Democratic Republic of Congo – Educating young people to be leaders of today and tomorrow

20 April 2021

(ANS - Bukavu) - This year the "Tuwe Wafundi" school of trades, animated by the Salesians, welcomed 21 girls - out of 151 students - who asked to learn a profession traditionally reserved for males: bricklayer, carpenter, mechanic, welder. Then there also are the women employed in the staff and the Salesian Cooperators who collaborate in the mission ... There are, in short, a fair number of women who, increasingly and with good reason, intend to celebrate their being women and the contribution that, as such, they can give in every area of ​​social life. In this sense, the Salesians do nothing but encourage them on this path of awareness and recognition.

To all of them, in the month of March dedicated to women, a Saturday of celebrations was offered. The day began with Mass, followed by a conference-debate held by Mme Marie Claire, a woman entrepreneur, responsible for a carpentry workshop, and finally some cultural events and a festive lunch.

For the students of the "Tuwe Wafundi", the intervention of Marie Claire was enlightening. “With her personal experiences, she told us that to live and be a female leader, we need to have some principles, some rules that we give ourselves,” testified the young Irène Nabintu, an apprentice in Automotive Mechanics. They are:

-       Avoid living always expecting help from others;

-       Equality requires us to work hard and show that we can do it even by ourselves, alone, if we really want to;

-       Love your work, your profession: if someone really loves her vocation, her work, she will be successful, even against a headwind;

-       Pray to God, because it is He who comforts and gives you confidence during the journey of work;

-       Do everything on schedule and don't envy what you don't have.”

Marie Claire, married, mother of 9 children, all raised and educated thanks to her work, also encouraged the young women present to continue their education, because, “to qualify as boys do, intelligence and strength are needed, and to work with courage. Without disrespecting men, you can make yourself accepted as a true female leader,” she said.

In the subsequent question and answer session, the values ​​of honesty, which always pays off in the world of work, and of patience, were highlighted because “one becomes a female leader little by little”, step by step. And to those girls who would like to work but whose boyfriends are against this option, the speaker said clearly: “If someone loves a person, he will also love everything that she is, lives and does.”

“Until a few months ago, the girls of the Tuwe Wafundi school were on the street, without a diploma, without a job, without a future. 'Don Bosco' offers them the possibility of finding a place in society, and - why not? - to one day become true women leaders,” commented Fr Piero Gavioli, Director of the Salesian house in Bukavu.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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