Bulangalire did not hesitate to speak up as we talked about what equality means for women and girls in Congo. “I’m very angry about the discrimination,” she said. “My father told me I shouldn’t go to school, that my brother should. My father knows he owes me a debt for not putting me in school.”
In her book A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writes, “Teach her to reject likeability. Her job is not to make herself likeable, her job is to be her full self, a self that is honest and aware of the equal humanity of other people. … teach her to be honest. And kind. And brave. Encourage her to speak her mind, to say what she really thinks, to speak truthfully. And then praise her when she does.” (Eighth Suggestion)
Bulangire speaks her mind, sharing her story in order to change her world: “I got married, and the marriage ended, and I had to move back home. I told my father, see, if I’d had an education, I could be teaching right now.”
Bulangalire may have missed her opportunity for a formal education, but thanks to support from Action Kivu’s generous donors, she is learning the latest in organic farming, using new skills to grow nutritious food for her family, her community, and to sell to the Congo Peace School so that the students eat healthy meals, grown locally!
If you want to partner with us in this movement for equality, education, and peace, click here to donate today, and consider making it monthly. Our family of monthly donors allows us to plan ahead in sustainable growth.
“I wish I was a child to be able to attend the Congo Peace School! I want to be educated, but I was never given the chance to attend school.” Claudine, 25, is one of the farmers learning organic, aquaponic techniques to grow healthy food for herself, her family, and her community. Claudine will start with Action Kivu’s Literacy Program in December to pursue her goal of an education, made possible by you, our Action Kivu family of donors!
Join the movement for equality in education and support our farming program, literacy courses, HIV education and prevention work, and sewing workshop here!
Tuesday, September 12 2017 was a day of harvest at the shared farm in Mumosho, Congo.
Our agronomist, a University student studying the latest organic farming techniques, shares his new knowledge and understanding of the land, producing beautiful, organic cabbages, fruits, and other veggies for the women to feed their families and sell at the local market. Salome is one of more than 85 women who have their own plot of land to farm through your partnership with Action Kivu.
“I am so happy to understand these farming techniques and be able to put them to use.” Salome, mother of 9 children.
Malnutrition is a constant threat the the lives of the children growing up in eastern Congo, despite the lush land. Our Founding Director and leader Amani Matabaro is excited to report on the growing success of our OFFA (Organic Food for All) program: “We use the compost from the pigsty to both feed the fish in the fishing ponds and fertilize the soil, and we water the crops with water from the fishing ponds as it has nutrients. Look at the results! Everything we grow is 100% organic,” he says.
Learn more about our work below, and consider a monthly donation to partner with these world-changers today!
Don’t ignore me, Cecile called out as our executive director picked her way across the farm in a valley of eastern Congo, speaking to women about their lives, what it means to grow food to feed their families and to sell at the market.
“This is a new experience,” Cecile, a mother of five, said. “To have my own plot of land. To grow and sell vegetables to help my children, to pay for their school fees.”
Hear their voices — the women of Congo will not be ignored. They are changing their lives, and the lives of their kids and communities! Invest in the movement today. Make it monthly – every dollar makes a difference and adds UP! $175 / month pays the salary of our agronomist, a university student studying organic farming, and sharing his education with over 80 women in Mumosho.
In the midst of the ongoing conflict in Congo, where armed militias continue to terrorize communities, the UN and NGOs continue to work toward peace through the process of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants.
According to the UN website, DDR supports ex-combatants to become active participants in the peace process through:
As we focus on the needs of the oppressed, the women and girls denied an education and most often the victims of sexual and domestic violence, we also see the need to educate and bring into community the men of the villages, especially ex-combatants, to break the cycle of violence and provide pathways to peace.
Seeing the need for the ex-combatants to find daily work to feel connected to their neighbors and to be contributing members in their community spurred our visionary leader Amani to find community-based solutions. The answer was pigs. Pigs and pedagogy. Purchasing 7 pigs, Amani hired two ex-combatants to care for the pigs around the clock, ensuring their health and safety. Our agronomist Mukengere helped build the shelter, and trains the men about breeding the animals, and their relationship to the farm, how to grow organic food and raise fish.
The goal is to grow our demonstration farm, which is currently home to over 80 women learning the latest organic farming skills as they farm and harvest their own plot of land to include an education for more ex-combatants, to extend pathways to true integration and peace throughout the area. Pigs provide poop for the organic fertilizer for the women to use on our shared farm, as well as help sustain the algae and greens that feed the fish in the ponds on the farm, which are harvested for food and to sell at the market.
As the pigs give birth, the men can sell their offspring to earn their own income, creating a cycle of sustainability. This week, we learned that one mama pig gave birth! Welcome to the world six baby piglets. The project is off to a great start.
See photos and learn more about the farm:
Connect to the people of Congo through this life-transforming work here. Every dollar makes a difference, and a monthly donation provides the resources for us to plan for the future – a brighter future for us all!