, whilst a £100 donation could pay for up to five acres of arable land in North Kivu – upon which a remarkable local woman like Julienne would be able to rebuild her life in the wake of war. With your support, we can provide more opportunities to women like Julienne, and help them to build peace in their communities. Thank you.

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Loventine now lives a prosperous and stable life.
Loventine now lives a prosperous and stable life.

Loventine is a 30-year-old woman from Bunia, a city in the Ituri Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She has 5 children and was displaced (and subsequently widowed) in 2003 when her family became caught up in fighting between different militia groups.


However, thanks to Peace Directs Congolese partner - Centre Résolution Conflits (CRC); Loventine has since lifted herself out of extreme poverty, after having been given the finance, skills and confidence necessary to increase and stabilise her family's livelihood.


‘I found out about CRC three years ago when they came to train women on different themes. I was one of the first women trained.'


‘A widow’s life is always difficult. Before the help from CRC, I was selling doughnuts, and porridge for breakfast. This got me about 20,000 CF ($12) per week, but not enough to send my children to school or to buy the house that I rented. Sometimes I could not pay rent, so I worked for the owner to pay the debt.'


‘I received three loans of $100 from CRC. With the loans I improved my business and was able to open a small shop. Now I have doubled my income and make 40,000 CF ($25) per week. I can send all five of my children to school and feed my family. I have also started to buy my house in instalments, so I hope it will soon be mine ... my dream is to diversify and reach a point where I can have a big shop selling groceries wholesale.'

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Organization Information

Peace Direct

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @peacedirect
Project Leader:
Oscar Lester
London, United Kingdom

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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