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Every one has a story:I have mine too!

I was born in East DRCongo in September, 1990, where there have been many wars through the years, and because of the wars, many problems. In 1996, when I was 6years old, my family moved from the big city to a small village in hopes of escaping the violence. On our journey, I saw many persons who had been killed, and even witnessed many acts of physical violence, and those images are always with me. It has been very hard for me to deal with the violence from the four wars I have witnessed in my short lifetime.

I remember one day, when I was 8 years old, there was a man who obliged me to take his container to fetch water for him, two kilometers from my home. I refused because I was alone and I didn’t know him. He told me that I had no right to refuse because women are there to serve men. He showed me a knife and told me that if I refused, he would rape me and then kill me. My mother used to warn us about such things and would give us strategies to use. I was trying to think of the solution for this situation, but the only thing I could think of at the time was to run. I started to run as fast as I could, crying with all my strength, in hopes that someone would come help me. He ran after me but I reached the road and found some people and began telling to them what was happening. The man came up behind me and was very angry. He tried to change the story and said that I had been disobedient and didn’t treat him with respect, but the adults believed me and protected me.

A year later, a friend of our family tried to rape me. It was 7:00pm and I was sleeping in the bedroom and I noticed someone was trying to take off my clothes. He was touching me everywhere. I wanted to cry but he covered my mouth with his hand. I started fight but fortunately, my elder brother came in and then went to call our father. He told my father that my brother was lying.

Since becoming a young adult, I have more stories than you can imagine. My mother has been strong support, and has made me strong, but many of my friends are quiet and afraid to speak out. I have wanted to help them, to stand against the violence, to make a difference. I have looked at many things but most avenues can’t really make a difference. Then one day, my mother found out about the Maman Shujaa of Congo, and then she told me. I immediately joined the empowerment movement, and I am not only speaking out for myself, but for all of my young sisters. Now I am proud of myself; World pulse (via Mama Shujaa) is my pride!

Comments

William's picture

strength in a community

Dear Nicole, thank you for sharing your personal story. Yes, I've read a number of articles that share how dangerous it is to be a girl/woman in Eastern DR Congo. I am sincerely sorry about men acting like this. I believe you have taken the right action in joining the World Pulse community in the DR Congo, Mama Shujaa. I am hoping that your combined voice will cause some authorities to pay attention to you and cause some needed changes to happen. Keep sharing, keep yelling out your story, the world is starting to listen. Blessings, William

Cali gal Michelle's picture

I appreciate your entry so

I appreciate your entry so very much. I have more to say, and will do so very soon. Thank you for such an honest and raw piece of writing!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
Sister-Mentor
@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

Nicole- Your story shows such courage at such a tender age. It also demonstrates resilience. Resilience learned from such a strong mother figure. You have not backed down from the evil that faced you. No! Instead, you have stared evil in the face, raised your voice, and have been heard. Mama Shujaa Is such a force. A force that is made stronger by you.

Since you have begun speaking not just for yourself, but for others, I would love to hear your vision for Helping other girls raise their voices. Know that we stand in pride with you.

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
Sister-Mentor
@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

Emily Garcia's picture

Thank you for sharing!

Hello Nicole,

Thank you for writing and for sharing your personal story. I am so sorry that you have witnessed and personally experienced so much violence in your life. But I am also inspired by the way you have consistently resisted that violence and now raise your voice against it. I'm so glad being a part of Maman Shujaa has made a difference for you, and I know that in joining the empowerment movement you are making such a difference in the lives of other girls and women. Great job, and thank you again for sharing with us here on PulseWire!!

Wishing you all the best,

Emily

Emily Garcia
World Pulse Online Community Lead

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