Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Maman Shujaa Hero Women of Congo have emerged to put the voices of Congo women on the map, make their dreams and struggles known, and work together across differences to drive international policy. Today the Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the most active regions in our global network, and the women of DRC are a rising force in the world.
Hero Women of the Congo Speak Out
What the Internet Means to Me
I never had the chance to touch a computer until my 12th year of school. We were taught how to work one without seeing or touching one. I was lucky enough to attend university, but even there, the chances to use a computer were minimal, and it was too expensive to use one. To do my research, I had to be accompanied by another person. The only available connection was outside the university and the cost was a great burden on my very poor family. Since joining the Maman Shujaa center, I’ve seen a new world! I’ve learned all the possibilities of a computer and how to access the Internet.
Internet access has given me a chance to discover the thoughts and experiences of other people across the world. Thanks to the Internet, we’ve become editors! Thanks to this connection, our voices and dreams will become reality. Thanks to the Internet, all our voices are heard all over the world! Today, my voice is shared between 30 friends from different countries and regions of the world through my journal. We’ve learned how to explore this thriving community of World Pulse, where women’s voices are heard throughout the world and find comfort in all the other women of the world!
I’m very happy for this opportunity in the world of media. We envision that such initiative and support will one day spread through all of the Republic!
English translation by community member Pyrias.
The Hidden Beauty of the Congo
Although the Democratic Republic of the Congo is considered the worst place in the world for women, it is also made beautiful by the power and the hidden skills that we have as women. Despite the injustice, violence, rape, and many other forms of discrimination against women, we are not discouraged. Women continue to fight so that one day we will have a country of law and justice.
Around me, the beauty of the DRC is its ecology, its climates, its rivers and lakes, its industries, and especially my community around me. This community has attitudes, aptitudes and skills, which are hidden because there is no place where this can express itself. My community can do anything, but we are not trained, informed, and educated. Our courage and potential remain hidden to the rest of the world.
What brings me the utmost joy is the satisfaction of my needs, like education, my rights, clothing, and especially the respect and participation in the life of my community.
Our village will be happy when we have peace and justice. I overcome the difficult times by setting my sights on my future. I know that failures strengthen and encourage our efforts, because we will not want to return to this chaos. So I do not get discouraged when I'm in the worst time because I know that it will pass, and with courage I will be able to be the person that I wish to be. Women are beauty that must be protected – the foundation and the springboard of the entire global community.
English translation by community member JPCampbell0258.
Awaking My Combative Spirit
When I first came to the Maman Shujaa center, I was welcomed with joy. That really made an impression on me and gave me courage. At the center I have learned how to work with computers, something I had never managed to do, even when it was taught in school. The experience has changed my life.
Mama Neema from the Maman Shujaa Center told us there was a worldwide network called World Pulse. There, she said, the women of the entire world were connected and fought together for the promotion of women’s rights. This awoke a combative spirit in me, because my dream is that in the centuries to come, women will be able to enjoy their rights.
I was very happy to see so many women from all continents, countries, races, and tribes who had this initiative and strong desire to fight back tirelessly against all sorts of violence against women. Exchanging experiences with other women and reading, understanding, and commenting on what they write opens my mind and helps me find and propose solutions to modern women’s problems. When someone is open and shares their experiences with others, maybe one day their experiences will help another person in the same situation find a solution.
As an ambassador with the Maman Shujaa center, I publish two or three posts per month on subjects that are making headlines in our region and are relevant to the promotion of women’s rights in the world.
I have also learned how to connect to other websites, like Gmail and Facebook, where I have profiles that allow me to communicate with the entire world and to deepen my personal relationships. I still haven’t mastered working on the Internet, but I make progress every day. Sometimes using the Internet becomes difficult, but thankfully there is always a team who accompanies us in our center that helps us when we need it.
There are those who walk 8 or 10km on foot under a hot sun and in dust, or through rain and mud, just so they can get to the Maman Shujaa center.
I will always pray for the Maman Shujaa to expand into all countries, in particular the DRC and in all its villages: Lack of information is one of the main reasons for our lack of rights.
English translation by community member Pyrias.