My husband was hospitalized and we were given an invoice for the amount of 300 000BIF. This amount was very heavy for us, we were not able to pay it and hospital administration imprisoned my husband. The only solution I had was to apply for credit from the FWA’s saving group. They gave me a loan, and I was able to pay the bill with the agreement that my husband will help me pay this debt.
After that, my husband returned to his work but he did not pay this credit. I begged him but he refused. One day I came home and found the house empty; my husband left us with everything which has a value in our house and until now, 5 months ago I don't know where he is.
So I fell into depression: I used to cry every moment, I didn't know where to go. When I thought about this credit, I felt very bad. I wanted death. He left me with our three children “how can I start from zero, whereas I only have a capital of 50,000BIF”.
I thank FWA; this center has a really meaning on empowering and healing women. It’s like women’s refuge; my saving group understood my problem and gave me another deadline to pay this debt. This training helped me calm down I understood that I am not alone in this fight about gender based violence.
“I was raped at 13 by a boy that I considered as a brother; I was doing some cleaning work in his room as usual and he raped me and I immediately got pregnant. This man gave me drugs to have an abortion and I refused.
When my elder sisters found that I was pregnant, they called for justice and this man was imprisoned. Then his sister gave the money to the judges and He got out of jail. This man's sister convinced me to say that I love this man in order to live together. She lied to me that she is going to take me to Europe and I accepted.
Because of this decision my family hated me, beat me, cursed me and refused me to go near their house.
Arrived in the house of this man, I suffered all forms of violence; he beat me, he raped me, he brought other women into our room, sometimes he threw the food I had prepared on the road in front of our neighbors.
I hated so much that man that I couldn't be able to look it in his face; even to have sex I begged him to use the position where I couldn't see him in his face.
I began a small potato business which helped me to live alone with my two children at the age of 15. I became an independent and beautiful woman. The man envied me and wanted to start life together again. When he was presenting his proposal to me I took a stone and I threw him in his face and the blood flowed; I said to myself; a man who ruined my youth, for me deserves to be killed. I will never forgive him. Thank you for this workshop where I got an opportunity to cry”
“What traumatized me was the death of my husband in 1993. My husband went to work as usual but he did not return. We searched everywhere but in vain. What hurt me in the search for my husband was the Administrator of the commune at the time. I called him on a public telephone and he cut the telephone. I asked the army commander, and he replied: “stop confusing me; don't you know that there is war in our country?”.
We mourned in silence because no one was allowed to come to our house because it was said that my husband was a malefactor (Umumenja) because of the ethnic conflicts.
I had a letter from my friend informing me that she had seen my husband. Afterwards we went looking for him again but we did not find any trace. So we decided to do the final mourning. Finally, we saw my husband come back, and he told us that he had been hiding at his friend's house all these three months. But he was traumatized he continued hiding so that he canot be killed.
One day I had gone to ou rparish for prayer and when I came back I found him dead: He was not sick; he fell down, and he gave up his soul.
It was a big shock for me. Until now accepting his death is very difficult for me. I still mourn my husband, I am very sad as you said because in my head I wonder why God can accept all this. Doing the final mourning for someone twice was very hard for me. When I remember this I have a feeling of shame and I even want to stay at home.”
“I married a man and we were happy with our 2 boys. One day a friend of mine told me that my husband has another wife in the countryside. I was shocked by this bad news. I spent days in my room crying. I made research and I found that it was the reality. My husband whom I loved had another wife. When I asked him why he did that to me, he became naughty and he traumatized me with these words: "You were lucky to have me and you ask me that I have another wife; you are stupid like all women". Then he took my children and until now 17 years have passed I am not allowed to see my children.
I have an inexplicable sorrow I feel like I am a bad mother, I feel guilty and I spend sleepless nights thinking about my children. I don't know if they will accept me as their mother one day. I got remarried to another man but I couldn’t have child. I am a woman who does not know what joy is. Thank you for inviting me to this workshop, I feel relieved because of the subject discussed and advice.”
My name is Anniella. I am 28 years old. I have 3 children. The first is 2 years 6 months old. The second is 1 year 6 months old and the last is 3 months old. My husband abandoned me for no reason after 2 weeks of giving birth to the 2nd child. Because of these close pregnancies, I lost my job in one of the companies in Bujumbura because with prenatal leave and work without a contract, I could not honor my specifications. When I learned that there are Self-Help Groups at Ntaseka clinic, I joined one of them. I participated in a workshop on Family Planning when my second child was 9 months old. I refused to join contraceptive methods because of three reasons: the first was that I was not with my husband. The second was that my religious beliefs did not allow adherence to family planning. The third was the side effects of contraceptives. Suddenly I received a visit from my husband who immediately impregnated me with a third child and continued on his way as usual. My husband is now out of my discussions. I decided not to continue living the ordeal. I am currently on family planning. I preferred the long-acting 5-year method and vow not to have another child if nothing changes.
I was born in a Christian family with a strict education. I grew up ignoring the wickedness of men. I was a church lady. I never knew the man sexually, I even didn’t understand a girl who can have sex before marriage; I did not even believe that it exists.
I married an HIV-positive man without knowing it, but He knew it. I got this bad news when I was pregnant. My heart was shattered into a thousand pieces; I felt the pain I had never felt before. It took me time to accept that my husband who is a practicing Christianity could do such a thing to me. With time, I found who really my husband is; a man who loves many women, who sleeps in hotels with other women, irresponsible man, angry man who beats me, and a man who is different than who I dreamed for. I fell into endless mourning in these 8 years. Sometimes I ask God why I harvested a life like life of a sex worker while I abstained for the glory of God.
I mourn my youth sometimes it's hard to leave the house I stay in my room because I think everyone knows that I’m HIV positive. I cry for my children because I'm going to die soon, who will raise my children? I no longer have strength to live. I sometimes desire death. This workshop has been meaningful to me. I feel I’m also human. Thanks a lot to the FWA
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