My introduction

Central African Republic, September 4, 2010

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I was born on February 1, 1980 in Rwanda. I did my primary school and a part of secondary school in my home country, then I fled to neighboring Congo during the genocide that happened in Rwanda in 1994.

I continued my secondary school studies in Congo for a year, then I fled again in 1995 during the war that struck that country. I went to Tanzania, then to Zambia and then stayed in Malawi for two and a half years. Then I went to South Africa before finally making it to Central African Republic where I joined my family.

Since 2000, I’ve lived in Central African Republic as a refugee. I finished school and did my university studies here, and then I found Mercy Corps.

I started working with Mercy Corps as a translator in September 2008, and then signed on as a Program Assistant in February of this year. Now I work around the country on programs that support women’s rights, women’s associations and justice issues.

In the women’s rights program, we try to set up behavior change in the community, especially according to what people think about the place of women in society. For example, women think that when a husband doesn’t beat his wife, it means that he doesn’t love her.

We hold campaigns and workshops, we broadcast programs on radio stations and we distribute booklets and guides to explain women’s rights. For women’s associations, we train women how to manage small groups and businesses. Mercy Corps has financed 73 different women’s associations on how to begin income-generating activities.

In the Access to Justice program, we’ve opened four centers that receive survivors of domestic violence and direct them to where they can receive legal advice and support.

My duty here on the Mercy Corps team is to coordinate these programs and make sure that everything is going well.