The recent celebration of World Refugee Day has caused us to reflect on God's goodness in caring for so many women at Amani. Finding a home to feel safe in, people to love, and work to provide for a family are joys that are deceptively simple because they are so powerful to affect so many. God is glorified when we tell the stories of His grace, so we would like to share with you Immaculate's story of refuge.
Immaculate – My Refuge Story
I now have 6 children and 1 grandchild. We have lived in Kenya for the last 20 years. Some years after the 1994 genocide I left Rwanda with 2 kids aged 3 & 1 years respectively. The journey was long and not easy with young kids. I traveled via road, through Kampala to Nairobi. We all used to live in fear, anxiety and mistrust. It was a very tiring journey.
Settling in Kenya
I thought settling in Kenya meant I was coming to the land of milk and honey. The language barrier in Kenya was a challenge. I had to learn to speak swahili as I didn’t know English. We were surviving on organizations which were helping us with food, blankets, and clothes for a short period of time. Life was hard. I used to walk with my shoes until they were completely worn out. I even thought to myself that with all these problems, it’s better to die in your home country but for me, there was no going back home. It was very difficult to support my family. I had no income and there were times we would almost go without food, and there is nothing as painful as a mother watching her children go without food. I gradually started knowing swahili and also learning about stitching.
After some time, a friend introduced me to Amani and I got admitted as a trainee after 5 months. Those were the longest months of my life – waiting, but I soon realized my family’s life was going to change for the better. I got to a place where I could wake up every morning. Even the neighbors would see that I was waking up leaving in the morning and getting back in the evening. My heart felt at peace. Here, I have found friends where we talk and build each other up. I have learned sewing skills in bags (backpacks). I don’t buy school bags for my kids now, I just buy the material and stitch them. I have learned to make a variety of high quality products especially Children’s products. Our customers will be happy when they buy them. My wellbeing and that of my family has greatly improved because of Amani.