“For me, selling fuel was the only way to survive to the crisis”
26-year-old Furaha is a displaced person living in Kitchanga, North Kivu province. She is married and is a mother of three children. For the past three years, Furaha has been living in Kitchanga after being forced to flee her village of Pinga, in Walikale territory because of repetitive attacks between armed groups.
“When I arrived here in Kitchanga, the living conditions were extremely difficult because as a farmer in Pinga my existence was depending on agricultural produce. Now, I couldn’t do more in a city area where I have neither plot of land or crops. Finding food to eat became a nightmare for me”, she testified.
Actually, Furaha, like many other displaced people living in Kitchanga, strives to rebuild their resilience through NRC’s urban project funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
Indeed, Furaha is a good of what might happen if women are given opportunities in crisis. When she was assisted with conditional cash, she immediately started a small business selling fuel to taxi drivers.
“Selling fuel was the only way for me to survive to the crisis. I remember that in the beginning, people were laughing at me because in this area a woman does not sell fuel. Knowing that there is no specific work for men or women, I decided to break this taboo. Now, I have two fuel cans and my income is around ten dollars per week”, she said.
Furaha is an optimistic woman and never gives up despite the small income she receives from her business.
“As long as selling fuel covers the primary needs of my family, including education of my daughter, I will never give up. I really hope that through this work, I’ll be able to support the education of my children—even through university, but I also aim to buy land where I will build a small house,” she explained.
Photo: NRC/Ephrem Chiruza. December 2016.