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Testimonial of Gloire Amuli Masheka

11/10/2017

 

#InHerOwnWords              

 

 

My name is Gloire Amuli Masheka. I’m 20 years old and I’m the younger of two daughters in our family.

 

MY BACKGROUND

 

One morning in 2014, while I was on holiday at my grandparents’ home in Nduba, in the Walungu region, the village was besieged by men speaking Kinyarwanda. 

 

My grandfather was killed during the attack. I was one of 12 girls in the village, and the men who attacked the village took us into the bush. For several days, the men used us as sexual slaves. The time I endured at the hands of those men was very hard. After a series of negotiations between our abductors and local leaders, we were finally set free.

 

After that trauma, I spent a long time alone, isolated: I didn’t want to be seen by anybody after the shame of what had happened. The only person I was in contact with was my doctor.

 

Then, in October 2016, I met some members of the humanitarian NGO Alpha Ujuvi Collective, who were in my area to talk about a new training center being opened by W4 to provide IT training for girls and women. The prospect of the training appealed to me, and I went to the center and was admitted to the course.

 

Today, after successfully completing the 10-month intensive IT training course at the W4 center, I’m doing an internship at a graphic design and printing agency called “Brand Design”.

 

MY DREAM

 

My dream is to be able to open a support center for girls and women to help them overcome difficult situations, particularly to help girls and women who have endured sexual violence, as I did, because sexual violence is very widespread in our country.

 

* * *

 

Gloire is one of the graduates from W4’s IT training center in Bukavu, DR Congo. The training center provides young women survivors of sexual violence in South Kivu with access to a year-long, high quality IT skills training course (which also incorporates e-learning modules about entrepreneurship and women’s rights). The program also provides the women with soft skills coaching and job placement coaching.

 

 

Thank you to Fondation Orange for generously supporting this program.

 

 

 

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Meet the editor in chief

Andrea Ashworth

is an author, journalist and academic. She has studied, taught or held fellowships at Oxford, Yale and Princeton. Andrea has written fiction and non-fiction for numerous publications, including Vogue, Granta, The Times, The TLS and The Guardian. She is the author of the award-winning and internationally bestselling memoir Once in a House on Fire Andrea works to raise awareness about domestic violence and to promote literacy and education.

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