Since the beginning of the pandemic, the daily reality of millions of people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been worsening and many women members of the AVEC groups have no longer been able to pay their dues necessary for the proper functioning of the deposit and loan fund. "For this reason, the social workers Nicole and Gisèle have distributed start-up aid, from 50 to 150 dollars approximately, to over 120 very poor mothers who were unable to start a small Income Generating Business and participate fully in the AVEC group," says Fr Piero Gavioli, a Salesian missionary, Director of the “Don Bosco Center” in Bukavu.
The testimonies presented here give an idea of the advantages of this creative form of charity - which develops the individual talents of the people helped - as well as difficulties encountered.
FRANCOISE received a sum of $ 80 to boost her small spice and shoe shop. Her business progresses and helps her respond to the needs of her family. As the supply of spices from Rwanda became difficult with the pandemic, she began selling underwear. She is a member of the "AVEC Tuamke" group of Camp TV, and is very grateful to the Salesians for the help received.
ESPERANCE and her husband are partners of the same AVEC group. They received 150 dollars in aid which enabled them to restart their businesses. The husband strengthened his small resale of cigarettes and sundries in the large market of Kadutu and Esperance began to sell large bananas at the market of Muhanzi. The confinement due to the pandemic had interrupted their activity a bit, but now they are moving forward.
ANASTASIE is the President of her AVEC group. She received a 120-dollar sewing machine from her group. Before, they all used 3 old machines in turn, while today these mothers have the opportunity to use a good quality machine and sew clothes that they sell to survive.
"Mothers Courage thank the Don Bosco Center for the help received. Their thanks goes above all to the people who give us the means to help them. May the Lord bless them," concludes Fr Gavioli.