“COFAPRI is truly giving power to our wives, daughters, and our sisters and girls in our villages here. This helps them primarily, but it also helps us all with our families." - Bukanda Isaac, DR Congo.
Safe World Field Partners ask men and children "What has women's empowerment done for you?"
DR Congo - COFAPRI
Byamungu Michel, age 10:
“Today, I am going to school thanks to my mother who goes to COFAPRI and my family conditions are changing because of this.
Before I had no materials to use and no fees to pay at school; I was staying home and this was bad for me.
Today, I feel very happy as I am preparing my future. “
Mapendo Irene, age 9:
“Before, I was going to school – but sometimes with no books; but this year I got them.
I will gain more by going to school.
My father is a member of COFAPRI and thanks to him, COFAPRI is helping me and my sister; we like this.”
Murhima Françoise, age 11:
“On this great day of women, I can ask the International community to help COFAPRI to help more children like me in the villages.
I think they will hear our voices here and do something for us.
COFAPRI is helping my family a lot because my mother and my father are members of it and before we had no assistance.
This is empowerment and we thank all the friends who are helping COFAPRI to help us.”
“COFAPRI is truly giving power to our wives, daughters, and our sisters and girls in our villages here.
This helps them primarily, but it also helps us all with our families.
The women are getting hope as they can now take care of themselves, thanks to the animals COFAPRI gave them and they are doing sewing, which will help them, too.
We ask the international Community and other organisations to give a hand to COFAPRI in order to support and expand its support to DR Congo women in the villages.”
“The women are being empowered in long term today in our area thanks to different activities. COFAPRI wants them all to be well in their families and the community; it is teaching them life skills via sewing, knitting, and animals rearing. Our children also could not go to school in past years but today, they can.”
"We have to understand that helping women is to help all of us here, in our villages and in the country.
The women support us in different ways; so they need to be empowered more by helping them to do different activities. This will not only help them but the whole community.
The girls if they are also empowered in their early age, they grow up knowing that they are valued.
This, for women and girls, cannot be achieved if all of us are not involved. So we call upon the great nations and different organisations in the DR Congo to help the women to empower.
COFAPRI has already started, it only needs hands, support of different category to do more for women and girls and to reach more villages.
To empower the women in the villages of the DR Congo, there must be peace and security because nothing can be done sustainably without them."
“Ahhh, I can see women becoming well-empowered here because COFAPRI is doing a lot for them and we men, do appreciate this. This is good for all of us in these villages where insecurity abounds.
Our wives and daughters are now doing what they were unable to do in the past; they sew, knit, and rear animals and the children go to school. What is more than all this?
We thank our friends from abroad who are helping COFAPRI to empower us more. We send them our message to tell the United Nations about our wives and children who suffer a lot because of wars.
If the wars can totally end, COFAPRI can do more than it is doing today.”
“Our wives, daughters and sisters were raped and others suffer the brutalities of their husbands – and this hurts them a lot in their bodies and in their morality.
Domestic abuse is reducing thanks to the education we are getting from COFAPRI. Our wives and daughters and sisters who are victims of rape and domestic abuse can now make their lives forwards, they remake their lives through different activities and support initiated by COFAPRI.”
“In these villages around here, there is a lot of insecurity and we suffer a lot because of it but our wives and children are thriving for life with the help of COFAPRI. They are now forgetting about the past hurt they got and the poverty they were living in the past.
This damaged them morally. but today we are happy COFAPRI is doing something for them; this is changing little by little and the whole community is pleased with this. Today, we can see change in our families’ lives thanks to COFAPRI.
If people of good heart developed nations and our government can help COFAPRI to help more women and children, this can be good for all of us and the country, as well.”
Mugisho Ndabuli Theophile, founder of COFAPRI:
“The women and the girls in the villages of the DR Congo are tracing a new way for a better future.
Women's empowerment is very motivating for us as they are being empowered by breaking the darkness of the past to make a new way for their future and that of their children. Their sustainable empowerment means to equip the whole community in which they live with adequate tools to address the aftermaths of abuse, poverty and discrimination they experience in their lives and this, in the long run can develop the whole nation.
The motivation of these women is also giving us more motivation to do more regarding their empowerment. We ask the United Nations and any other country to pressurize our government to totally end the wars so that COFAPRI can better empower the women and the children; nothing sustainable can be done in insecurity.”
Sierra Leone - We Yone Child Foundation (WYCF)
Khadija Sesay, age 12:
“Because WYCF helps my mum school supplies and teaching, now I can [learn] basic mathematics, reading, and comprehension better than before.”
