learn how to envy yourself


imagesGrrrrrrrr………the alarm clock woke me up suddenly, I thought to myself why the alarm clock was always prompt, maybe it should be a minute or two late. Anyway, my thoughts had taken five minutes already. I started running around, pulling on trousers, brushing my teeth and drinking a hot cup of coffee all at the same time, not forgetting to grab my keys and phone. It was now 4:25am. Putting my shawl in place, I was ready to fight the harsh morning cold. Against all odds, I must go to work now.

This was my morning routine for the past three years with only three months of vacation over the years and little savings sufficient to get me through the bills. It suddenly striked me, today is Friday, as usual, Mia, Kim and I will chat over a cup of coffee in the evening, I always looked forward to our meetings. Girls will always be girls. Continue reading “ARE YOU WEARING MY SHOES? THE REFUGEES QUESTIONS”


RAPE – true stories

Three Women in the DRC who are #Unbroken

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, up to half a million Congolese women and girls have been raped by armed soldiers and militants in the war-torn eastern region. Yet while many women are raped by soldiers or vigilantes as a direct result of the conflict, rape has also become much more common outside of conflict settings—including schools, where some female students are raped by their teachers, who face no legal repercussions. Many rape survivors are stigmatized, rejected by their husbands, families, or communities, and left with no support system.

Here, we meet just a few women who have survived unthinkable assaults, but are recovering and thriving through the support of Global Fund for Women grantee partner Promotion et Appui aux Initiatives Féminines [Promotion and Support to Women’s Initiatives] (PAIF). Join us in sharing the stories of these brave survivors and changing the narrative for the DRC’s #unbroken women and girls.

AWright DRC 10483

Sally, 20 years old

I was 15 years old and out collecting firewood when a DRC government soldier raped me. Now that child is four years old. Two years ago, someone else abused me and that resulted in another baby. Here [at PAIF] I’m learning sewing. It’s good way to support myself as well as watch my children. I received a sewing machine to work on at home. I can make four uniforms in two days, and earn money to support my family. Even my brothers are learning from me now.

Young Congolese woman with her baby

Melinda, 17 years old

I am an orphan. My mother died when I was three months old, and my father when I was eight years old. At age 13 I was raped by my 52-year-old teacher while in secondary school. He put has hand over my mouth and used some kind of drug. When I came to I was covered in blood. I was afraid to tell anyone, but I became pregnant. My first baby is now four years old. The school did nothing. One day I accepted a ride from a man who gave me ride in his car because it was raining. He raped me. This baby is my second from a rape. When I became pregnant, he took me in, but he beat me every day, and I suffered so much. I soon discovered that I was his sixth wife and this was his eighth child, so I left when this baby was one month old. I had no one to take care of me until I met with PAIF. PAIF will help me to take my husband to court and sue him, but if they lose he will find me and kill me. There is no justice in this country.

Congolese woman with a 1-week-old baby

Hope, 32 years old, with her one-week-old baby

I’m from Masis in the Congo, where 90% of the women are raped, and many people are killed every day. There’s no presence of government there, only bandits and locals carrying guns. I was married with seven children. One day I went into the forest to collect firewood and I was attacked and raped by four men in military uniforms. They left me to die but some local villagers found me and brought me to a hospital. I didn’t want anyone to know I had been raped but it was soon discovered that I was pregnant. When my husband found out I was raped he ran away and left me with the seven children. He was afraid of AIDS, and when he found out I was pregnant he didn’t want to raise someone else’s baby. Eventually his family and our pastor talked him into returning. This baby was born a week ago. Now we say we have seven children and this one. My husband said at least it’s a girl, she can be useful and work and bring in cows when she marries. PAIF has helped to move away from that terrible area and we now live in their temporary housing in Goma. Because we’re displaced people the children don’t go to school. My life changed that day I went to collect firewood in the forest.

Continue reading “RAPE – true stories”

I Looked at a Rapist in the Mirror and Saw Him Smiling Back


*this piece has been published with permission of the referenced person*

The first time I was sexually assaulted I must have been 9 or 10 years old.

I was violated by two family friends who were brothers and who would have been about 14 and 15.

Or maybe that was the second time.

The first time might have been by an older female cousin around the same time. She pressured me to go into a closet and make out with her. I think we may have done more, but I don’t like to think about that.

I didn’t object to any of these interactions. I was too young for that to matter, of course, but it was difficult for me to make sense of the fact that I consented without having the agency to do so, thus I had a hard time using the words “sexual assault” to describe what…

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She checked again. It has to be in there! It was the third time she went through her purse.

“I really need to see your passport!”

She could hear how impatient he was getting. It has to be in here. It was when she left. And now it seemed to have disappeared.

She had emptied the whole purse on the floor of the coffee stained train station displaying receipts, keys, condoms etc. Unfortunately, the end was near.

Sitting in her Father’s airy compound and remembering how Madam Knot had set her up, tears filled her already swollen eyes.

Regret was all she felt. She had used her body for prostitution and for other unimaginable things and here she was –  deported, rejected and used.

‘There is actually no place like home’. She thought.


Population_density_map_of_Nigerian_states_-_EnglishThe sun was radiant, all-watching eye, its light creeping into every corner, bathing the whole world in a warm glow.

The mini van cruised down a twisting road, grassy, forest green hills looming over the mountainous drive. An endless expanse of turquoise wonder, shimmering a liquid gold, stretched towards the distant horizon. The grasses looked like yarn weaved carpets and the birds hoping from tree to tree chanting in  the distance. The countryside view of Velbert in Germany was breathtaking.

Continue reading “THE LAND OF MY BIRTH”

When Broken Stones Cried

Could this actually be the ‘GENESIS’ story? Am reading the wounderful stories. Hope I wake up for work on time.


Another story prompt from the blog event FINISH IT on It is always wounderful to read the creativity of the mind. FINISH IT!#8.

Download (1)She was standing there, trembling. Her feet right on the edge, wondering how deep the fall might be. Her heart was racing. She was determined. She started controlling her breath, it was something they taught her. One of the few good things she got out of it.

Continue reading “FINISH IT! #8 – YOU SPUR YOU”


This is a great blog event FINISH IT . The anticipation of reading the creativity of different minds in ink to one story prompt is indeed unique. Check her blog write a story. This is the continuation of FINISH IT#6

10888982_1029018817114256_1459006577700260025_nShe was about to board the plane, close to tears and confused. He had brought her to the airport and the goodbye was not easy. They were only friends, but it felt like so much more. She knew what she felt for him but she also knew it would not be possible. He had only just lost his wife 10 months ago and was still grieving. Although there was some kind of chemistry between them, it could just not be. Probably she made it all up. But what if there was more? What if there was love? Would it be possible? She would never find out if she would set foot on the plane which was due to take her back to the other side of this planet.

Continue reading “FINISH IT! #6 – BROWN ENVELOPE”


kissHe tried to be as still as possible, peaking through the leaves, wondering if they were still out there. He had the courage to peep once more and now he was all alone. The birds chatted and hopped from trees to trees singing and chanting heavenly praises which sounded sad to him, ‘what have I done? I feel so empty and alone now’.

He heard some rustling around him and was immediately enveloped in fear, ofcourse there was no one left.

He remembered the first day he met her, he was at the train station to pick up the nurse sent to assist him in the community hospital.

‘He is now 30 minutes late, I won’t tolerate any form of lateness’ he murmured to himself. As he stood waiting, bursting with anger, a beautiful lady with manicured nails and sophisticated appearance walked up to him and said ‘the train was late, am here now, can we go’?

Continue reading “FINISH IT! #5 – THE STORY OF US”

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