Day of the African Child: Marie’s Story

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Today we celebrate the Day of the African Child, a day that marks the rights and potential of African children. With World Refugee Day just days away, we wanted to bring you a story of a young woman who exemplifies the strength and power of young refugee women.

Marie* was 15 years old when her boarding school was attacked in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As she attempted to flee, she was attacked and abused by the assailants. She escaped the school, only to find that the war had reached her village, her parents and siblings were nowhere to be found. She sought refuge in her cousin’s home until the war caught up with her yet again. Nine months pregnant as a result of her earlier abuse, Marie ran once more. With the help of a kind stranger, she gave birth to her son, Mbayubahe Bennendi, on a lorry fleeing her country.

Alone with her baby boy, she was referred to RefuSHE in March 2017. A year and a half after she first fled, Marie moved into RefuSHE’s Safe House. Within our healing community, Marie was offered access to individual counseling and received medical attention. Her son receives care in the Early Childhood Development Centre while she studies at classes at the Girl’s Empowerment Project.

As she reflects on her time at RefuSHE, Marie shares “I finally feel like I have found a family.”

We ask that you stand with African Child and #WithRefugees by making a gift to ensure that young women, like Marie, receive the support that they deserve.

Until June 20th, every dollar donated to RefuSHE will be matched up to $25,000.