Mariatu Yasaneh, age 8:
“When I was a child, I couldn’t read and write but now I can read and write. Also, before I can’t able to play games with friends like Balancing ball, sticking-rope, etc, but now I can play all those games with my friends very well.”
Alhaji Turay, age 12:
WYCF helps my mum through the supplying of basic school materials and clothing which my mum couldn’t before. Also, before I couldn’t read and write the alphabet but now I can read, write, and I know it very well.”
Mr. Eddie, age 36:
“My wife (Edina) is a Diploma holder in Accounting and Finance, but presently she is a teacher teaching at the George Brook School, the school supported by WYCF.
The incentive she gets always helps move the home forward peacefully.
I pray for her, too, for protection and success as she determines doing her work, getting more experience in the field so that she can achieve more. Edina is well responsible and caring.
We have two children, a boy and girl; she has respect for me and she always calls me for help if there is any – nd always asks me for advice before she takes any decision.”
We Yone Child Foundation on International Women's Day, 2014
'We will ask children especially the girls, what women's empowerment means to them, and educate them about women's empowerment and their rights.'
Kenya - Usalama African Women & Girls' Organization
Pamela, age 4 - from a Nairobi slum:
“Mama yangu anaweza kutununulia vyakula vingi hata balun kwa sababu anapata pesa mingi akiuza mboga.”
(My mum can buy for us a lot of food, even balloons to play with, after she sells her vegetables in the kiosk).
Frank, age 8 - from Bondo District:
“Because my mum is empowered, she is able to teach many children in school and speak in the school morning assembly; she does not fear to speak.”
Miriam, age 16:
“Because my mum is empowered, she has been able to take my uncle who wanted to take my late dad’s land to court. Mum knows her rights”.
Joseph, age 26:
“Empowered women are good to have because they have their own money but, they are difficult to manage as a wife”
Benard, age 32:
“Hao ni shida tupu!,ukiwaoa ni balaa!”
(Those are problems, if you marry them be ready for chaos!)
Juma Hassan, age 42 - a literate man:
“It’s good when women are empowered; the only problem with them is that, they do not want to give birth to many children when married.”
Philip, age 34 - an illiterate man with disabilities;
”Bora ataleta pesa na kunizalishia watoto, sina shida nao.”
(As long as she will bring me money and bear me children, I do not see any problem with them).
Usalama on International Women Day, 2014
'Usalama will be partnering with her grassroots’ partners; youth and women groups to celebrate the Women achievers at grassroots’ levels. We intend to link up with the local media (radio) stations to highlight the activities of these women.
Since the IWD will be coinciding with the release of KCSE (Kenya Certificate of Secondary education) Exam results for 2013, we plan to identify, reward and join in celebrations with top achieving girls in 2013 KCSE.
Finally, Usalama volunteers intend to carry out home visits to the elderly women in the community, clean their houses/environs and feed them.
refugee and displaced women and children from Burma as well as disadvantaged and Hill-tribe women in Northern Thai villages.
Through education, economic opportunities and other support, more women were encouraged and have taken leadership roles, benefiting their families and communities.'
Kenya - Compassion CBO
Cicilia Njoki, age 10:
“My mother bought us a bed now we can sleep on a bed. We had no bed.”
Agrey Wafula, age 12:
“My mother buys us food and brings us yoghurt. Before we were going to school hungry.”
“My mother buys me school uniform and shoes. Before we had no clothes.”
Mating Oduor, age 18:
“My mother helps my dad to pay school fees for my secondary education. My other siblings were always expelled from school for lack of school fees.”
Hika Kamau, age 45:
“I feel uplifted, empowered, for there is no difference between me and and my wife; we are inseparable.”
John Mwangi Mburu, age 61:
“I feel threatened because women are supposed [to be] inferior before a man.
“During Creation, the Lord created [man] before woman; therefore a man should be more empowered economically than a wife, in order to have a balance of nature.”
Man, age 50 (name with-held):
“My wife has helped and supported us as a family alot since she can earn her own money and supplement in our family budgets.We are able to take our children to school.”
Lukas Njagi, age 40:
“When I was the only breadwinner, I felt strained and like giving up. But since my wife was empowered and can earn some money she is a relief and my love for her and esteem has greatly increased.”
Compassion CBO on International Women's Day, 2014
'We plan to bring all women together for a one-day seminar and reflections. We are expecting many women from different places to come. We will invite a motivation speaker to come and speak to the women.
We shall have some refreshments.'