Joy Comes in the Morning
When we met Marie Therese, a refugee from Congo, she had gone without food for almost a week. She was living with her three children in what is essentially a garbage dump in Kenya, in a 5x5 foot shack. She fled her home country after her husband was beheaded by rebels, who had also raped her twelve year old daughter and left Marie for dead. She escaped on foot with her three children through Uganda and into safety in Kenya. As a refugee with no husband, her life in Kenya would be difficult.
She had been making paper beads to sell, and we bought them all, regardless of quality. We wanted to help her earn an income so that she could take care of her children. With her first paycheck, she bought food, paid two months rent on her shack, and bought material to make quilted backpacks and bags. As it turns out, Marie is a very gifted seamstress! She also fixed her hair. And while that may not seem like much, women will understand that the fact that she tended to her appearance meant she now felt good about herself. She has hope!
In less than six months, Marie's life is now so different. Thanks to donations, we were able to purchase a home for Marie and her children, and a sewing machine of her own to use in her new business. The photograph is Marie crying tears of joy as she holds the deed to her home.